Not The Column I Planned

Brendan Smithby Brendan Smith
Weirs Times Editor

Procrastination is never a good thing for a writer with a deadline. It can make some of your best ideas worthless.
For instance, a few weeks ago I came up with what I thought would be some great April Fool’s pranks that I would share with my readers. Some were simple and would only take a few minutes to pull off while others involved a good deal of preliminary setup. To pull some of them off successfully could take a few hours including the time it would take to drive to the local hardware store for supplies, get everything back home and them put it all together. Still others would include gathering people together through various social media sites to participate in some of the more intricately planned pranks. (One even included a complete makeover of someone’s SUV to replicate the “Win A Thousand Dollars A Week for Life” sweepstakes van.)
But, as is apparent by looking at the date on this week’s publication, I didn’t get around to getting the words on paper soon enough and a really great column (in my opinion) was squandered.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Some of my best columns may never see the light of day since they were time sensitive and were finished too late. To print them after the fact made no sense, so they went into the “unusable” folder to do whatever it is “unusable” manuscripts do with their time.
I do occasionally open some up to read to myself later. I am looking at one now that I had written, alas too late, about December 12, 2012, or 12/12/12 which some thought was the Mayan apocalypse. I came up with what I thought was a well constructed column about the supposed end of the world. Even reading it now I feel it is pretty much a laugh out loud riot, though at the same time, a feel good kind of article that touches both the heart and the funny bone while at the same time addressing the aftermath of an apocalypse; not an easy task for any writer. But, since I completed it a day too late, you’ll never get the chance to read it.
It was nobody’s fault but my own.
So, I sit here, contemplating this week’s column while I know, that only a mouse click away, a really great column lies collecting computer dust and will have to wait till maybe next year’s April Fools issue to see some of my great ideas.
How could you have used a roll of duct tape, a jar of peanut butter and a 1980s version of the Merriam Webster dictionary to pull off a great early morning prank on members of your family? How would a prerecorded message by James Earl Jones combined with a phony UPS delivery and a bucket of lukewarm water create hysteria to be remembered for years to come? How could a three-pound tuna casserole, a can of spray paint and ride in the back seat of a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle combine to be what may be the biggest practical joke of all time?
I’m afraid that these great ideas will have to wait at least one more year until they are revealed. (I realize the one using a pen, Q-tip and a spoonful of pure New Hampshire maple syrup is a quick and easy prank that some of you who might happen to pick up this paper on April 1st might be able to pull off in time, but why take chances?)
The one good thing in all of this is that I will have one great column already in the bank for next year – as long as I remember it exists.
As far as this week goes, it is anyone’s guess as to what this column will be about. I sit here with my laptop powered up and my notebook, where I keep my ideas, looking back up at me with its pages blank. I thought I’d have a few days to come up with something witty.
I promise I will try harder in the future to get my columns done in a more timely fashion.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Brendan’s new book “The Best of A F.O.O.L. in New Hampshire will be published in early spring.