What kind of newspaper editor would hire a high school student as a humor columnist and give him free rein to
write whatever he wants? A kind of newspaper editor named Eric Grimm, that's what kind. I don't know what possessed
him -- demons, I'm guessing -- but something did, and he hired me, and I will be forever grateful. The 88 columns I
wrote for The Lake Elsinore News, while not always brilliant, subtle comedy, were a stepping stone to much bigger,
more irresponsible things. I'd like to say writing the columns made me "cool" in high school, but I don't think it
did. At least, if anyone thought I was cool, they didn't let on.
Something happened when I got to college. The light-hearted, mildly satiric columns I had written for The Lake
Elsinore News gave way to a more sarcastic, cynical, ranting style. I wrote 32 columns for The Daily Herald, many
of which make me angry all over again when I read them now. I guess I was an angry youth -- or, at least, I thought
as a humorist I was SUPPOSED to be angry. Whatever the case, the people of Provo largely despised everything I had
to say, and they all made sure to read the column every single Saturday just so they could be offended all over again.
(Really. People DO this in Provo. I don't understand it, either.) Enjoy this bile-filled trip down memory lane. "On
the Light Side" indeed....
It was the summer of 1993. I was home from college, waiting to go on my LDS mission. I was in transition,
killing time. "Jurassic Park" was all the rage at the movie theaters, and a little show called "Cheers" was just
going off the air on TV. It was a crazy, volatile world, where anything could happen, and anything did: The
Californian hired me. Sure, they had turned me down before. Sure, they knew it was only for the summer. Did that
matter? Probably should have. But it didn't. The 14 columns I wrote for them were also transitional in nature --
not as cynical and mean as the ones I had just done for The Daily Herald, but not as loopy and rambly as the ones
I would later do for The Daily Universe and The Daily Herald (again).