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The handyman special or how to write this column

Country Musings by Robert Loy, September 2001

I'm on vacation, so you're going to have to write your own column this month.

But don't worry; I'm going to show you how. I've gone back and reread every Country Musings column since its debut in the November/December 1995 CST. (A date that will live in infamy.)

One thing struck me as I reread these columns.

They must have nothing, but illiterate knuckleheads on the Pulitzer Prize Committee. How else can you explain their repeated snubbing of this deathless prose?

I've also learned that there are basically four types of columns. There's the informative column to let readers know of something of interest. There's the angry column, wherein you raise the roof about something that gets your goat - something like, say, mixed metaphors. (If you have a hard time working up a good mad-on, just reflect on how much money Neal McCoy has.)

Then there's the fun column. Your goal here is simply to make your readers smile. When you're in a good mood these practically write themselves. If you're not in a good mood you can't write one. The mondegreens (or misheard lyrics) would qualify here. At www.kissthisguy.com they have tons of mondegreens and the often hilarious story behind how people learned the true lyrics. One listener thought the line in the Kentucky Headhunters' "Dumas Walker" was "Let's all go down and do Miss Walker. The person also gets to say whether they like the real lyric or the mondegreen better. Since mondegreens tend to be racy if not downright perverted, they usually win.

One more: (This things do tend to be addictive) Clint Black's "No Time to Kill" contains the line "Or a bell to mark each one to pass we'd see just how they fly." But one listener thought Black said "If we had Imelda Marcos' underpants we'd see just how they'd fly." You guessed it, he likes his version better.

The last kinda column is the one y'all never see. The ones that break my heart. These are the ones that start off great but go nowhere.

Here's one that I thought was going to be great, but it was stillborn. Your first assignment as a columnist will be to see if you can do anything with it.

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM COUNTRY MUSIC

The Geography Edition
1. Despite what you've been told, there are only 49 states. ("There is no Arizona")
2. Wyoming is a coastal state ("Beaches of Cheyenne")
3.
4.