Postcards from the edge

Unhinged Alaska

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2008

I have been getting some serious static lately from some malcontents grumbling that I've been lax in publishing more columns dealing with e-mails from readers of Unhinged Alaska.

It's not that easy, folks. Most of the stuff I receive cannot be shared in a family newspaper. In fact, even my firewall has been embarrassed screening a couple of the cyber drools. What is up with that? I'll bet I'm the only columnist in the U.S. that gets slurred e-mails.

It's not all mental. There are some focused and lucid followers who I enjoy hearing from, especially if they're not relatives looking for a loan. Why my kin make the effort is a mystery. I'm a freelance columnist. I make less money than a poet who writes odes to septic tanks. With my income, I have to pawn our emergency back-up poodle to buy holiday stamps.

I get my biggest laughs when the IRS accountants read my income tax returns. They claim the only person who writes more bizarre fiction is Al Gore. Hey, at least he has discernible earnings and a 747 load of carbon offset credits to dump into his private jets' exhaust streams.

Enough, let's move on to letters that won't cause my editors premature chest pains.

Nick:

Being an astute observer of human foibles, what do you think of the wave of young female celebrity hotties acting like waterfront trollops while baiting predisposed leches into their e-vile clutches?

Anonymous in New York

Anon:

Is that you Hillary? Is Bill missing again? I really don't know what to tell you other than, if you become president, I'd recommend giving the old boy the ambassadorship to the Vatican. It will give a new meaning to the term "neuter."

Yo, Varney,

Dude, is there anything that really bothers you? You seem to be, like, way laid back. I mean, like, majorly chilled. Somethin'gots ta boil your pine nuts.

Trippin' Jack, Nome

Yo, Trippin',

Yeah, I have bad visuals sometimes. A giant poster of Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell posing in swimwear thongs endorsing a "Save the Whales" campaign comes to mind. Also, any video of Paris Hilton attempting to speak as if she has an IQ higher than a blow-up doll will cause me abrupt gastric distress. Other than that I'm cool unless you try and go PETA on my fishing pursuits. I hear colonoscopies are unusually uncomfortable when conducted with an 8.5-foot spinning rod.

Mr. Nick,

Have you ever considered running for public office? It would be huge to have a politician with a sense of humor who shoots from the hip and wouldn't mind skewering his peers if they get out of line.

B.J.W., Anchorage

I don't think so, B.W. Veco's big shots will soon be serving "don't drop the soap in the shower" time so there's not much opportunity to supplement my financial base anymore. I have been approached about helping to write some campaign commercials and it's tempting, but I'm waiting to see if my bud Wild Willie will accept the nomination of our local Toga Party to run for borough mayor. He probably will. He figures that with his misdemeanor conviction record he already owes the government so much community service that he might as well serve it as mayor.

Hi, Nick,

I'd love to write humor but it's a hard genre to master much less get any respect from my peers in journalism. Any suggestions?

W.P., University of Washington

Flee, W.P. Drop the humorist dream.

Change your major to Used Saltwater-Damaged Car Sales or be a lobbyist for pre-indicted politicians. You'll have more self esteem and a slim chance to pay off your student loans before they start garnishing your Social Security checks.

Nick C.:

Have you ever considered serious reporting?

K. L., San Antonio, Texas

Yes I have. I was recently hot on the trail of a story about Wisconsin cheese carver Troy Landwehr, who carved a 700-pound pile of cheddar into a mini Mount Rushmore for a TV show in Times Square. He was then going to take it to D.C. where it was to be devoured. I thought it would be a screech to be there and report on our Congress cutting the cheese in public. Unfortunately, I never heard back on my justification for a travel voucher. Go figure.

Nick C. Varney can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn't busy trying to track down Willie to get his bail money back.



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