by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
June 23, 2004
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Mariners have runners at first and third with one out. The score at the top of the fifth is M's 2, Pirates 0. This news is brought to you by Bud Lite, whoever he is.
Hi, I'm Clarence Brown and this is my column Ink Soup. That is why I can make whatever feeble jokes cross my mind as I write it.
One of the jokes is this. What if a newspaper column were interrupted as frequently and as irritatingly as the broadcast of a baseball game on AM radio?
Example. Now the tall left-hander goes into his wind, and while the ball is travelling toward home plate, friends, have you ever considered renting a canoe on Lake Bottom? Well, here's the number to call: 206-123-4567. Paddling a canoe on Lake Bottom is not only good for you, but it will help send teachers of English to Iraq. And Bush swings at the ball and misses for out number three. We'll be right back.
Are you thinking what I already know, namely, that if the canoe renters did not pay for that ad, I would have to pay for the radio broadcast out of my own pocket?
Right. And does that stop me from detesting the habit of constant interruption? No.
We pause now for station identification.
Friends, Dr. I. Soup, the well-known inventor, brain surgeon, man about
town, and father-to-be, has done it again. He has found a useful
application for the normally pestiferous bacteria know as E. coli. As the
basis of a tasty new soft drink, to be made and distributed by the famous
bottler Pep, this exciting beverage, to be called Pepsecoli will soon be
on sale everywhere. Dr. Soup has even written the jingle:
Okay, here we are back in Camden Yards, the beautiful home of the Baltimore Orioles, where the rain delay is not expected to last more than two more days. The manager of the Seattle Mariners, Bob Melvin, has been ejected for suggesting that the rain is not an act of God but a plot by the Ripkin Family Trust.
Now this word from Seattle Movable Roof Company, the main reason why there is never a rain delay in Rain City. Friends, have you ever had to blot your lawn and walk to clear your property of the wet and unwelcome residue of rain? Blot no more! Seattle MRC will provide fence-to-fence coverage, guaranteed leak-proof, and you'll never have to cancel a lawn party again! Not responsible for plant mortality. Meanwhile, keep dry!
And while we wait for the tarps to be removed from the field so that fresh tarps can be laid, this word from the Religious Humor Authority of the State of Maryland: Why can Episcopalians not play chess? Because they cannot tell a bishop from a queen.
If you'd like to hear more knee slappers like this one, or possibly the meaning of this one, log onto the prime source, Beelzebub.org. Remember, folks, the road to perdition is paved with yoks.
And the winner of our journalism trivia award is Johnny Potts of Flint, Michigan, who is on the line now. The question was, "What is the silliest newspaper column ever written?" Johnny, what do you say? Ink what? Sorry, there seems to be a bad connection. More trivia soon!
Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University.