From the absurd to well ... more


So, I’m sitting in this grassy meadow the other day, drinking a flask of Jameson with this grizzly bear and the small moose he’s been “dating” ...

Sorry, I got stuck in some kind of strange flashback there.

Actually, I’m sorrier than you might think. How does a humble columnist crawl out of a hole this deep to start his weekly foray into the absurd? Sure, I could pop out the tired, “Dear Governor” open-letter column, but I’m pretty sure I’d have to pull off my own fingers with pliers if I stooped that low.

Or, I could rob any number of middle-aged white guy columnists and rant about how I can’t sleep through the night without having to go to the bathroom 34 times, or delve into how much I like to eat fried foods. Ooh, maybe I could write something real smarmy about how I’m much smarter than all the politicians in the world or pen some kind of ludicrous concpiracy theory that would make some nimrods shake their head in agreement that, yes, indeed, the Catholic Church and the White House were behind the Orioles losing the 1969 World Series to the Mets.

Or, not.

See, a regular run-of-the-mill column can be a bit of a chore to start some weeks. But this one? After kicking the whole thing off with a lame joke about drinking Irish whiskey with affectionate members of the wildlife world? There’s not a shovel big enough to scoop me out of this one.

(See, logic would assume that the intelligent columnist would go back to the beginning, delete aforementioned joke and start all over again. For those of you unfamiliar with this space, logic left town many years ago in regards to this column, pal.)

So, where do we go? After such a ridiculous beginning, can I really leap out now and tackle something like nuclear weapons proliferation and technology in Iran? Would it really hold much weight if I write that the thought of them or North Korea holding that kind of power keeps me up at nights more than a Cheers marathon on Nick at Nite?

Probably not.

Nor could I discuss the tint of racism I feel about the way Barry Bonds has been blasted for his alleged involvement with steroids or human growth hormone. He’s never tested positive after all, and all the evidence against him comes from third-party information. I mean, he didn’t even get indicted. Couldn’t a prosecutor worth his salt pretty much get a bagel indicted?

I’m not saying, of course, that Bonds is innocent. That would be a pretty naive claim, considering the mountain of circumstantial evidence against him, but is it any more than has been offered against American hero Lance Armstrong? I mean, there have been statements of specific dates, times and the doctors he met with to obtain performance-enhancing drugs, as well as one test that came back a bit funny. Yet we embrace Armstrong. Actually, that’s probably linked to the fact that many of the accusations came from the French, and we like them even less than we like Bonds. In fact, I’m pretty sure if Barry Bonds got into a fistfight with France, we’d all ...

But I digress.

Or Mark McGwire, for that matter? It’s pretty much assumed that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his career, and while he probably won’t be elected to the Hall of Fame next year because of that, he’s become almost a sympathetic figure to many. Of course, Bonds’ problem might be that he’s been a jerk to the media all these years more than the color of his skin, but what can you expect from a guy who started his column the way I did?

I mean, what a stinker right from the top.

It’s not like I can go from drunken grizzly bears to a human interest piece, right? Can I really make the stretch to connect that insipid lead paragraph to stressing how impressed I am with the efforts of the group from Mariners Bethel United Methodist Church who recently went down to the Gulf Coast to help with rebuilding efforts? I mean, this is a group of people who care about others, and do something about it.

Me? I choose to write about a bear and a moose having a physical relationship. I guess that could lead to a funny column this week, but how many gags can come from that? It’s comedic death at its most basic level.

Not sure where to go, to be honest with you. I mean, can you really write a whole column about nothing and still sneak in a few random thoughts and opinions?

I’m guessing anything’s possible.