Phyllis helps Bob shake writer's block By Bob Karolevitz Phyllis came into my boar's nest (which she calls my office) and found me sitting there with my head in my hands.
"I just don't have anything to write about," I complained through my tears. "After 947 consecutive weeks of columns, I've run out of subject matter.
"I used to say to you � in fun, of course � go out and do something dumb so I'd have grist for my journalistic mill. Now that doesn't even work anymore."
Like the good wife that she is, she promptly offered soothing solace to her dejected spouse. Then she added:
"Oh, there are lots of things you haven't written about. What about ouija boards, hiccoughs, Russian thistles, bald heads, lady bugs, bag balm, bath tubs, bundling and those aprons your mother used to wear?
"I can think of loads of topics you haven't covered. I remember that you were always going to do something on those Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco signs which appeared on barns everywhere � but you never did.
"And you started a piece on the origins of Uff Da which you never finished. You did the same thing on a column about drive-in theaters, too.
"I've never seen you at a loss for words. Snap out of that funk you're in! There's material out there to keep you going for weeks if you'll just quit moping and get back to your old Smith-Corona."
She got me thinking, of course. I was just feeling sorry for myself when I should have been happily gung-ho. It was as if I'd given up jolliness for Lent.
Lent alone should have opened up a Pandora's Box of ideas for me. For instance, I could write about how we kids gave up candy for 40 days and then gorged ourselves when Easter came.
Or, changing the subject, I could tell about high-centering the Explorer in a snow drift and shoveling three tons of white stuff trying to dig myself out. Actually that episode wasn't the least bit funny at the time, although Phyllis got a good laugh out of it.
Maybe I could get some column mileage out of my income tax preparation, the muddy Ides of March, cat hair balls on the dining room rug or how I've reached the Age of Geritol.
Yes, my wife's scolding has opened my eyes to the wealth of material that still lies before me. Instead of bemoaning a dirth, I should be reveling in the plethora of plenty.
She has awakened me to myriad possibilities in my vineyard of words. There is no reason why I should be sitting with head in hands, carrying on about the lack of ideas.
Next week when she comes into the boar's nest, I will be my jolly old self again, writing up a storm on one of the dozens of topics which, all of a sudden, have given me a new lease on my editorial life.
Meanwhile, I just finished column No. 948 without even knowing it. Gee, this is easier than I thought it was.
© 2001 Robert F. Karolevitz