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Humor in unfinished work

Barry SmithVail, CO, Colorado

As the new year approaches, its time to clean out my Columns to write this month folder, once and for all getting rid of the columns that I now realize Ill never actually write. But instead of just deleting them, I thought, hey, maybe Ill write about them! Yes! Ill write a column about the columns Ill never write, and Ill call it …Columns Ill never writePatriot ActI 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 2006. The Patriot Act is even less funny now, and this column has even less of a chance of getting written. Adios.Customized catch phrasesThe 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.Landing applauseSomeone 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 couldnt exactly write about airplanes without mentioning this movie, right? And, apparently, I couldnt 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.Not writing this column is worthy of a standing ovation.Lists compilationThis was going to be exactly that a compilation of lists that Ive made. The thing is, Ive 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 things1. Black cats bone (No, but may have soon neighbor has a black cat thats 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 travelers cheques.And on and on it went … in fact, Im still adding to it.Process serverBack in college I used to serve court summonses 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 Ive written so far is, Process server I was one. It may be that this is not one of those columns that writes itself. Goodbye.Vegas memoirsFor a while I had a job that entailed going to Las Vegas and not having any fun. I wrote several columns about it because whats funnier than not having fun? I no longer have a job that requires going to Vegas, so I thought Id 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 Ive just written that looks suspiciously like one Ive written before. Read more half-baked ideas at http://www.barrysmith.wordpress.com.)


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