I’ve had people ask me how I come up with column ideas and the usual answer is, “I stole it from a 1974 Mad Magazine.” Other times, ideas just come to me and I flesh them out.
Sometimes promising ideas become horrible columns. I used to delete those until I discovered I could still publish inferior columns in the Daily Republic under my pseudonym: “Brad Stanhope.”
Still other times, ideas are just not long enough for a whole column. Such as the following:
British invasion collaboration: I watched some of the Sandy benefit concert last week and it rekindled an idea I had. Keith Moon and John Entwhistle, the drummer and bass guitarist for The Who, are both deceased. John Lennon and George Harrison, the rhythm and lead guitarists for the Beatles, have also now joined the supergroup in the sky.
My idea is for the surviving members of The Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, team up with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to form The WhoBeatles. They could combine hit songs, including “Won’t Get Fooled on the Hill Again,” “Baba O’Riley’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Boris the Spider Wants to Hold Your Hand.”
Memory embellishment: It’s funny how when you tell a story a number of times it starts to get embellished. For example, I remember the first time I ever saw Beth Stevens – now my wife of nearly 18 years. It was in church on Sunday, Dec. 5, 1993. When I laid eyes on her, “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner began playing in my head.
The first time Beth saw me, cartoon hearts danced merrily around her head in time to the Hallelujah Chorus. When she got to know me months later, she gave up an opportunity she’d been offered to teach at Harvard to stay with me.
Actually, Beth’s first reaction to me was that my big head was blocking her view of the preacher. Oh, and she did give up a teaching job to stay with me but, uh, not exactly at Harvard.
To seal or not to seal: I have contacted my congressman about introducing legislation to make resealable containers available only for appropriate items. The french fries I get from the supermarket are not sold in a resealable bag, but should be. The tube socks I get from the department store are in a resealable bag, but shouldn’t be. In a related cause, I would urge for making the act of putting your socks back into a resealable bag, washed or not, to be a crime. You’re welcome.
Man card revocation habeas corpus: I think it is un-American to revoke someone’s Man Card for a violation without the opportunity to defend yourself. When I admitted that I not only liked the chick flick “Beaches” but (gulp) owned the soundtrack, I took my punishment, well, like a man. But for me to again get dinged for liking “Legends of the Fall” is just not right. I mean, it has Brad Pitt literally cutting his brother’s heart out of his chest and later scalping people – not a chick flick. I demand my day in Man Card court!
Facebook comedian: I told my wife a joke recently based on a Facebook post by George Takei. It was Wednesday (12/12/12) and National Mike Check Day – “1-2-1-2-1-2.” It elicited a chuckle from her and gave me the brain sprinkle to become the world’s first Facebook stand-up comedian.
I don’t mean to be a comedian who performs on Facebook, but one who “borrows” all his material from postings on the social network site. I print out funny pictures and sayings, blow them up to poster size at Fed Ex Kinko’s and then just hold them up on stage. After debuting my act on open mike night at Pepperbelly’s I discovered:
1. Cat pictures that are funny on your computer screen aren’t necessarily funny on a placard.
2. People in the balcony can’t see pictures from the stage.
3. Describing the pictures doesn’t help.
4. There’s a reason no one tried this before.
5. It is really easy to bat items thrown at you with a huge placard.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade aka Brad Stanhope at firstname.lastname@example.org.