I believe some introductions are in order. And by that, I mean the introduction in my book, which seems like a good place to start. Given that Humor at the Speed of Life is a collection of my newspaper columns, I felt the need to give readers a little background as a jumping off point. Hoping, of course, that they weren’t reading it while perched on the ledge of a building…
THIS JUST IN…
After 15 years as a humor columnist, it finally hit me. And by that I mean my editor’s stapler. She had been threatening to throw it since 2004, when I first discovered the secret candy drawer she had cleverly labeled: Extra Work for Reporters. For the past nine years she had been warning me, “If you don’t stay out of my candy drawer, I am going to set this thing for ‘stun’ and hurl it at you!”
As I sat there, blurry-eyed and rubbing the back of my head, I came to an important and potentially life-changing realization:
I really need to publish this book now, before she gets a new stapler.
Once my editor replenished her candy stash, there was a good chance another direct hit would result in serious brain damage, ending my career as a journalist and leaving me to write for daytime television. The truth is, readers have been asking me for years to compile a book of columns. As one reader from Gwynette, GA., wrote in, “If you ever come here for a book signing, you better have pastries or something.”
When you receive that kind of validation from readers, you don’t want to let them down. With that in mind — and a week’s worth of medical leave — I began sifting through more than a decade’s worth of columns written since I began here at Siuslaw News in 1998. Many of the columns in this book appeared long before syndication; a few never saw publication at all (probably for good reason); and at least one got published only because my editor was on vacation.
You’ll find this book has been divided into six sections, making it easy to find columns tailored to meet your specific reading needs. For example, let’s say you’re looking for three good reasons to avoid any monkey with a pet Chihuahua? That would obviously be a hard-hitting news story, and therefore is in the section:
This is Why I Became a Journalist (I meant that as a question)
Or let’s say you want know if today’s tougher tax laws will let you depreciate your ostrich?
If you answered:
Social Trends (and other frightening anomalies) for $100 then you are absolutely correct!
But you really need to cut back on the Jeopardy! watching.
Other sections include:
Women Are From Venus and Men Won’t Ask for Directions
(Observations and insights that have gotten me into trouble)
Inspirational Holiday Columns That proved life threatening
(Hey, even the NRA fears the National Fruitcake Lovers Society)
Parenting Is as Easy as One, Two… Scream
(My fountain of knowledge on parenting is an open
Why Is the Dog Wearing Cowboy Boots?
(They say pets help us live longer. “They” haven’t met our dog)”
So, brace yourself.
In the pages of Humor at the Speed of Life you will find what represents my body of work as a humor columnist.
My apologies in advance for not getting to the gym more often…
Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. This has been an excerpt from His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.