Since those of you who have been following the lessons from Vincent’s Famous Columnist School recently have been absorbing my knowledge free of charge, it is now time that I start thinking about how I will pay my taxes in a few months — which means I need to enroll PAYING students.
Try to picture a very classy kind of television commercial, perhaps on location at a picturesque college campus out in front of the library building with numerous students sitting on benches and under tress near a serene duck pond. All have their studious noses buried in a thick book of some sort — except for that couple over yonder, who seem more interested in each other.
As I stroll around the pond, headed for closer look at that couple, here is my spiel …
Do you have a high school diploma or the equivalent, but are afraid you don’t have any skills to make it in today’s highly competitive marketplace and uncertain whether you have any kind of future at all?
Well, you can find your future at Vincent’s Famous Columnist School.
Yes, at Vincent’s Famous Columnist School, we have the necessary equipment, faculty and tradition of success that dates back many generations in mice years.
At Vincent’s Famous Columnist School, you’ll learn the basics for churning out columns at dizzying speed while actually being in the office for mere minutes each day … and not even every day!
You’ve probably read famous columnists from time to time and said to yourself: “Gee, I wish I could have a productive and rewarding career like that and be famous at the same time, but I just don’t have the ability.”
Well, soon-to-be-students-of-mine, listen to this: To be a famous columnist, you don’t have to have any abilities at all. That’s right. None whatsoever. In fact, many famous columnists are people who have absolutely no abilities, no skills and are famous columnists only because there is nothing else on this planet they can do.
That’s correct, and at Vincent’s Famous Columnist School we’ll show you the tricks of the trade, known only to to insiders, that will enable you to become poised for famous columnry in just a few short lessons.
Financial aid is not yet available because, here at Vincent’s Famous Columnist School, we don’t have any money. If we did, we wouldn’t be in this business. So when you call or stop by, be sure to have some cash on your person. Bills are preferred, but rolled coin is entirely OK.
At Vincent’s Famous Columnist School, you will learn where to find the work of famous columnists like Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Lewis Grizzard, George Will and, of course, Bladen County’s own Sandra Cain (who finds creative ways to weave crumbs of food info and recipes into her work each week in the Bladen Journal).
With that information, you can sit down on your very first day and not only write, “I believe it was Lewis Grizzard who once wrote …,” but also whip together an awesome chicken and cheese enchilada.
Isn’t that incredible? Yes!
But wait! There’s more.
At Vincent’s Famous Columnist School, we’ll introduce you to the secret tricks of successful columnists. You’ll learn about Roget’s Thesaurus, which will let you write just like John Cleese talks.
For example, simply turn to the word “unintelligent” and you can write such things as, “Vice President Joe Biden has a poverty of intellect; his mind is clouded; he possesses a bovine understanding, a lack of brains, an upper floor to let, feeble mindedness, low IQ, low mental age. In other words, he is a blockish thickhead who can’t spell ‘forward.’”
See? Nothing to it.
Here’s what one of our current students had to say about Vincent’s Famous Columnist School: “Before I got on the road to being a famous columnist, I was an anonymous dolt. But now, after having a couple of items published, people I do not know walk up to me in Walmart and say such things as, ‘You ought to be poisoned!’ and ‘I fantasize about berating your skull with an elaborately wrought trivet!’ Of course, I have embellished their words some using my newly acquired and vast vocabulary. Before now, I thought my laziness and lack of imagination were handicaps, but as I continue my journey toward famous columnist status, they have turned out to be my greatest assets.”
That’s true, potential students. If you are lazy and imagination challenged, you are a perfect candidate for Vincent’s Famous Columnist School. And once you graduate, you will be invited to make major addresses at such events like middle-school career days, civic club luncheons and perhaps even banquets of such organizations as The Society to Promote Greater Tolerance of Dust.
And the very best part is, when you tell friends that you are a famous columnist and they ask, “But what do you do?”, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing the honest answer is, “Not very much!”
Interested individuals should contact me as soon after making a bank withdrawal as possible.
OK, that’s my commercial. Next week, my regular and unfortunately free class will reconvene and discuss … well, it’s a surprise. See you then.
— W. Curt Vincent is the general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. He can be reached b y calling 910-862-4163 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.