A Fiftieth Column Retrospective

Here’s what Eric D. Snider has had to say…

  • On the school administration’s fondness for suspending people:
    “A friend of mine was suspended for ditching school. That makes sense, doesn’t it? A student doesn’t want to go to school one day, so to punish him, he is told he can’t go for another five! If we follow this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, then if someone is caught spray-painting the school walls, they should punish him by making him do it to all the walls. If a student goes nuts and wipes out the French Club with an Uzi, he should have to do it to the Thespians, too, right?” [From column #6.]

  • On being told to go schedule a detention for himself:
    “I walked in and said to the woman at the desk, ‘Hello, I’d like a detention, please.’ Rather than chuckle at my witticism, she looked at me as though I had blown my nose on her blouse, and quite frankly, I had half a mind to do just that.” [From column #24.]

  • On the “Death Rockers,” the girls who wear too much make-up and listen to Satanic music:
    “They apply their Sears Weather-Beater Make-up with butter knives and then cover it with Thompson’s Water Seal to guarantee that at no point during the day will they actually resemble human beings. Passersby frequently have difficulty keeping themselves from taking a spatula and scraping the three-year’s accumulation of make-up off the girls’ faces and constructing a scale model of the Statue of Liberty with it.” [From column #16.]

  • On EHS’s absurd Homecoming Week activities, one of which was a burping contest in which, unfortunately, some of the girls could not compete because they could not work up a belch:
    “Imagine the embarrassment our principal must feel when he goes to Principal Conventions and the other principals ask him how well his school’s Homecoming Court can belch and he has to say something like, “Not very well, but they’re all very pretty and they represent the school quite nicely,” and the other principals laugh out loud and maybe spit in his eye.” [From column #19.]

  • On Thanksgiving dinner:
    “I never eat cranberry sauce for the simple reason that it doesn’t look much like sauce to me. It looks more like cranberry lump, or cranberry loaf, or cranberry brick. But not cranberry sauce.” [From column #20.]

  • On football:
    “It seems to involve the attempted murder of anyone not wearing red and white, because all I can see are these enormous high school students, some of them so large that they require license plates, falling on top of whoever has the ball and then helping him up and patting his bottom affectionately. There is a lot of bottom-patting in football. More than in fencing, for example.” [From column #21.]

  • On Mark and Brian’s visit to the Lake Elsinore airport to drop a Bob’s Big Boy statue from an airplane. Attendance was enormous:
    “Everything went fine, but I guess you knew that, since you were there. EVERYONE was there. Don’t try to tell me you weren’t there, because you were. You probably had some young children who kept running across the runway, and you probably had a camera so you could take detailed pictures of a bunch of people crowding around what may well have been Mark and Brian, and you were probably smoking right in my face. Admit it. You were there.” [From column #26.]

  • On being a columnist:
    “If it weren’t for the money, we columnists would probably chuck it all and get a real job. ‘Chuck it!’ we would say. ‘I’m going to go get a real job.'” [From column #27.]

  • On skiing for the first time:
    “Those commercials for ski places always show action shots of large, rugged men falling off cliffs and skidding along the snow on their bellies like some kind of deranged otter, and I thought that sliding around on packed ice with eight-foot long skis and sharp-ended poles with which to poke out the eyes of innocent bystanders would be an enjoyable experience. ‘Hey!’ I could be heard telling people. ‘I’m going to go up in the mountains and try to lose the use of my major appendages!'” [From column #28.]

  • On William Shakespeare:
    “Shakespeare wrote plays containing dirty Elizabethan jokes that make your English teacher gush about what a Comic Genius he was, but that if you were to tell them, in modern English, would get you suspended.” [From column #32.]

  • On his feeble attempt to form a band:
    “We will undoubtedly become the Menudo of the ’90s, if only we can overcome our minor problems, such as:
  • Aaron, the bass player, cannot, in a physical sense, actually play the bass.” [From column #33.]

  • On Temecula:
    “I think we can all agree that the world would be a much happier place if Temecula were to be wiped off the face of the earth by means of nuclear explosive devices.” [From column #36.]

  • On a plane trip to the east coast:
    “They tried to eliminate the over-booking problem by feeding us healthy-sized globs of what they probably expected us to think were eggs but that actually more closely resembled, in both taste and texture, soggy tree bark. Since we were all extremely hungry, however, we had no choice but to push the tray aside and nibble on our seat cushions (which, they graciously informed us, could be used as floatation devices if we should happen to make an emergency ocean landing while flying over, say, Kansas).” [From column #37.]

  • On a car accident that occurred when he was rounding a curve:
    “In the interest of preserving my brake pads, I decided not to slow down, which would have been fine, except that all of a sudden, a drunken chain-link fence leaped out from the embankment and struck my car, adding to my already extensive collection of car problems the new difficulty of not being able to turn left.” [From column #38.]

    In honor of my 50th column, the nice folks at the paper let me have most of the page to myself, and I got to do this little self-congratulatory retrospective. I picked the quotes that I thought were pithiest and most quote-worthy. Certain columns as a whole may have been better, but these were the best one-liners, as it were, the best parts that could be easily extracted and printed separately.