The Sneezing Opossum
I have not written a new piece for this column since August. I wrote two columns that month, submitted one, changed my mind and submitted the other, which ended up not mattering because neither one ran. The first column ran the issue after the one it was written for, and the other column ran two issues after that.
It used to be that this column ran in four issues out of five, but lately that is down to every other issue. Since one of my columns ran last time, it would be silly of me to think it is going to run again this time.
However, I have to turn something in, so instead of coming up with anything timely, I am just going to sit here and type until I get to 900 words.
(I was going to say go ahead and count the words because I am literally going to stop at 900, but these columns always get edited, so if I turn in 900 words the final total will be less than that anyway.)
I toyed with the idea of turning in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” just to see how it would get edited, but that particular speech is copyrighted, so there are probably legal implications with reprinting it, even in butchered form.
I also thought about reprinting the Quatrains Contest because the only people who ever hazarded a guess were people who work for this newspaper. I could just keep reprinting it until somebody finally got it, but I already posted all the answers on Facebook, so that would not be as much fun as I thought.
I could describe all the Dazed and Confused columns that were never printed—sort of a “Lost Columns Edition.” But that would get one of those letters to the editor, saying they deserved to be lost, and I really do not need to read another letter from Jason Johnson’s dad.
I could have talked about the columns I did not write because I was waiting for the ones I had already submitted to be printed, but the truth is I never spent any time thinking about columns I would not be writing (just like I am not spending any time thinking about this column that I am writing).
If this issue were coming out on March 1, I would have submitted Pi worked out to as many characters as would fit the space—which may, in fact, be possible—but I was only going to work it out to 10 places and then randomly type numbers to get to those 5,000-plus characters. Nobody was going to double check, right? Of course right.
Too bad we only publish every three weeks, because were the paper to come out on both March 1 and April 1, I could work Pi out correctly to 5,000-plus numbers the first time, and then make one change the second time. Then we could offer a prize for whoever could finds the different number.
Another thing I could have done was write a column in nothing but puns: The son never sits on the brutish umpire. Transporting young gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises. A super fragile calloused mystic hexed by halitosis. That gives me an idea for a column that would be the 100 greatest punchlines of all time. No jokes. Just the punchlines.
Hey, what can I say? I am a postmodern kind of guy. Not only that, one who is easily amused.
I briefly toyed with the idea of making “The Mysterious Ray From Another Dimension” twice as long and printing the second part here.
Yes, that would mean the second part would appear before the first, but only if you start reading the newspaper from the front, and I start from the back because my columns are in the back half of the paper. Feel free to start doing it that way, too. You have my permission.
While I assume my television column will run (it did) and this column will not (surprise!), I also have to submit an About Town column, which is slated for this issue, so it will likely not run (made ya look!).
Oh, well, this column will probably be cut short by some huge Christmas ad any—