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An unlikely superhero

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, March 3, 2004

I’m afraid of you. I’m afraid of you, and I don’t even know who you are. Worse yet, you don’t even know who I am. So why am I afraid? I have a dirty secret. I, your faithful Tuesday-night Viewpoint Copy Editor, have never written anything to be published. Nobody aside from my English teacher has ever seen anything I’ve written. We desperately needed an Inside Column for today, though, so here I am, an entire paragraph done, and I haven’t even said anything. Hey, this is easier than I thought.With the first paragraph done, though, I find myself curiously short on column fodder. I can’t use an entire column as an introductory paragraph, or the Assistant News Editor will have my head. What, then? And then, the Muse, that benevolent entity that watches over struggling copy editors everywhere,strikes me. It hurts. But more to the point, I’ve got an idea now. What if I write a whole series of columns, none of which has any concrete point? I could call it “Brain Smatterings,” or something to that effect, and just write a whole lot of nothing. There wouldn’t even be a whole lot of “brain” around to smatter, come to think of it.I think this could work. I just write random, disconnected paragraphs and nobody notices it. Everyone is too dazzled by my creative writing prowess – usually hidden behind the meek exterior of a copy editor – to notice that I have yet to say a single thing worth reading. It’s like I’m related to Superman. I’m not cool enough to be a super hero, but darned if I can’t be that weird cousin that nobody talks about, right?And hey, now that I’ve established familial ties with another group of people, I kind of have two identities, just like Clark Kent. The only question I have is: Will FAFSA help me out any more now that I’m two people? I mean, Mom and Pop Kent don’t pull in much cash out in the boonies. I’d need some pretty substantial scholarship help. It’s only fair, right? I mean, it’s not like I made up a whole new identity just so I could get more money out of good ol’ Uncle Sam, right? I logically stated that I must be two people, and my second self was heretofore unacknowledged. What a shame.This little endeavor is fast becoming more of an anti-column than anything else. All right, raise your hand if you’re still reading. If you’ve been foolish enough to venture this far, you may start wishing that those proverbial hundred monkeys with their hundred typewriters (who, no doubt, could churn out a column far better than this one, if given the opportunity) would come and bash me on the head a hundred times. Each. Then my brain really would be smattered.At least I would have injected a little creativity into the assassination process, though.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Alyssa Brauweiler at [email protected]