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Nobody Asked Me, But . . .

By August 5, 2013 5 Comments

It’s ancient history now, but once upon a time there used to be these things called “newspapers,” and big cities not only had one but several.  The bigger the city, the more newspapers; which meant that New York City had the most.  The sports pages of the long defunct New York Journal-American were graced by an ink-stained virtuoso named Jimmy Cannon.  (He was a friend of Ernest Hemingway and admired by Ian Fleming, but if remembered at all today, it is for this line: “Joe Louis is a credit to his race.  The human race.”) When Jimmy ran out of sports or simply grew bored, he would write a column that began “Nobody asked me, but . . . “ and go from there.  Here’s a typical example: “Nobody asked me, but . . . I can’t remember ever staying for the end of movie where the actors wore togas.”

In homage to Jimmy Cannon, nobody asked me, but . . .

I can’t fathom why people answering in the affirmative on text messages simply write “K,” as if tapping out “O” takes too much time or effort.

I am sort of creeped out by Richard Mouw’s single eyeball looking at me when I open this blog this month. Reminds me of the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg in The Great Gatsby.  Anyway, I was there many summers ago when Dr. Mouw taught at the Young Life Institute, and with love and affection we called him “Papa Ooh-Mouw-Mouw.”

Although skirmishes still break out, has anyone noticed the worship wars are over?  There was no clear winner and all sides suffered heavy casualties. What was the point?

I get a kick out of knowing that the President of Calvin Seminary is named Jul and the woman who practically runs the Reformed Church is named Juel.  Again, the CRC and RCA are close but not quite in sync.

In case you thought I ran out of great baseball names, there is a relief pitcher in Philadelphia named Antonio Bastardo.  I imagine frustrated batters, skulking back to the dugout, hissing through their teeth, “That Bastardo struck me out.”  Bastardo reminds me of the story of the man who had offended a minister and received a note on church letterhead which said, “Should your parents decide to marry, I am available to conduct the service.”  Ouch!

Somebody on The Twelve needs to stand up and clap for frequent guest bloggers Jeff and Lynn Japinga over the success of their son Mark on Jeopardy! recently.  Well done.

I am as apt to sing “Creator of the Rolling Stones” as I am to sing “rolling spheres” during Crown Him With Many Crowns.

I would also like to confess that every time I sing Our God, Our Help in Ages Past and get to the line, “They fly, forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day,” I think of the Chicago Cubs.

I encourage all parents not to recommend their sons become masseuses.  I’ve been doing an informal survey for about a year, and over 90% of all women I ask prefer a woman masseuse because they don’t want a strange man touching them and over 90% of all men I ask also prefer a woman because they don’t want a strange man touching them.

Sometimes I wish I was John Hesselink.  He showed me a letter he’d recently received from Marilynne Robinson last Sunday.  I wish Pulitzer Prize winning novelists wrote to me.  In the letter, she said she’d just been at the White House to receive an award and the President told her, “I love your books.”  This made me think of another author who was invited to the White House by Bill Clinton.  Upon meeting the author, President Clinton said, “Hillary loves your books.”  I kid you not.

What might happen if all the churches in the country agreed to put .5% of their 2014 budget into a fund used to finance schools, police and firefighters in the city of Detroit? 

That’s all I’ve got.   Think a good thought sometime today about the bygone era of the New York Journal-American, and the decades when newspaper publishers believed the way to differentiate themselves was through highly literate, intelligent and witty writing.  I’m not trying to be a sour grapes-everything-used-to-be-better old guy, I’m just making an observation about how the world has changed.  Forgive me for making it – nobody asked me, but I thought I’d point it out. 



Jeff Munroe

Jeff Munroe is the editor of the Reformed Journal. 


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