Ideas That Never Made It Off The Napkin


It’s that time of year again. The time when I look at all the notes I’ve made regarding hilarious columns I’m going to write in the future and discard those notes one by one — but not until I’ve shared them with you, my lucky readers.

The first note reads: Last Friday night, I went to a popular steakhouse and everything was just perfect. Well, the seats were a little hard, the lighting too harsh and the baked potatoes were bruised. But the margaritas were perfect, really. Come to think of it, maybe I was just tired, hungry and easy prey for a margarita. My standards had sunk pretty low.

Another note records an in-car conversation between my parents that was scary on so many levels… but funny! From the backseat I heard…

Mom: What am I stepping on? The gas or the brake?

Dad: My foot. I had my foot over there.

Some of my notes comment on the bigger picture — life in the United States or the world in general. These notes are more quizzical, almost as if I’m hoping for answers, or to discover that my observations are simply untrue. One reads: If you want to gauge how much faith Americans have in their government, ask around to see how many stock up on non-denominational Forever stamps. These stamps were introduced in 2007 at 41 cents each, and they’re worth 49 cents now, so they should’ve been a sure bet. Still should be. But most of us wonder if the word “Forever” means what it says or, instead, refers to the lifespan of the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS should be turned into a commercial enterprise but even Warren Buffet isn’t making any offers. When you consider that the government continues to support annual USPS losses ($5 billion in 2013 alone), the “cost” of a first class stamp is much higher than 49 cents.

The notes go on from there.

One says, “My daughter and I respect each other quite a bit. Jen respects me for being able to keep her alive and in school until she reached adulthood; and I respect Jen for accomplishing more than merely surviving long enough to get a diploma. Best of all, neither of us is responsible for the life of the other, at least not right now. It’s a golden time.

Another note remarks on my hatred of spa music. But is it really hatred or jealousy? If I could pound out three repeating notes on a couple of logs and sell 500,000 CDs, wouldn’t I do it? (The answer is always the same… “I’m getting to it!”)

The most recent note refers to an afghan my mother is knitting in an effort to use up all her leftover yarn. The object is to knit through each ball, ending where you end and then starting the next one, no pattern required. My mother called it an “End of Life” afghan. My brother yelled, “Nooooo!” when he heard this. I yelled, “How about the ‘I Did It My Way’ afghan? the ‘It’s Just a Project’ afghan or the ‘Here’s a Beautiful Gift For Debbie’ afghan?”

Everyone has different ways of spending their free time. I prefer sharing my notes.