One word. That’s all I’m asking for. Just one lousy word. That’s usually all it takes for me to get inspired to start writing one of these goofy columns. But right now, it’s nine o’clock on the night before my morning deadline, and I can’t figure out what the word is.
Allow me to let you in on the secret of how I’ve been writing one of these dumb things every other week for the past four years. For the most part, I don’t do a darn thing. Normally I rely on my friends, family or pets to do something or for the right circumstances to occur, and I make a mountain out of a molehill about the situation. As my dad once said, “I don’t know how you can write so much without ever really saying anything.” I take it as a compliment.
Granted, many of these columns are pretty weak and don’t have much societal impact. But I don’t care. I’m just shooting for somewhere between 700 to 950 words, and I’m good to go. The little word counter thingy on my computer says I’m only at 196 words right now. That’s very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very disappointing. 210 words.
On Mondays of the weeks when one of these things is due, I start paying attention to my surroundings and hope that a little bit of inspiration takes hold. If nothing happens by Wednesday, I start getting a little nervous. By Thursday, I’m usually begging my friends and family to do something stupid, so I can write about it. I’ve been staring at my wife for about an hour and half now. She hasn’t done anything that can even be labeled “slightly ignorant.” She can’t hold out forever, but I’m running out of time. 305.
This last couple of weeks have been kind of a creative dry spell for me. I haven’t had many good, original ideas about anything. In fact the only halfway decent comic strip idea I’ve had recently has to do with trumpeter swans and Dizzy Gillespie. Unfortunately, that idea came to me while I was listening to the sermon at church last week. I think that I can make it into a fairly funny cartoon, but I don’t know if it’s worth risking eternal damnation. 390.
It’s graduation season, so maybe I could dole out some words of wisdom to the young people who will be getting their diplomas. What should I tell them? The only piece of advice that I wish that someone would have bestowed upon me is that nothing good can happen from wearing really, really white underwear. It can only go downhill after the initial usage. And oh yeah, don’t do drugs. 461.
I could go on and on about our new dog named Norman, but it seems I write way too much about dogs, cats, birds, fish, raccoons, pigs and Japanese Beetles. (Honestly, every now and then, I actually do interact with real live humans.) 506.
My daughter thinks I should talk about how she helped my mom in doing her deaconess job at church. You see, the deaconess at our church is in charge of preparing and cleaning up after communion every week. Our church uses grape juice instead of wine and whatever goes unused during the Sunday morning service, gets dumped down the drain. My daughter thought that was a waste, so she helped my mom out by drinking the excess juice out of the itty bitty glasses. I watched as she drank down at least a dozen of the little cups. From behind, it looked like she was doing shots at the bar. At least I’ll have somebody to enjoy eternal damnation with. No, I don’t think that I should probably write about that. 639.
If I wanted to do something that a real editorial page columnist would do, I would write about the upcoming presidential election. I could pontificate about my feelings about the candidates and who I think would do the very best job in that position. So at this time, I would like to throw all of my undying political support behind ... 701.
I’d better wrap it up now. No need to go nuts. War and Peace has already been written.
Well what do you know? It looks like Dad is right.
You can contact Greg Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.