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Mike Tasos: Focusing on the good folks around us
Mike Tasos

There has always been an abundance of fine folks striving to be the solution instead of the problem.

These days, I’m not so sure. Uncertainty reigns supreme.

Even with no fans in the stands, thank the Lord for baseball. Even if we’re getting piped-in noise from a cardboard cutout crowd, America’s game is back, even if it is only for 60 games.

The Braves’ announcers have been teasing about fans in the stands come late September. There’s a better chance you’ll win big at one of those rigged carnival games at this year’s fair.

That is, if there is a Cumming Fair.

Despite naysayers saying the MLB season this year is a sham, I’m thankful for my early evening dates with the Braves. Old normal or new normal. At least it’s normal.

Thanks to the MLB for trying to make chicken salad out of chicken droppings. Often maligned by many, MLB became part of the solution by moving the All-Star Game back a year and giving Atlanta a whack at it in 2021.

I believe in the adage: “Good things come to those who wait.”

During this COVID crisis, which began with apparent mass anticipation of an uptick in bowel movements evidenced by the hoarding of toilet paper, we’ve seen a spectrum of good and bad behavior.

While the naysayers do their darndest to say nay, there are pundits, parents, players and pupils who want everyone to get back to work. Our kids are well-past the age of waiting in lunch lines, so I have no skin in the game.

It’s a conundrum of epic proportions. While both sides argue, it’s refreshing to see there is hope in the form of folks from these parts taking a shot at making things better.

I have an affinity for local businesses that go out of their way to provide products or services whose excellence sets them apart.

Who hasn’t wondered where you can get a good New York-style bagel here in Cumming? You have a better chance of Joe Biden putting three lucid sentences together.

That is until Gary and Cathy Trentacosta transformed a space in South Forsyth into a marvelous eatery, uniquely named “The Bagel Hole.” The couple has put together a varied menu that encompasses multiple ways of satisfying even the most particular Big Apple transplant’s longing.

In days past, my job took me to New York once a month. My sales rep there knew all the good bagel haunts, calling the best ones “dirty-water bagels.” 

After sampling the Trentacosta’s offerings, I’m wondering if their water is from the Hudson River or the East River.

Another new entry is Spiffy Bin, which is all about garbage. At least about garbage cans.

There’s nothing more disgusting that getting a whiff of those big plastic cans, especially during these hot summer days. No matter what’s inside, you’re not going to like it.

Enter Mike Walker, the proprietor of Spiffy Bin. Instead of bemoaning the tough times COVID has supplied, Mike has found a way to removing the stink that comes from all things smelly that fester in your personal bin.

The service is so simple, it’s brilliant. Mike will bring his truck to your curb, use some hydraulic gismo that cleans and sanitizes those smelly monsters. He then hikes up the driveway with clean cans to be filled again.

He’ll make your bins spiffy enough to sleep in. Ours was so clean, I went outside a few times after his visit, so I could open the lid and marvel in awe.

Unfortunately, it appears that not everyone has grasped and embraced services that are reasonable.

Recently, I wrote of getting tested at the Cumming location of Alpharetta Internal Medicine. Apparently, my test coincided with an overload of tests bogging down the lab this practice uses. When I got tested on July 7, I was told I’d have my COVID verdict in 5-7 days.

A day short of two weeks, I got my “negative,” which was a blessing. I told the practice that I knew of no one who was forced to wait that long.

The delay was blamed on the lab. 

Fair enough.

Until the bill arrived — $325 to sit in my car and get my brain scraped. I was billed for a new patient office visit. That’s pretty steep. It hit home after all the reported shenanigans with tests that weren’t tests and questionable billing practices. Mind you, this charge didn’t encompass the actual bill from the lab.

I was told nothing beforehand of the charge and I have bowed my neck. I contacted the insurance company and informed them of what occurred.

Stay tuned: I ain’t paying $325. I’d rather spend a day with Mike, making garbage cans pristine.

Mike Tasos’ column is published every other weekend. Comments can be sent to He is also on Facebook.