Don't Rush Me
First good idea of the year cutdown before it was born
Can't be a 'Hater'
January 05, 2011 - Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
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So there I was, leaning up at the counter, all suave and debonair reading the daily newspaper with my finely honed sense of delivery and wisecrackery for the front office chicks. (It's a daily morning ritual that should take about 20 minutes, but that I can complete in about two.)
A headline caught my attention, something to the effect that gas would cost five smackin' frackin' dollars a gallon by 2012 (and in case you haven't noticed, that's less than 12 months away.). And, what usually happens happened. My cool and concise delivery of the daily news from yesterday turned into a diatribe of high-pitched rants.
"I hate the blah-dee-dee-da-ing oil companies," I think I said. (Sometimes when I get onto a really good roll, I lose contact with reality and go into some cantankerous trancelike state-of-consciousness. When I awake I only have vague recollections of what I have done. Sorta like Lawrence Talbot, I guess. You've heard of werewolves, I guess when the moon is right, I become a were-writer, but I digress.)
One of the front office chicks said something like, "Yeah, you never read about them not making a profit."
Then another front office chick said, "I hate insurance companies, too. They never lose money."
"And don't forget politicians," chimed another.
And, through the fog of crotchetiness, a little light started to glow. The light of a wonderful idea, like a beacon showing me the way o're rough water to safe harbor was calling. Slowly, slowly, my mind started to clear. I was onto something. Something to make us all wealthy (and when I say "us" I don't mean "you." The "us" I refer to are myself and the front office chicks. Sorry.)
"Ladies,' I intoned, "I have a great idea. Two thousand and eleven is gonna' be our year."
They all looked up from whatever they were doing (I really don't know, because it's their job, not mine so I don't care).
"I wanna'' start The Hate Club."
Their lips turned up in smiles.
"We can have a webpage, social network site, sell tee-shirts, coffee cups, 'fridge magnets, and frilly ladies underwear all with the words, Hate Club or I'm a Hater or Hate Club Charter Member emblazoned across them. People can post their 'hates.' We can actually be doing a service to the community, the country and the world. We can let them vent constructively as members of The Hate Club, get it out of their systems before they act on their feelings."
I think I actually saw dollar signs dance across their eyes.
Wow! Things were looking up, so I finished delivering commentary on the A section of the paper. Sports held no interest to me, as I was still basking in the warm glow of the brilliant idea I had just hatched. Then I got to the section of the paper with the Dear Abby column, crossword puzzles and horoscope.
Dear Abby had to respond to some bizarro-world-of-family-business-sharing, the crossword puzzle was put aside for the former publisher and I delved into the horoscopes.
And here's where things went into the crapper.
I read my horoscope, and I quote:
Aquarius -- Getting in a few digs about people you dislike might make you feel vindicated, but it will do nothing for your image in the eyes of your audience, especially if your comments are unfair.
In other words I couldn't be negative, even for a profit. I think hate would be construed a negative.
In the span of about 10 broadsheet pages of newsprint, my genius was shot down. Dead. I could no more deny my horoscope than I could deny a jelly donut. Such is my destiny.
The Hate Club died there, cold and alone. One of the girls blew her nose. I heard some sobbing from another front office chick and another excused herself for a "powder."
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Oh, and who is Georg Christoph Lichtenberg? He was a German from the 1700's. One of 17 children, he was also a hunchback, scientist, satirist and would-be philosopher.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org