Some of you sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that I’ve been on hiatus for the past three weeks. In my place has been a ranting, raving, irresponsible lunatic, which is why only you sharp-eyed readers noticed I was gone.
Many of those who did notice my absence asked me questions to the effect of, “What are you doing with your time, now that you’re not writing a column?” I appreciate those people’s concern, and I hope they are not offended when I say that that is a really stupid question. I mean, how long do you think it takes me to write one of these things? It’s not like I do research, or anything.
Anyway, several fairly interesting things did happen to me while I wasn’t writing columns, the most interesting of which was:
I MANAGED TO OFFEND THREE PERSONS WHO ARE LARGER AND FAR MORE CAPABLE OF INFLICTING BODILY HARM THAN I AM. Technically, this happened before I stopped writing, and it is more or less the reason I stopped writing. I don’t want to go into any details, as it is only through the aid of extensive psychiatric help that I have just recently managed to forget about it, but suffice it to say that these three persons didn’t like the subject matter of my last column (possibly because the subject matter was THEM) and they became extremely angry with me.
Normally, of course, I don’t care if I offend anyone because normally I do it at least half-way on purpose. But this one caught me off guard, and I was actually sorry that I had bothered them. The fact that any of them could squish me like a bug if he wanted to probably contributed to those feelings.
A few days later,
I WENT TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY. The party was for some girl, I forget who. It started at 6:00, so I picked up my friend Aaron at around 6:45, and we went to our friend Nick’s house, where he and another friend, Colby, were waiting. (Note that the writer is blatantly kissing-up to his friends by putting their names in the paper.) When we finally arrived at the party at around 8:00, I happened to notice — and this is where it comes in handy to be an investigative journalist — that everyone else was leaving. It takes the careful eye of a trained professional to notice such minor details.
Upon questioning the remaining guests, we learned that the hostess had broken her wrist the night before and was in no mood to have a party. At least, that’s what someone told us. We never actually got it from the horse’s mouth (so to speak), but the hostess did get her point across when, shortly after we arrived, she said, “How long were you guys planning on staying?” Needless to state, we stayed for quite a while.
After a while, some more people showed up, and the party was in full swing again. Unfortunately for my nerves, among the people who showed up were two of the three persons mentioned in item #1 (specifically, the tall one and the short-ish one). This led to the next major event, which was:
I WAS INVOLVED IN A KNIFE FIGHT.
Ha ha! Just kidding! Actually,
THE PROBLEM WITH THOSE THREE PERSONS WAS RESOLVED. This came about after two of them arrived at the party. Realizing that there were no illegal substances to aid in the festivities, and that the hostess really didn’t want any of us there (evidenced by the fact that she kept looking at her watch and sighing impatiently), I decided to honor my responsibility as a Trained Humor Professional and attempt to liven things up by tossing foreign objects (i.e. the hostess) into the pool. This, I’m pleased to say, convinced those two persons that I had enough psychological problems without their interference.
So one of them (the tall one) officially summed up the opinion of all three of them by saying, and I quote, “Hey, that’s cool, man.” I couldn’t have asked for a more eloquent resolution of our differences than that, at least not without being smashed in the mouth by the short-ish one.
And that’s the last three weeks of my life in, as we writers say, “a nutshell,” which is a good indication that we writers are severely overpaid.
For background on this column, read the last one. Having learned from my mistakes (or at least this one), I showed a rough draft to everybody involved BEFOREHAND, and they all approved. Notice, however, that I still don't use the names of any of the people who were mad at me. I swore I never would again, since they got so worked up the first time.
One of my editor's favorite editing techniques to use when a column was too long was to leave set-ups but take out the punchlines. For example, at the beginning, he cut out the part about the raving lunatic who wrote in my place; he left the "what are you doing with your time now?" part but cut out the "how long do you think it take me to write one of these?"; he left all my friends' names but took out where I explained that I was kissing up to them -- it's as if this was meant to be an important piece of narrative, and all the funny parts were just getting in the way. Man, that guy really steamed my beans sometimes.