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Inside View Askew
1.3.2002 by Zebulon

You know, a lot of work goes into a “View Askew” column. They don’t just magically appear on the Tangmonkey site for you to ignore. No, before you get to not read my column, a lot of painstaking planning and research are invested, as well as the occasional episode of fisticuffs.

Each column usually sees its genesis after the third or fourth angry phone call from J.P. “Just put up something, Anything!" he shrieks. “The only new content this month was Ash whining about how no sane woman will touch him! You’re our only chance for anything intelligent!”

Okay, so I made up that last sentence. Expecting intelligence from me is like expecting nutrition from McDonald’s or intelligence from Ash.

Anyway, after several not-so-subtle threats about my job security, JP hangs up, presumably to lock himself into his bathroom for a good cry, and I get to work brainstorming.

A typical brainstorming session starts with an intense Playstation 2 game session, followed my frowning at an empty “Microsoft Word” document and trying to stick pencils in the ceiling. This is harder than it looks. My ceiling is Sheetrock. Sometimes I have to use a hammer.

Finally a column idea will strike me, usually the same time I manage to miss a pencil and drop the hammer onto my face. I’ll slam out a rough draft and, after I come to, get to work editing it. A typical rough draft looks like this:

“hammer owie. Fry to the moon toothpaste; lord on the oboonga. Kreedah. Bundalo.”

A hammer blow to the face will do that to you. I start fleshing out the topic, trying out several ideas (“Fry to the moon toothpaste: Ash is a loser”?) before settling on one I think is strong enough to support a column (“Is toothpaste addictive? Beats me, but Ash is a geek. Ha ha ha booger.”) I’ll usually spend the rest of the day drinking.

The next morning, I wake up under the kitchen table with a savage hangover. I’ll stumble to my PC and post whatever I’d written while drunk, the pass out on my bed. Then, I just wait for the deluge of email with praise for another great column (Dear Bonehead, I find it more entertaining to stare at a wet napkin than to read your column. Sincerely, Ash).

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