A few columns that I’ll never write | AspenTimes.com

A few columns that I’ll never write

Barry Smith
Aspen, CO Colorado

As the new year approaches, it’s time to clean out my “Columns To Write This Month” folder, once and for all getting rid of the columns that I now realize I’ll never actually write. But instead of just deleting them, I thought, hey, maybe I’ll write about them! Yes! I’ll write a column about the columns I’ll never write, and I’ll call it … COLUMNS I’LL NEVER WRITE.

I remember the moment well ” I thought, “Hey, maybe I should write a column about the Patriot Act? I mean, the Patriot Act is not at all funny, so if I could think of some way to write about it that WAS funny, well, that would be funny.” I opened up a document on my computer, saved it as “Patriot Act,” then wrote, “Something funny about the Patriot Act.” I stared out the window for a few minutes, then closed the document, dragged it in my “Columns To Write This Month” folder, and made a sandwich. That was in February of 2006. The Patriot Act is even less funny now, and this column has even less of a chance of getting written. Adios.

Customized Catch Phrases

The initial idea was to create a quiz (quizzes are funny!) that would help you determine your own personal catch phrase, rather than just using whatever one was currently on SNL. Good idea, too much work. Somewhere in the middle of that aborted column I wrote an unrelated note ” “In a town overrun with certain cliches, new ones are introduced, but since the old cliches have no natural immunity, they will be totally taken over by the new ones and destroyed.”

Bad idea, too much work.

Someone told me that in “the old days,” each time a commercial plane would land the passengers would applaud. I thought this was an idea worth exploring ” a study of the jaded nature of the convenient lives we live, and how it would be great if we went back to treating each moment as special and precious. Unfortunately, the movie “Snakes on a Plane” was just being released, and I couldn’t exactly write about airplanes without mentioning this movie, right? And, apparently, I couldn’t be bothered to write more than one small paragraph: “In the old days, snakes routinely found their way onto planes. Some airlines allowed them as co-pilots. So landing was a good thing.”

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Not writing this column is worthy of a standing ovation.

This was going to be exactly that ” a compilation of lists that I’ve made. The thing is, I’ve made a lot of lists, so rather than being too short, this list of lists was way too long. Like this one: “Things That Muddy Waters Claims, In The Song ‘Hoochie Coochie Man,’ That He Has, And Whether Or Not I Have These Things”

1) Black cat’s bone (No, but may have soon ” neighbor has a black cat that’s very old.)

2) Mojo: No.

3) John the Conqueroo: No ” not even sure what it is or where I would get one/some.

4) $700: Yes ” in traveler’s cheques.

And on and on it went, in fact, I’m still adding to it.

Back in college I used to serve court summons to people, my official job title being that of a “Process Server.” I thought that might be an interesting column, sharing a few hilarious hijinks from the wacky world of summons serving. I just now opened the file (“Process Server”) that I created in October 2005. The only thing I’ve written so far is, “Process server ” I was one.” It may be that this is not one of those columns that writes itself. Goodbye.

For a while, I had a job that entailed going to Las Vegas and not having any fun. I wrote several columns about it, because what’s funnier than not having fun? I no longer have a job that requires going to Vegas, so I thought I’d squeeze one last column out of the experience, kind of a wrap up of the whole thing ” memoirs of Vegas, if you will.

The file has exactly one “memoir” written in it. It says, “Actual Poolside Sign: Guests not allowed to touch lounge chairs.”

Ahhh … memories.

NEXT TIME: A column I’ve just written that looks suspiciously like one I’ve written before. Read more half-baked ideas at http://www.barrysmith.wordpress.com