By Alan Williamson
And then there were none. Columns, that is. The one you’re reading will be my last, at least for the foreseeable future. I’ve been writing one every month for over a decade now and it’s time to stop, declare victory, and move on to other things.
While the decision to cease and desist feels right on many levels, I have to admit, I’ll miss this humor column gig. As an advertising copywriter for many years, I had hoped to find a socially acceptable outlet for the comic musings that occupied a large, messy corner of my brain. In 2003, Lighthouse Point Magazine founder Jon Frangipane asked me to write a monthly column and I was off and running. A few years later, Around Wellington’s Krista Martinelli gave me the chance to expand my audience. I’ll always be grateful to both of them for those opportunities, and I’m glad to call them friends.
From the beginning, my vision for the column was simple: To give voice to the human dilemmas of everyday life in all its live-and-learn, give-and-take, yin-and-yang splendor. Seeing that there was no shortage of political and current-events-oriented humor, I decided to shun the complex issues and thorny global conundrums of the day.
Backed by reliable input from leading social scientists, psychotherapists, and the guy who trims my mango tree, I launched my “As I Was Saying” column as a chronicle of the intensely personal quirks, snags and convoluted capers that are grounded in our real-life experiences. With a focus on mining humor out of the everyday flaws and follies that unite us all in our humanity, I set out to offer readers soothing relief from the 24-hour news cycle and its often cynical commentaries. Through the years, my reports and reflections on life’s little comedies covered many under-the-radar topics, including:
- Surviving as a non-dancer thrust into active dance floor duty
- Battling ants that view your home as a giant picnic basket worth dying for
- Coping with physical pain so numbing it makes you forget who played Bob Newhart on the Bob Newhart show
- The dangers of converting male names into female names (Sorry Henrietta and Edwina. You deserved better.)
- Hunting for high-voltage Las Vegas-style thrills on a BeaverFalls budget
- The life-changing power of the Barbecue Meatloaf and Bavarian Cream Puff Diet
- Learning to walk for health and fitness without becoming a hood ornament
- Overcoming a dependency on ear plugs after you’ve tasted the addictive power of squelching all sound within a 30-yard radius
Looking back, I like to think that my audience came from all walks of life and from every niche in the social and cultural spectrum. Younger and older, male and female, they were drawn by one common denominator: A Need to laugh at themselves and their fellow man (namely me) in ways that were energizing and without malice. My column was shamelessly observational. No message. No politics. Just a quick hit of warped wisdom and off you go.
And so, off I go, too. But not before thanking all of you who read and enjoyed some of my work through the years. It’s been my true pleasure and privilege to write for you. If you felt compelled to laugh or smile here and there, I’m happy to take credit.
I’d also like to thank my family and friends whose accidentally amusing words and ways were not so accidentally replicated in my stories. You were good sports, even when my appetite for exaggeration turned you into semi-cartoonish characters.
Lastly and mostly, I’d like to thank my beautiful wife Sherry for her love and support, and for being such an avid audience of one as I tested and honed each and every column. She was the voice of reason in so many stories, playing the role of my unflappable co-pilot in one misadventure or another. Definitely a case of art imitating life.
After all the writing and all the living, I’ve learned one thing on this journey, dear readers, that I’d like to leave you with.
Love and laughter are the two most positive forces in the universe. If you make them a part of your life, you will find a way to make the world a better place.
Here’s wishing you good times and funny stories.
Until we meet again,
Alan Williamson is an award-winning writer with 27 years in the field of true fiction (advertising). A practical man who knows that writing for a living is risky going, he has taken steps to pursue a second, more stable career as a leggy super model. Alan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 Alan Williamson.