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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


This is not meant to scare anyone

Editor’s note: This column is in reaction to the UA creative writing program’s policy to discipline students who submit “”inappropriate”” work, as covered in “”Threats limit creativity,”” April 2.


I was all ready to write this column, but then I got the sudden urge to kill someone.


No, no, that won’t do. Umm …


I couldn’t believe the weather yesterday. The trees — oh, did they shine, like newly minted $100 bills covered partly by tinfoil.It reminded me of my gun. The one I was going to use today to shoo—


ARGH! All right … let’s try it again. I need to be more careful here.


I couldn’t muster the will to type my column. I looked out the window. I was glad my girlfriend had thrown them open; she had been cleaning the room with Windex and the like. Windex. Sometimes I stared into those bottles, into the Na’vi-blue goo, and wondered how it tasted. Probably worse than the dish soap I put in my Pepsi after dinner to help me throw up. God, why did I do that? I’m so stupid! Why can’t I get myself to care about being alive? Would anyone even care if I didn’t show up to class Monday morning? Probably not. I need to do it better next time.


That one time I accidentally spilled vinegar in my Jamba Juice. Eh, whatever.


The sun was out, so I figured I’d go on a walk. I got my rifle pocket knife from the closet, grabbing the silencer just in case students happened to sit outside Professor Clark’s office while I gave it to her. I took some condoms and lube, too. For after.


Some homeless guy wanted to give me a hard time. You never know about those people.

A couple of cop cars rolled past, and I stared straight ahead, making sure I didn’t alter my pace or give any other tells probably to find a good spot to nab speeders. When they were a safe distance ahead, I flipped them off and chuckled. Didn’t they have anything better to do?


Professor Clark’s office was on the fourth floor of the Modern Languages building. I’d wanted her for so long, and now, as I curled my hands around the silencer in my coat pocket, I was about to have her just where I wanted her. As my favorite creative writing instructor, I knew she would give me some tips on how to break through mental blocks.


As I slipped through the doors leading to the English department, I took an immediate left down the hallway where professors had their offices. Professor Clark’s, I recalled, was the last on the right. I could see the door was cracked just a little. I was in luck! I knelt down in front of a darkened office and attached the silencer. When I stood, I held the completed product with my left hand under the right side of my coat. 


I entered quietly. Professor Clark was bent over the front side of her desk. Fitting, I thought, trying to stifle a smile. I shut the door, and at the sound of the click she whirled around. Strands of blonde hair whipped her startled face like a fusillade of bolas. She was more beautiful than I remembered. And she seemed to have really thinned down since the last time I saw her, when she had just had her child.


“”Hi, Tom,”” she said, seeming to squeak more than speak.


I’m not sure how much time passed before I removed the rifle. The last thing I remember seeing was the picture frame on her desk. She was sitting up in her hospital bed, holding her daughter while her husband grinned to the side. My left hand stopped before I could move the gun from beneath my chin. I waited. I pulled the trigger.


“”Hi, Professor!”” I gushed. I stood timidly by the door, not wanting to make any sudden movements. “”I’m sorry to surprise you like that. I was wondering if you could give me a little advice on this column I need to write.””


We sat down and talked for about 15 minutes. Brimming with her great advice, I dashed home to write. This is the final product. I’m thinking of sending it to her, but I probably should edit it a little more. I wouldn’t want UAPD giving me a call.

— Tom Knauer is a first-year law student. He received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the UA in 2007. He can be reached at


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