For better or for worse, I usually end up writing most of the columns in this Living Out Loud space — and that was no different in 2008. Sometimes I think I’ll run out of things to write about, but something always happens.
That something is life. If you’re living with your eyes open — or out loud — the well never really runs dry.
Having said that, it’s nice to get a break sometimes. I’m always grateful when other writers step up to the plate and write here. Our contributors had interesting things to say throughout 2008, and being a smartass I have a few comments on some of them.
In thinking back to her younger days in church and an old friend, C.A. MacConnell wrote “I Found God in a Doughnut” (issue of March 19). She said, “After the service, the parish served a million trays of donuts in the Forum Room. Sarah preferred the jelly doughnuts. I found God in the cinnamon twists.”
This leads me to ask the question: Has anyone found God while eating a Pop Tart?
Stephanie Dunlap became a homeowner in 2008, which was the good news. The bad news was dealing with a “pig” insurance agent while getting a homeowners policy. In “Admit It: A Lousy Feminist” (April 30), she wrote, “Now I’m skidding fast down the slippery slope, and I’ve already logged ‘honey,’ ‘babe’ and ‘chicky’ in the muddy terrain behind me. At what point do I now say something? Say what? I guess ‘Don’t call me chicky’ would be an easy place to start.”
Actually, Steph, actions speak louder than words. A kick in the nuts would have shut this guy up.
“Thanks Pop” was a moving tribute to a father written by Danny Cross (June 11). He wrote, “He always treated my brothers and me like we were real people and not just spoiled, ungrateful, unconscious jackasses — even when we were caught stealing hood ornaments off cars or shooting a BB gun in the house.”
Very touching, Danny, but this doesn’t explain all those hood ornaments on your desk at CityBeat. And if you don’t stop shooting your BB gun in the office, I’m going to rat you out to John Fox.
The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky., now recognizes our very own Katie Laur. In her “Back in the Day” column (July 2), she wrote, “I think if you wait long enough, everything changes. I used to be a musician, scratching out a living playing on the road — now I’m in a museum.”
That’s great, Katie, but I’m glad this museum is letting you out long enough each week to continue your WNKU radio show on Sunday nights.
In “In Praise of Kindness (July 9),” Gregory Flannery wrote, “The first time I drove alone with my newborn son, I ran out of gas. Holding the baby in one hand and a gas can in the other, I hitchhiked for less than a minute before a minister gave us a ride.”
Question: Did the minister take you to a gas station or to the Forum Room to eat doughnuts? Just curious.
We end 2008 in a recession. Mildred C. Fallen remembers other hard times when she was a kid. In her “Tight Times” column (Aug. 6), she wrote, “We rinsed out glass pop bottles and saved them under the sink. When we accumulated bunches of cartons, we stacked them in a cart, wheeled them to the store and got 10 cents for each bottle.”
Apparently you can’t do this in these current tight times — certainly not with the plastic bottles. The people at Kroger set me straight on this when I attempted to return hundreds of 2liter Diet Coke bottles last week. I got laughed out of the store.
Doug Taylor and I are friends but seldom agree on anything, especially politics. In his “The Right View” column (Oct. 12), he wrote, “Republicans are like a Viagra commercial. If you need some assistance, use us. But if the assistance lasts more than four hours, don’t brag, go the hospital, pay the emergency room fee and smile.”
Well, Doug, I don’t need Viagra yet and I managed to stay out of the E.R. in 2008, but I am smiling. Why? Because your man McCain lost the presidential election and my guy Obama won! Pardon me while I gloat.
In her “Too Much Fun” column (Dec. 3), Samantha Gibson wrote, “There’s more ‘too much fun’ when we schedule the artificial insemination. My husband and I make an appointment to go into an exam room to collect his sample. About an hour later, we have some high-tech sex. The mood lighting is bright exam room lights. We spice things up by bringing in a doctor and a nurse.”
Seriously, Sam, good luck with all this in 2009, but I could never have sex with someone while a doctor and nurse are watching. Much too kinky for me. I prefer it just be me and my partner or, in most cases, all by myself.
In closing, some of you might remember that my goal in 2008 was to smile more. In “Smile” (Jan. 2) I said, “I’m going to make a concentrated effort to erase that ‘mad look.’”
Well, it kind of worked. Now when you see me smiling while walking down the sidewalk, it’s probably the real thing and not just a little gas. Old dogs can be taught new tricks.
Thanks for reading Living Out Loud in 2008. I’ll try to continue smiling in 2009.
CONTACT LARRY GROSS: [email protected]