By Karl Terry
Local columnist 

Careful or you'll end up in my novel - or my column

 

August 2, 2020



Life isn’t just one big bowl of cherries for a small-town newspaper columnist. Some weeks it just doesn’t pay to hand in your copy. This week could be one of those weeks.

Someone once told me to write about what you know and it’ll be easy. Writing about what we know leaves some of us at a distinct disadvantage because I know so little. The little I do know always seems debatable somehow.

When good topics are fleeting, the temptation is to write about something I should know all there is to know about — my family. The only one in my family who hasn’t disputed the facts of one of my columns is my youngest dog. I think it’s because she doesn’t understand all the fancy words I use and so doesn’t regularly read me.

My family accuses me of embellishing my stories. Strangely enough they only seem to remember things differently if the story either portrays them in a bad light or it portrays me basking in a heavenly glow.

My family regularly threatens me if I even act like I’m going to put them in my column. Then they’re just as often disappointed when they check the paper and they’re not in there.

My younger brother and sister grill me relentlessly if I reminisce about all the hard work I accomplished back on the farm. It’s simply that they don’t remember growing up on the farm because they were younger. They have no idea how hard I worked as a 10-year-old down on the farm. Picking cotton into a 100-pound sack and loading a trailer of hay by myself was hard work for a kid that only weighed 75 pounds himself.


My wife and my mother, because they frequently make my column, have become faithful readers. Neither of them wants to arrive at church on Sunday without having read my morning missive. My wife reads it out of my email box after I send it into the paper and my mother gets up early enough to read my column in print, even if she doesn’t have time to read anything else.

Just because I’ve disclosed wardrobe malfunctions in church and hollering abilities at Little League games is no reason that the two most important women in my life should distrust me so or tell me I like to embellish.

A few years back my wife bought me a t-shirt that reads, “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.” That shirt says it all for me. As the lock-down continues and my spare time grows, the temptation to start that novel grows too.

If you’re plagued with diarrhea of the mouth around me you could become several chapters of my novel or even a main character. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the storyteller and I swear every word you read is true.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]

 
 

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