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Columns I’ll never write

Barry Smith

I am constantly taking notes in preparation for this column.Most are pretty helpful, though some of them, given the state I was in at the time, are useless. For instance, I’m sure that &quotpeacock ponders gravity – landslide&quot was significant and ripe with hilarious column potential at one point, but when I look at it the next morning … huh?Occasionally I go through these notes and weed out some of the ideas that I realize are never gonna gestate. I’ve decided to use this arbitrary time in the dead of winter known as the &quotNew Year&quot as an excuse to do such.Oh…and share them with you, of course. It’s a recurring feature I like to call, &quotColumns I’ll Never Write.&quot. . .BANANASPeople freak out over bananas more than any other fruit – I’ve seen people get up and leave the room when I pull a banana from my backpack. I’ve seen them go out of their way to rid a room of banana peels as if on a military mission. A friend of mine has the strictest of criteria for banana edibility, and the window between under ripe and overripe is sometimes as short as 20 minutes.My theory is that The Missing Link was an ape who one day decided to get real persnickety about his ‘naners, to the point where he had to leave his group of discretion-lacking ape brethren and head out on his own. We are all descended from him.Brilliant theory? You bet. Enough to write an entire column about? Not one that anyone would care to read.Not that there’s a shortage of banana jokes, but they just shouldn’t all be used at once. Or are you just happy to see me?. . .GANDHI NEWS GROUPThe idea was to do a fake transcript of the internet news group alt.fan.gandhi.People would have names like &quotpeacelvr&quot and &quotnonviolentresistance&quot and &quotmahatma_dawg.&quot The conversation would start off nice and reverent, then, in a perfectly-timed arc, would descend into name-calling and threats of fisticuffs. Ha! Get it?The thing is, I don’t really know THAT much about Gandhi, so I would have had to research a few catch phrases in order to make it really funny. Research is not my friend. Neither, apparently, is follow-through, as I have had this idea on my computer since early 2001.. . .HOW TO SURVIVE (AND PROFIT FROM) THE UPCOMING APOCALYPSEAnd speaking of follow-through…this one’s been in the works since September of 1998. Last millennium!Here’s as far as I got: &quotChances are, your neighbor’s too wrapped up in his shortsighted little life to have made the kinds of food-storage preparations you have. Only he has guns. So you need a gun, too. See how quickly things could get nasty? You’ll soon be ready and willing to kill a fellow human being over one of those 3-swallow bottles of Evian.&quotI still think it’s a great idea, especially the &quotprofit from&quot aspect. But since the Apocalypse has come and gone (and I didn’t make a cent off of it), it’s another missed opportunity.. . .COMPUTER VERSIONS OF CHILDHOOD GAMESHide ‘n Go Seek. Red Rover. Duck, Duck Goose. Ring Around The Rosies. Simon Says. Beat Barry Up On The Playground And Steal His Lunch Money. Four Square.Yes, all your favorite childhood games, now available on your computer. Play them with your kids. Or with yourself. Or whatever. Just don’t try to turn this idea that seemed good at the time into an entire column.. . .I’M ON THE DECAFEvery time I stop drinking coffee, or start drinking it again, I think it’s a fascinating detail in the life of me that everyone will want to hear about. And since I’m either jumping on to or off of the Juan Valdez wagon about every two weeks, consider yourself lucky that I have more self-control when it comes to column topics than I do with caffeine addiction. Yeah…lucky you.So, during one of my decaf phases, I opened a computer file, gave it the title you see above, and wrote, &quotDecaf is the tofu of the coffee world,&quot thinking this little quip (which, in my state of java withdrawal psychosis probably seemed like pure genius) would be enough to wrap 700 words around.God forbid I should have any real issues in my life.(Next Time: Barry runs down a list of noises he has been planning on getting around to making. And you are there!) VTContact Barry Smith at barry@irrelativity.com or visit his Web page at http://www.Irrelativity.com.


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