Over the years, my editor has offered to send me to many places. Usually in a raised voice. And often to a destination that is physically impossible for anyone who isn’t a skilled contortionist.
However, maybe it’s because of the unusually good weather we’re having in Oregon (not raining), or that she’s going on vacation soon, or possibly because there’s been another mix-up between her blood-pressure medicine and someone else’s painkillers.
Whatever the reason, she has given me the “thumbs up” to visit Watsonville, Calif., this week. Naturally, this was exciting news! At least once I got over the creepiness of her actually giving me a “thumbs up” sign.
So what does this mean exactly? It means this Thursday, June 23, there’s a good chance you’ll find me facedown in a row of strawberries somewhere in Watsonville.
Did I mention I love fruit?
I know there’s more to Watsonvile than farming. With a population of more than 51,000 people, along with nine TV and radio stations, 28 parks, the Santa Cruz Fair Grounds and Ocean Speedway, there are plenty of ways for me to get into trouble that don’t involve getting run over by someone riding a tractor. Unless it’s during a tractor race on the speedway.
And hey, any town that can claim being home to “Killer Clowns from Outer Space” is my kind of place.
Something else that makes Watsonville my kind of place is that it’s a community that helps its hungry. As Chris Ryan at Second Harvest Food Bank pointed out, the only time “humor” and “hunger” are close together is in the dictionary.
I couldn’t agree more.
However, on June 23, I’ll be using humor to help the hungry by donating a third of my book sales to Second Harvest. I’ll be at the Register-Pajaronian from 10 a.m. to noon this Thursday. I’ll have copies of my book, “Humor at the Speed of Life,” available for $15, with $5 from each book going directly to Second Harvest.
I have no staff or overhead.
Heck, I barely have a desk.
So you can trust me when I say the full $5 from each book will go to Chris and the folks at the food bank.
More than anything, I’m looking forward to the chance to meet as many Register-Pajaronian readers and folks from Watsonville as I can.
Um… except you, sir. You remind me of my editor.
But as for everyone else, I hope you’ll stop in for a visit so we can get to know each other beyond the newspaper page. If you decide to buy a book or just make a donation to Second Harvest, all the better.
I want to thank Erik Chalhoub and everyone at the Pajaronian for having me. It’s a real privilege to be a part of the Watsonville community through your local newspaper. I’m looking forward to getting to know you, and the chance to do some good for an important cause while I’m here.
But seriously, folks.
I’d hide the fruit…
Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available online at Port Hole Publications, Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org