After a while, I get tired of looking at the files in my “Columns to Write This Week” folder – specifically the ones that have been there far beyond their allotted week – the ones that should actually be filed in my “Columns I’ll Never Write” folder.COLUMNS I’LL NEVER WRITE1. “Are you nervous?” – When you open the file named “Are you nervous,” you see that it contains nothing but the words, “Are you nervous?” I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. I can tell by the date that it was created just over two months ago, and this grand idea must have been obvious enough to me at the time that I didn’t even bother to explain to my future self what I had in mind. I may as well have typed, “Are you stoned?”2. “Eye of the tiger.” – OK, so I did manage to make a few notes in this file. Here’s what I wrote:A List Of Organs Of Animals That Are Just As Impressive And Formidable As The “Eye of the Tiger,” Though You Are Not Likely To Hear Them Celebrated In Song Any Time Soon: Nose of the Bloodhound Spleen of the Wombat Ovaries of the Bunny Hepatopancreatic Duct of the BovineOK, not a bad idea, but worthy of 700 words? Please, no.3. “My new to-do lists.” – This file contains only two such to-do items, “iron pants” and “find shirt.” Wow, now there’s a jumping-off point for a hilarious thrill ride, eh? If it weren’t for the “iron pants” part, I might think it was an actual to-do list that accidentally got misfiled, but I know that when it comes to ironing pants, I don’t. I’ve done a few wacky to-do list columns in the past, but “iron pants” and “find shirt?” Pathetic. So, instead, I find myself writing a column which is a list of columns that I’ll never write, and one of those columns on that list is a list that I’ll never write. Yeah, I know … pretty cool, huh?4. “Raw food diet.” – A few months ago I had the good fortune of being placed on a raw food diet. This is exactly what it sounds like, foods that are not cooked. This includes neither sautéing, simmering, baking nor flash/stir/deep frying. Nothing. My wife got her hands on a food dehydrator, and she and her sister proceeded to dry out all sorts of things that I personally thought were either plenty dry already, or whose charm lay in the fact that they were a bit moist. I decided to go along with this diet, because I’m open to change, and because I thought I could write a funny column about it. I opened a new file, titled it “Raw food diet,” and I waited for the gastrointestinal comedy magic to write itself.As part of this diet, we started each morning with a freshly ground (no kidding) cucumber/celery/spinach juice. Then the party really picked up with a dehydrated breakfast “quiche,” consisting of cashews, zucchini and bananas. Lunch was “tuna,” a unique blend of dehydrated zucchini, bananas and cashews, and dinner was “fettuccini alfredo,” a mélange of bananas, cashews and zucchini, blended and, of course, dehydrated.My plan was to keep a daily journal of this diet period, but as my fried-food level plummeted, I was left without inspiration. Over the course of three weeks all I ended up writing was, “Hey, kids! Dinner’s DRY! Come ‘n get it!”5. “Tax evader.” – In my misguided mid-20s I was introduced to the concept that taxation is voluntary and that if you send a letter stating such to the IRS and write “UPC 1-507 Under Duress” each time you sign your name on a legal document then you are exempt from the tyranny of taxation. The whole concept was monumentally baffling, and I tried hard to research and understand it, but it just made me sleepy, so after a while I decided it was easier to render unto Caesar. I thought, when I first opened this “Tax evader” file several months ago, that it would make an interesting column. Then, lucky for you, I realized I was wrong.Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is barry@Irrelativity.com, and his very own Web page is at http://www.Irrelativity.com
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Vignettes of life in the valley. Some you may have heard; hopefully, others will be new.