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Opinion

Border battle brings out the worst in columnists

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November 15, 2007

It was Monday afternoon, about 4 p.m. As soon as you walked into the office, you could tell something wasn’t right. There he was, the usually happy-go-lucky columnist lying on the couch, downtrodden.

He felt like he got hit by a Lite Rail Train. There he was, lying there, dead to the world. He picked up his ringing cell phone and answered it.

“I’m done.” He said into the phone, not even hesitating. “Nobody even reads these columns and I just make an idiot of myself. I’m not going to do it anymore.”

The editor of the Voice was on the other line and probably shook his head on the other line in disappointment as he hung up the phone.

The man on the couch was a wreck, a shadow of himself.

Usually all pumped up and ready to go, somebody took a pin and deflated him and laughed as he flew across the room. Could it have been the strain of trying to put together great broadcasts for the Falcons’ sports teams? Could it have been the lack of financial funds to pay for college? What caused such an energetic person to be lying on the couch, dead silent?

In the words of Dane Cook, “Let’s go back, Let’s go back.”

The man on the couch, who shall remain nameless, walked into his office Monday morning with many thoughts inside of his head. The brunt of it was Sunday’s 34-0 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings, which included their best player blowing out his knee.

He looked in his mailbox to see if anything was there and there was something there. A copy of his column from the previous week was in the mailbox with a giant “OOPS” written across the column in black permanent marker.

He was humiliated and embarrassed. Crow was being served and he wasn’t very hungry. He calmly walked around and put a giant white piece of paper and wrote something himself in giant black marker.

On a blank sheet of paper, he wrote “NEVER E-E-EVER MAKE PREDICTIONS AGAIN!” He sat there and went along his business and did his weekly spot on a radio show. Then it was time for the adventure of class.

He joked with a couple of people beforehand saying, “You would have been entertained if had you watched the game with me!”

Then came the class itself. Things went okay until he made a stupid comment and was laughed at … then came the real boo-birds. “That was the kid who wrote that column last week! Yeah, who was really drinking the kool-aid? What a moron!”

He was undeterred until the sharing of story ideas where he simply told the producer he had no idea for a story and was greeted with an idea of doing one about how bad the Vikings lost.

With many other things going on, he was a shadow of a man. He wanted to go crawl up in the fetal position and suck his thumb. Then came the call to the editor of the voice and he promptly went straight downtown.

There he was, intoxicated and belting out “Skol Vikings.” Even the bartender asked him about his column to which he said, “Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.” Meanwhile, back at the Voice office things were worse than ever.

The editor tried to hire a columnist to replace him and asked him to write a column for today’s paper. However, it turned out to be many columns worshiping Brett Favre.

The first one was about how Favre saved New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina by using a crazy straw. The next one was about how Brett Favre farted touchdowns and crapped Super Bowl rings. Then, there was a third one talking about how if Favre was around when the LAPD beat Rodney King they would have “just gotten along.” The editor couldn’t believe this. He needed his old columnist back.

He made the call around 7 p.m. Wednesday and pleaded for him to come back. The old columnist said he wasn’t sure if he could do it. The editor wouldn’t give up, and finally the columnist agreed to return despite his past failures.

He ran into the bathroom and when he came out, his crack beard had disappeared … but he looked virtually the same.

He came up to the Voice office and saw this imposter and the showdown was on. It was a fierce war of words. The editor hid behind his desk hoping that the old columnist would win.

When the smoke cleared, or when this paper was printed, the old columnist was left standing. He sat down at the computer and cranked out the greatest column ever made. Then he was proved completely wrong again and what is known as Chris Schad’s weekly process of writing a column continued for another week.

Chris Schad is a student at UW-River Falls.