Turning over a whole new leaf with my column


This might be hard for some of you to accept, but there are times I upset people in this office for how I talk about them on this page. Be it the ever-changing job description of Bob Bertram in our masthead every week, or little comments I occasionally make about employees in this space, there have been a few moments when I’ve walked into the Coastal Point multiplex and found angry eyes staring at me.

Now, to be fair, those expressions are often just the result of people reacting to my singing or my particular choice of wardrobe for that given day, but more often than not, a copy of that week’s paper is sitting in front of them with the page opened to my overly-handsome mugshot. Now, when I say “overly-handsome,” what I mean is “gruesomely hideous,” but that is just a little harder for one to type about one’s self. Am I right? I mean, go ahead and try typing that about yourself and you’ll see what I mean and ...

But I digress.

With all that being said, I am ready to turn the page on the negativity. It will be a brand new “me” when mentioning my co-workers in this column every week, and there will be nothing but good vibrations in my words.

For example, let’s start with our graphic artist, Bobby Schaller. Yes, I have mentioned here before that Bobby is somewhat small in physical stature, and I believe I might have used humor at his expense to drive that point home. No more, Bobby. I combed the Internet and found a story that should make you feel 100 feet tall.

According to a Reuters article, a young woman in Illinois has been identified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s shortest woman. Bridgette Jordan, 22, is 27 inches tall, and enjoys dancing and cheerleading. Her brother, Brad, is only 38 inches tall, and they have been named the world’s “shortest living siblings.”

Bobby, my friend, you tower over them. Keep your chin up. Oh, it is?

Feeling pretty good about myself, I decided to move on to one of my more frequent targets, Shaun Lambert. Now, Shaun and I have been working together a long time. He was one of the original employees of the Coastal Point, and we worked together at another publication before we started this. Therefore, he’s taken a lot of shots from me over the years on subjects ranging from his inability to wake up before the crack of noon to his Eskimo heritage. Now, they’ve all been good-natured in intent, but I have spotted an evil eye or two from him throughout our time together.

Knowing how much he loves his native Alaska, I searched the Internet for a story that was positive, and would shine a positive light on the place he calls “home.”

Found it.

A story on Yahoo! News described a recent house fire in Ketchikan, Alaska. The woman who owned the house was sound asleep, as was her daughter, when the woman felt something scratching her chest.

She looked down and saw the family’s pet rabbit scratching at her frantically and realized that the house was full of smoke. She was able to wake up her daughter and get them both to safety, though, sadly, the rabbit was not so lucky. It died from smoke inhalation.

You know what? That’s actually a pretty cool story. I’ll have to tell Shaun about it immediately. Well, at least immediately after noon.

Next up, Bob Bertram.

Oh, Bob. Where do we start? For the record, I consider Bob to be one of the kindest, smartest, most artisticly-talented people I have ever met. That being said, he sure is fun to tease. I’m not sure what it is about him — maybe because he takes a joke so well, or because he picks on me in the office as much as anybody, but whatever the case, I do love messing with him. But my new attitude on life requires me finding a story that is seen as a positive for Bob. And I did.

A Reuters story immediately grabbed my attention as being a winner for Bob with the headline — “Arkansas town searching for toe-sucking assailant.”

Tee hee. That had nothing at all to do with Bob. But I bet it made him cringe when he read the headline.

Give me time on this new leaf with Bob. It will take time.