Neil Offen: It’s back-to-work time
We fought the law and the law won. We fought the good fight, even if we didn’t know exactly what we were fighting for, how to fight, what round it was or whether we were actually playing bocce instead.
So, yes, we have ended our column shutdown, and all the adverbs have slowly returned to their usual sentence positions. The spell-checkers are getting back to the assembly line. But we have not ended our battle for freedom, justice and a can of diet soda with every paragraph.
As you may remember, we had no choice but to fight and shut down this column when the other side refused our demand that it agree to all our demands. Instead, the other side decided that it would not negotiate over the key issue in this fight — whether it would negotiate or not.
There was a matter of principle at stake: in the column-writing business, who gets to decide whether principle is occasionally spelled principal and why?
Faced with this kind of intransigence — and not knowing where we could find another kind of intransigence, particularly this late in the month — we decided to cave in, as long as we didn’t have to actually say the words “cave in.” We also didn’t want to say just “cave” by itself, which seems to have become the preferred way of trying to save prepositions during this period of prepositional austerity.
We understand that because of this shutdown our poll numbers have plummeted from the miniscule to the infinitesimal. And our SAT scores, particularly on the math section, also have gone down 23 percent, which could be about 16 liters. Or maybe it’s around five kilos.
Moreover, our reputation among other parts of the newspaper has similarly plunged, with the classified ad section no longer willing to even offer us a 2bdrm 1.5b and sports only giving us second-quarter scores.
Nevertheless, despite this temporary set-back, we will continue our futile, pointless, fruitless, inane battle because we know there are still more synonyms out there for futile. We know the American public still believes that we also can be ineffective, ineffectual, useless and wasted.
We know that if we persevere past this temporary set-back there are more set-backs available that would be longer-lasting and much more meaningful and would not have to be replaced on the first of every month.
In the meantime, we continue to believe that the people are behind us in this effort even if they don’t answer our calls and refuse to put our address on their list of contacts. It is, of course, conceivable they may be very far behind us and we can’t see them at all so we hope they’ll give us a call or send us a text when they get a chance.
Until then, we will continue to stand up for what is right, as soon as we figure out exactly what that is.
Neil Offen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.