OK. There's no way around this. I am blocked. Seriously blocked. (In a writerly way, not a Metamucil way... just so there's no confusion.) I have started three separate columns this week that fizzled out like matches in a toilet bowl. One was a commencement address to a graduating class of high-school seniors, but I couldn't think of one damn hopeful thing to say to them. It would have been like listening to a speech from Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, except without the jokes.
Another was going to be about something I found on the Internet that explored St. Augustine's view of sin. I thought it was a rather fresh, logical and compassionate approach to understanding human failing, especially coming from a fifth century religious thinker. Trouble is, it wasn't quite fresh, logical and compassionate enough to be interesting, too.
The third attempt was meant as a response to a column by Charles Krauthammer, in which he talked about baseball soothing the soul in troubling times. I wanted to protest that any reasons my soul needs to be soothed comes mostly from guys like Charles Krauthammer. I stopped that one when I realized that the person who needed to hear the message most would never even know it was there.
They were, all three of them, desperate attempts to not write about the you-know-whos. Beyond being sick of it, I figured I had no authority to bitch about all the smothering campaign coverage since, by doing so, I was adding to the sheer volume of it. That's like taking a trailer of trash out to dump illegally in the desert while you're complaining about all the litter you see on the way.
After 21 years of this, I still don't consider myself a political columnist. I prefer to call myself a "broad range cultural observer," meaning there is no thread of inquiry in this great warp and weave of human folly that I won't pull at if it strikes my fancy.
Then comes a week like this, when my fancy turns as flaccid as steamed lettuce. That's why it's always good to keep a fellow like MulletBoy around. I can always count on him to keep the words coming, even if I can't. So let's zip over to his "Randem Thinkings" blog and see what's keeping his tongue flapping these days.
Whoo-EE Dawg! Me an ol' Rip reelly got into it good last night. It's a good thing wes' were drunk because we mighta started swinging on one nother if wes' just coulda got up from the couch. Hear's what happened. Ripster comes over like he does ever night after work, escpecially since when we started grown beards. He wants to measure who growed the most day by day, and when he's growed moren me, he hollers, "Whoo-ee Dawg!" just like I do when I growed moren him. It's a contest we got going on, which is who can get to a two-foot beard before the other one. Wes' both only up to little under two inches so far, so it's gonna be a awhile afore we know who wins.
But last night, neether of us coud remember who's turn it was to buy the Keystones, sos we ended up both buying some. That means we had two half racks to get through astead of the normal one. Honey Bug says "Why don't you guys save one of those for tommorrow night?" but Rip laughed at her like she was stupid and says "I don't know what kind of famliy your's from, but there ain't never been a Boorfus yet what walked off an left a live beer in the frigg."
That's when Honey Bug says, "Well if you two are goning to sit here and get all pudding-faced, I'm gonna watch what I wants to watch on the tvee," and she turned off the "Storage Shed Duggers" show what we were wachting and gets the news on. I hates to wacth the dang news unless theres' a flood going on or maybe one oof them big soowamees like in that Japan place. Ain't hardly anything cooler than a big ol' soowamee wave rolling in for some beach fulla foreigners.
But turns out that last night, there weren't no big soowamees happening. Only there was a big ol' crowd of people listenikng to this weirdo dude flapping his hands around like he was swatting at flys and talking about how some dude names Orrin Cee was trying to screw him outn something or other. That's when ol' Rip says, "There's my dude, Cuzz!"
"Who," I says? "Orrin Cee?" and Rip says, "That Trub boy. He'll be the next presidnet since I'm voting for him." Then Honey Bug says "God, that figures,"and I say, "Whats so speciall bout that Trub dude? Besides, you ain't ever voted for nobody in your whole life." and Rip says, "Theres' a first time for everything, ain't there?"
I shut up for a whiles so I could figure out what Rip saw in this Trub dude, and then I remembers where I saw him before. It was the same dude we saw that time when we went to New York City, only then we thought he was a fishhead spawrned by that monster Cathlulu what ol' T.P. Lovecrap wrote about. I yelled out, "But Rip, that's that same fishhead dude what we saw that time we went to New York City!" and Rip yells back, "Your'e crazy!" and I yell back to him, "Yeah it is! That's the same fishhead what chased us." and he yells "No it ain't!" and I yell "Yuh it is!" and it went on like that for maybe...
OK then, it appears MulletBoy has caught campaign fever. So much for my intentions of avoiding election coverage this week. And it's too late to start something new, even if I had another idea. Which I don't. Sorry about that.