Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Table of Contents

It was just about a year ago that I announced one of my 2007 New Year’s Resolutions to write a column every week. Seeing as how I’m the Publisher and all, and we’re pumping out five different weekly community newspapers – that’s roughly 50,000 papers each week -- I figured that I really ought to buckle down and offer our readers the benefit of my vast storehouse of wisdom each week.

Well, I made it a whole, entire year… writing a column every single week -- although, after the first month or so, it became apparent that my vast storehouse was more like a tiny little closet – perhaps even the bottom shelf in the closet… and the “wisdom” was actually more the like the mindless, frequently unintelligible babbling of someone who probably played too much football without a helmet.

Also, I didn’t actually write a totally new column every week. There were a couple of weeks when I dusted off and freshened up articles I had written 10 or 15 years earlier… plus one or two weeks when, 15 minutes before deadline, I basically grabbed anything I could find from the Internet, changed a few words, and called it a column.

But the point is, I succeeded in occupying this space every week for a whole, entire, total, complete, full year, which is quite an accomplishment, given my tendencies for chronic procrastination and perpetual forgetfulness. Mission accomplished… which is quite an accomplishment, given my tendencies for chronic procrastination and perpetual forgetfulness. I did it!!! A whole year!!! … which is quite an accomplishment, given my tendencies for chronic procrastination and perpetual forgetfulness.

So I’ve decided to keep going.

I’m gonna keep writing a column every week… so I’m giving you fair warning.

And this year, there’s a chance I will actually IMPROVE my writing skills and produce articles, which frankly, aren’t such a gigantic waste of your time. (There’s also a chance Florida will fall into the ocean this year.) There’s always a chance, but I wouldn’t bet on it. As a matter of fact, I’m 99% sure it won’t happen. I’m almost positive I’ll keep pumping out the same menu of mostly useless prattle that I’ve been key-punching out for the last 52 weeks, with virtually no literary, educational, informational, or entertainment value at all… but at least, this year, I’m letting you know in advance.

And, out of my innate sense of fair play and fair warning, I’m providing you with a Table of Contents of sorts, listing what to expect for the rest of the year. Here’s what, with luck, you’ll be missing when you don’t read this column during the coming year:

-- Ground Hog Day. A column in which I explore the possibility that the movie comes true, and the same thing keeps happening over and over… which could actually happen anyway, given my tendencies for chronic procrastination and perpetual forgetfulness. I’ll probably offer the advice to always wear comfortable clothes on Ground Hog Day, just in case the movie comes true.

-- April Fools Day. No way I’m going to let it pass without at least a “Hey, your shoe’s untied!”, or a “Look, your fly’s open!”, or “Oh, there’s a bug on your shoulder!”, or “Beware, interplanetary life-forms are inhabiting this solar system and consuming our cranial contents.” So be on the look out for a good gag… although I’m very unlikely to top last year’s AFD headline: “Publisher Shealy Makes Best Dressed List”.

-- My wrap-up of this year’s South Carolina Presidential Primaries, with my own personal observations and commentary… although there’s a chance I’ll combine this with my April Fools column.

-- TV Scripts. If the writers stay on strike, I think I’m going to include some sit-com scripts in some of my columns. That way I’m killing two birds with one stone… a column, and a TV show. Unfortunately, most of the shows I like have been off the air for about a decade or two… but maybe they’ll make a comeback. If they’re going to stay on strike, we’ll being Mayberry back.

-- Rod-Boy’s Beginners Guide to the Internet. I’ve been promising this column since last spring, but I haven’t produced it yet. I plan to write this column soon, although it may or may not happen, given my tendencies for chronic procrastination and perpetual forgetfulness.

-- Rod-Boy’s Insiders Guide to the National Republican Convention. Back in the 1980’s, I twice served as a delegate to the quadrennial Presidential Nominating Convention, and since it looks as if this year’s convention could be a doozy, I’ll probably piece together some old war tales into a column. On the other hand, if it turns out NOT to be a doozy, I’ll probably skip watching it like everybody else, and watch re-runs of Andy instead.

-- Rod-Boy’s Insider Guide to the Olympics. “Insider” may be a stretch, unless they quickly make “belching” an Olympic sport… in which case, I’m bringing home the Gold for my country!!! If not, I’ll probably write about the Olympics anyway, mainly because how often do you get to use the word “quadrennial”?

-- Rob-Boy’s Lead Up to the Olympics. This column will be my opportunity to once again tell my favorite story about the time I water-skiied 162 miles down the river from Columbia to Charleston, along with my brother Shawn and my good friend, Joe Agnew. After all, why isn’t water-skiing in the Olympics? If it were, I’m pretty sure America would pick up a lot of extra Golds, Silvers, and Bronzes, because I can’t see those pesky Scandinavians doing so well if you replace mountains and snow with a motor-boat. Also, what about NASCAR? Where’s the fairness? They let those geek-walkers have their own event… why not NASCAR?

-- Summer Re-Runs. Be on the lookout. I’m pretty sure there will be some summer re-runs this year, because I really do need a vacation.

-- Rob-Boy’s “Guide” to Proofing… and, Punctuation!!! This one’s going to be tough on me… because – as you prolly know – I’m a “Punctuation-Maniac”, and a “Prooffinggg Mad-Man”!!!

That’s it. I’m fresh out of ideas. I’ll be happy to borrow your ideas. Send them to me via electric email: RodShealy@aol.com. Or, for the Internet savvy, just post’em to my internet blog: www.doingthefirst.blogspot.com

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