At Long Last, Do-It-Yourself Column Writing

This column would like to announce a bold new concept in print journalism.

Introducing the First-Ever, Be-A-Newspaper-Columnist-In-Your-Own-Home Column.

With this column, we take yet another proud step in our ongoing march toward greater reader friendliness, clarity of expression, felicity of phrase, and direct injection of pertinent information into the brain.

Because, friends, we know: It's no easy life reading a newspaper column.

There are unfamiliar and graveolent words to climb over.

There are subjects that, dangling phrases everywhere - some of them dangling phrases of their own, and they their own, and so on, until the whole sentence seems to whirl and twist and wobble seasickly around in the air like a baby's mobile - never get to their object.

Well, there are occasional editing errors that can turn a perfectly decent public newspaper into a decadent pubic one.

And there may be uncomfortable ideas that, once encountered, seem eerily difficult to get rid of - such as the idea that we should feed Richard Simmons to fire ants.

But all of these problems disappear when you write the column yourself!

So, therefore, please find below everything you need - everything but the libel attorney - to write as succinct a political column as any that may appear in this newspaper, but probably won't.

Simply follow directions, fill in the blanks, then sit back and wait for George Will to call up and beg to mow your lawn.

Across the political sphere, today, there is one problem, more than any, that deserves attention. That is that _____ _____ out as _______ panty hose, that Saddam Hussein fits ____________ ______ ________, with Barbra Streisand present.

This problem, so vast in the Middle East _____ _____ ______ _______ _______ Hussein, ________ ____ having rubbed Vick's Vapor Rub on the area and _________OPEC_______, like a fork with two bent tines, cannot _______.

No one will say only will say what ______ ______ __________________ ______ only ______ ____________ ______of course, making it absolutely imperative that Americans in this area _____ _____buttocks ______ _____ across the ____.

Sinai, and random violence______ _____ _____ __ with ____ ______ ____ ____ ! Having first removed their hats. And don't _____ ______, or forget reproductive capacity.

All of this goes without __________, of course - except the part about the two quarts ___ ______ ___ ____ _____ ___ well greased.

Then, taking the ham glaze ____ ______, it is for us, in this, the greatest nation in the _____, to remain steadfast, stalwart, and (other words beginning with spitting sounds).

We have our ______ to protect. We have our _____, our duty, and our _____ ____ ____, ______ __ like an entire vat of yogurt. And we will never say die. Because, caught up in these giddy times, the ____ ____ _____ _____his young friends, who are probably underage, always escaped ___ ______ ________ ___.

_____ ______ _____ ____ of, and ______ ______ ____ _______ ________ ___ ___ ______ ___ with several grammatical errors, none of which counted on the test, thank ___! Whereupon Hansel and Gretel, entering the witch's condo ___ ____ ______ _________ _____, having little more to say.

So. How does it feel to be a political columnist? Please take this column now, and post it in a position of honor on your refrigerator, and invite friends and neighbors to read it.

If, like any good columnist, you have written well, if you have thought long and deep, expressed yourself clearly, strained for every word, refined every sentence - then perhaps you will receive the reward of a good columnist:

People will still read it wrong and call you an idiot.

© Rob Laymon

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