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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rejected ideas for columns

    Justyn DillinghamEditor-in-Chief
    Justyn Dillingham

    Loyal readers of my column often ask me where I get my ideas.

    This isn’t an uncommon question for writers, particularly ones who try to be funny. As Charles Schulz once put it: “”People say ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ because they look at me and think, ‘Surely this man could never think of anything funny.'””

    Nothing is more mysterious than humor. Just as no one knows what causes hiccups, no one knows exactly why the name ‘Melvin’ is funny and the name ‘Marvin’ is not.

    As much as I would like to devote this column to plumbing the mysteries of creativity, I have to confess that all of my ideas come from random weird conversations.

    Instead, I’ll just give you a sampling of some columns you could have read, had your faithful columnist not come up with a better idea:

    The Qwerty Column. A commentary on the way the letters are arranged on the keyboard and

    Nothing is more mysterious than humor. Just as no one knows what causes hiccups, no one knows exactly why the name ‘Melvin’ is funny and the name ‘Marvin’ is not.

    a few suggestions for arrangements that might work better. Abandoned after all of the columnist’s ideas turned out to prominently feature the phrase “”NRA FOREVER.””

    The “”What’s the Deal?”” Column. This would have consisted entirely of random observations like this: “”Has anyone ever noticed how hard it is to open CDs? What’s the deal with that?”” Abandoned after realization that column would only be funny if read out loud in an exaggerated, slightly whiny New York accent.

    The Star Trek Column. This would have centered around the columnist becoming convinced that his life has begun to eerily parallel “”Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”” Abandoned after he decided to use the idea for a screenplay instead.

    The Facebook Column. A column about the notorious recent changes in the online student Web site Facebook. Abandoned after the columnist decided that if he had to hear one more word about this subject he was going to throw his computer out the window.

    The Senator McCarthy Column. In which the columnist announces that he is holding in his hand, as he types, the names of 205 card-carrying Communists working right here at this university. Abandoned after U.S. Senate voted to censure columnist.

    The Halley’s Comet Column. A column about Halley’s Comet. Abandoned after columnist realized that it won’t be around again until 2061 (coincidentally, also the year he will graduate from college).

    The Journey Column. A column in which every paragraph consisted entirely of elaborate, wordy paraphrases of “”Any Way You Want It,”” “”Don’t Stop Believin'”” and other classic hits by the greatest band of all time. Abandoned after entire Arizona Daily Wildcat staff threatened to murder columnist.

    The Column Column. A column that could be about anything, but typographically arranged so that it mimicked the appearance of a Doric column, the visual trademark of ancient Greece. Abandoned due to the decline of the Greek way of life, which most historians attribute to the Peloponnesian War and its aftermath.

    The Radiohead Column. A column that called on the UA marching band to start playing the great music of Radiohead. Abandoned after Wildcat office was stormed by a lynch mob following the printing of the opposing view, which (quite by accident) ran the previous week.

    The Column In Which I Explain the Point of Last Week’s Column. A regular column that would run alongside this one, explaining why the previous installment of “”JustynTyme”” was supposed to be funny. Abandoned because entire staff unanimously considered it too challenging a task.

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