clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Monthly Radical

My first piece of adult writing - published - came in a feature I composed for an underground High School newspaper: The Monthly Radical. It lasted precisely one issue, lampooned school administration in a manner both coarse and libelous, and drew attention to the heavy handed attempts by the administration to influence items outside of the school yard.

Basically, the administration was run by toads. I say this having shot trap over the practice football field at lunch hour with an assistant principal.

I was both a good student and a bad influence which - by the time it was fully appreciated just how bad my influence was - I got shut of the place.

The piece I wrote was hardly the mark of fine journalism, though it was funny in an absurdest perspective. It was funny.

Now, the first funny thing I wrote seriously was a paper on Beowulf. I didn't want to write it and had a world that had just completely fallen apart. I snapped it out on a Greyhound Bus coming back from Russell, Kansas.

It was irreverent and lively and was read before both sections of the class I was taking as an example of how to put a spin on something as dry as "B."

My next real attempt at humor which succeeded occurred in college on a piece I composed - one draft only - by inserting a roll of toilet paper into a typewriter (A very nice Olivetti which belonged to the girlfriend of a buddy he eventually married and who still thinks I'm a complete shitbag). It was my Kerouac tribute. At least I was drinking heavily in those days. That helped.

I've written some bits as a corporate iconoclast. However, none have been all that well received. [ The piece thanking my leadership team for replacing the auto-flush toilets with units managed by manual handles did however pay tribute to the Romans - inventors of plumbing - and got round reviews at the monthly profitability meeting].

I was almost fired from there by the end. I don't do well in captivity. The company is however self-destructing in slow motion so there is that. Not. My. Fault.

My point here is that my youth was corrupted by Hunter Thompson and Joseph Heller and Art Buckwald and Erma Bombeck. Yes, they're all a little hackneyed at times. They have all made me laugh until I pee'd a little.

I'm thinking about going to Erma's conference  next year. I'd like to be able to make people laugh once and a while. I'm not sure my present absurdest efforts are up to the task and I may have lost my way.

Maybe it's time to be a little crazy.

Write, crazy writers. Write.

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