Admittedly, my brain doesn’t open for business until about 10 a.m. By then, I’ve been at the keyboard for three or four hours with no real memory of what I’ve been writing. I assure my editor this unique quirk is the sign of a seasoned professional.
And she assures me the reason we need to keep replacing my keyboard is because, at least once a month, she finds me face down drooling on the return key. That may be true, but I tend to do my best work under pressure. And there’s nothing like the pressure of trying to finish a column before saliva short-circuits your keyboard.
In addition to a lack of cognizance, I also prefer writing early in the morning because there aren’t any distractions, like… oh, I don’t know… say, being blinded by a crazed fly.
The truth is, this column was going to be a stunning piece of social commentary. I had planned to utilize all the tools I’ve acquired as a columnist (namely, spell-check and the “delete” button, assuming it hasn’t been drooled on) to discuss a little-known but steadily growing segment of the voting population:
Chihuahuas who have mistakenly been issued voter registration cards in Florida.
Anyone who has written Pulitzer Prize-winning material will tell you it takes an incredible amount of concentration and skill to produce work of such significance.
As a recipient of the Putziler Prize for “Most Consistent Use of Spelling Errors” in 2009, I was, quite literally, only a few scrambled letters away from a Pulitzer myself. In keeping with that standard, I should’ve been able to finish my Chihuahua column in spite of being the unwitting target of a psychopathic fly. I have no excuse other than to say, before this experience, I would’ve never considered sealing up my cubicle and installing an air-lock door complete with retinal scanner and emergency fly swatter.
It actually started out like any other annoying man-vs-fly situation.
Fly lands on hand.
Hand shoos fly away.
Then, and without warning:
Fly attacks eyeball.
Things immediately moved into the realm of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, complete with — I must admit — screaming that would’ve frightened Janet Leigh. In all fairness, I now had only ONE good eye, which limited my peripheral vision and put me at a distinct disadvantage to the fly which, as we all know, has enough eyes to see in all directions at once, including behind, which is the direction I happened to be running from.
Yes, I probably should’ve stood my ground.
And if it hadn’t blinded my other eye, I probably would have. However, as I stood there swinging blindly at the fly with a rolled up magazine, I realized two important things precisely in this order:
1) I looked like a Star Wars fanatic pretending to be in Jedi training, and;
2) Someone could walk through the door at any minute.
Because of this, the Pulitzer Prize committee will have to wait. In the meantime, I still have a chance at another Putziler, depending on how I spelled Chihuahua.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, and OR. 97439)