Mr. Cope's Cave: I'll Make This Quick


I only have one thing to say today: Move Thanksgiving to some month when it isn’t always dumping snow or freezing rain onto the busiest airports, the busiest freeways and the busiest cities on the busiest travel day of the year. I suggest May. Combine Thanksgiving with Mother’s Day and voilá! Two birds, one stone. Get it?

Have a nice day.

Before I scoot off... tune out... hang up... whatever, perhaps I should explain why I may seem a little terse in today’s presentation. I don’t want you thinking I’m mad at you, especially after Friday’s edition where I called you a “pathetic, despicable sack of meaningless crap.” 

No, I am over that. Yes, you may indeed be a pathetic, despicable sack of meaningless crap, but I have moved on. One mustn’t dwell for too long on Black Friday and the putrid pall of soulless consumerism that horrible event casts over America like a smothering shroud of decay and moral disease, or he risks going insane. You know exactly what I’m talking about, I bet.

Anyway, that’s not why I’ve made my message so short today. The thing is, my editor—which to a person in my position is much the same as saying “my boss”—asked me before I ever started this blogging adventure to keep it brief. His suggestion: 300 to 600 words an episode. His reasoning: That modern Americans–particularly modern young Americans—particularly modern young Americans who sit for hours with their skinny, skinny laptops or their shiny pad Kindle thingies or their touchy “ain’t-I-so-f***ing-smart” phones—have neither the patience nor the comprehension to follow a long, drawn-out narrative.

Now wait. Before any modern young Americans take offense at what my editor said about them, I should make it clear he didn’t say that. What I just wrote about the limited patience and comprehension of that particular demographic was my interpretation of what my editor said. I repeat: My interpretation, strictly. It is what I believed to be the underlying content of his words, even though the words I chose to convey that content are mine, not his. Besides, I don’t remember what he actually said. I only remember what I was thinking when he said it. So if you just have to get mad at someone, don’t make it my editor.

But if you do, make your complaints to him brief, because he is, after all, a modern young American.

Anyway, about that 300 to 600 word limit, I have been doing a miserable job at meeting it. In fact after six blog episodes, I have averaged almost 1,000 words per episode. One-thousand words, which leads me to suppose that any modern young Americans who have followed my blogging career have been drifting off like sleepy kittens somewhere about mid-way through whatever I’ve written. Too bad for them, as I always save the best for last.

So I promised my boss... excuse me, my editor... that I would put serious thought into how one might say the same thing I am saying, only with less words. In other words, that I would pare it down... speed it up... expedite the matter... whatever. And let me say, I thoroughly agree that in most cases, any message can benefit from being tightened up. For instance, did you know that The Old Man and the Sea was Hemingway’s compromise title for his original, The Old Man, the Little Boy, the Big-Ass Fish, the Damned Sharks, an Arm-Wrestling Contest, the Stupid Villagers, and the Sea—Specifically, that Sea Down Around Cuba?

Anyway, that’s why the message contained in this blog seems short, so terse, so unlike what my readers may have grown accustomed to. That first paragraph started out at something over 1,200 words, all by itself, before I took the red pencil to it. Self-editing, that’s what it’s all about. Not only might self-editing help me hold onto the fragile attentions of modern young Americans, but it keeps it out of the paws of my editor, who—I can tell—is itching to take his editorial chain saw to whatever I hand in.

So anyway, I just wanted you to know that you can expect less stuff in my blog spot from here on. For instance, for the next installment, I intend to discuss the moral corruption and hyper-ideology that results from the uneasy marriage of states’ rights with small-town idiocy as witnessed in the coming primary battle royale between Butch Otter and that Russ Fulcher guy, and I plan on doing it in under 20 words. It will take less time to read than the average text message on one of those “ain’t-I-so-f***ing-smart” phones.)

(Oh, I just had another thought: What if they combined Thanksgiving, Mothers’ Day and Memorial Day? Three birds, one stone. Get it? Have a nice day.)