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A list of various failed things I’ve attempted in the past hour

I’m having trouble thinking up a proper column today. I’ve tried all my usual tactics for brainstorming good ideas: Scouring the Facebook pages of my friends to steal all their interesting stories. Pouring whiskey into my eyeballs. Drinking paint and then writing about the hospital visit. None of these standard journalistic methods worked this week. I’m still stumped.

I’m doing my usual thing where I write half a column, throw it away because it sucks, then repeat that process until I have something. I’ve started at least five columns so far, and I don’t like any of them. I was going to write about how there’s a guy at my work who looks like an Asian version of Fozzie Bear from The Muppets, but it’s really hard to get a photo of someone’s face without them noticing. I know this because he has caught me multiple times.

I was going to write a humorous preview of the presidential election, but it’s too far away and I’m already bored just thinking about it. Maureen Dowd could come to my house and read me a history book, and I still wouldn’t fall asleep as fast as when I hear those two fart clowns talking about the economy. Every time someone asks them about the economy, they should change the subject to boobs. I’d vote for that.

I was going to create a chart of bowel movements by my co-workers using their real names and LinkedIn profile photos. It was intended as punishment for giving me the work station right next to the restroom on our floor, but that’s just a thing that’s weird to explain when someone goes through your desk looking for aspirin and finds an unauthorized chart of all their shits.

I was going to write about how I’m a grown-ass man now and probably shouldn’t publish columns with phrases like “chart of all their shits” or “queen of the fart patrol” in them, all the while clearly using the phrases as often as possible. But I tried that four or five years ago with the f-word and my editor refused to print it. I think I dropped 37 f-bombs in a 500-word column. I refused to write a new one, because I believed publishing it would earn me some sort of world record and I’d get to meet those cool fat guys on mini-bikes that everyone associates with world record holders. It was the only time in 10 years of publishing this column that I didn’t have a column in the paper.

Queen of the fart patrol. A title like that is just enough info about someone. Y’know?

I was going to cheat and just publish the first chapter of “Great Expectations” and see if anyone noticed, but I think I already did that gag like six years ago. This is the problem with being a longtime columnist. You come up with a really great idea and then have to spend an hour making sure you didn’t do a much better job of writing the same thing back in 2003.

I was going to describe a Minnesota Twins game from the perspective of a nude homeless man sitting in the center field bleachers, but I couldn’t think up enough filler content before the apex of the tale, when he leans over the center field wall and excretes upon an unsuspecting Alex Rios.

I was going to quit writing columns all together and just fulfill my clearly defined destiny as a lazy piece of shit, but my friend once had this roommate in college who was really lazy and would urinate into water bottles so he wouldn’t have to get up and walk to the bathroom at night, and the thought of someday becoming that lazy made me want to choke myself to death with my own belt.

I was going to write a serious column and ask a legitimate question, like whether I should change my profile photo on LinkedIn to a panda bear. I don’t believe anyone ever uses that site for anything real, and I think it’d be really fun for people if they clicked on a profile and saw a panda bear head instead of a person head. They’d be like, “Holy shit, I need to call this guy so I can see why he’s so stupid.”

One of the people from the Reader Weekly just Facebook messaged me, asking when I’m going to submit my column. That’s when you know they mean business. Usually the editor just sends me one of those e-mails that says, “Hey, everyone else submits their column on Fridays and it’s now Tuesday at 8pm CST. We were wondering if we could see our families again sometime soon.” Using Facebook Messenger means they’re sitting around cursing me out and one of them said, “Check to see if he’s on Facebook. I’ll bet he is, that piece of shit.” Of course I was, because I was trying to find amusing anecdotes from my friends’ pages that I could steal. Anyway, I told him “within the hour”, which we both know is a filthy, filthy lie.

They have beer in the newspaper office. I’m just saying. That’s pretty great. They also get paid in restroom tokens, though, which is slightly less great. Ooh look, way over 850 words! Shit yeah, it’s quittin’ time. Somebody proofread this awful thing. I’m gonna go eat a hoagie.


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