LC Van Savage
’Tis, as we all know, the season for being thankful, so Mongo and I, just like you, are thinking about all the things for which we’re grateful, and in our lives they’re pretty incalculable. Well, OK, we’re not actually doing that, although if the subject comes up, we’ll go for it.
In fact and in spite of really loud, rude groans, I force everyone drooling around the Thanksgiving table to state the things for which they’re most thankful before they dive into the food like snarling wolves. Most of the answers from our disrespectful progeny are fairly unprintable, all pretty funny, very loving and all of them, to a man as usual fix me with their well-rehearsed Death Ray until I release them to the groaning board.
But one thing I’m really most thankful for is the people who actually read this column and who send me or suggest “great ideas” for future columns. If any of you is reading this, thank you again. Any one of you planning on speaking to me in a public place with some great ideas, go for it! I fear no one. I carry Mace.
Sometimes the ideas are great, sometimes a little scary, and often, my apologies, they’re just idiotic. I was once asked by a teacher to come and give my ideas on column writing to her class once a week for a year and then write a column about it which would include a contribution from each of her 37 students. Daunting. She emailed me with this proposal and I asked her if I didn’t have to have some kind of certificate or something to go in and “teach” her class. Hey, if I had 37 kids to teach I might be looking for someone to come in too, once a week. But for a year? Yikes. I said no and I thanked her.
I was once asked by a happy woman who appeared to be in her 11th month of pregnancy if I’d like to watch her at-home birth with doula and midwife and write about that. Nope. Double nope. Heck, I wasn’t even keen on being there for our own sons’ births.
How would I like to put in a big backpack and hike Mt. Washington and then write about it? I would not, thank you very much. Isn’t that the mountain on all the bumper stickers that brag about having driven up there? If driving up that mountain is so laborious one has to boast about it with a bumper sticker, then I’m inclined to think LC hiking would be a major oxymoron. Can’t happen. Hiking? Ummm—no.
Would I be interested in going to a bar and getting wasted and then writing about the experience? OK, the inviter wasn’t too hard to look at, but, oh I don’t know, marriage to Mongo for 5 decades means never having to say you’re sorry. And since I don’t drink I think getting boozed up in a local pub would result in some marathon sidewalk hurling and I’d be really sorry about doing that as would the innocent passers-by.
”Hey LC!” this man said as I was leaving a hotel lobby, and I forget why I was in a hotel lobby. “I have got a great idear for your article.” (Now you should know that I get very pissy when anyone calls my column an article, but I’m too much of a lady to have made a scene.) “And that would be?” I said rather icily. I enjoy being rather icily when I can pull it off, which in general is never. But I shouldn’t have iced up on him. I mean after all, how could that well-meaning stranger know that the word “article” annoys me? “Well,” says he, “I ignored a restraining order and have to go to court tomorrow and will probably go to jail right after, so why don’t you come up in a few days and do a kinda day in the life article about a guy in prison? Me.” Well, I’m not sure,” I said. “I’ve never met you, so maybe that won’t be such a good idear. Idea. But what exactly was the restraining order for?” He told me. I listened. I blanched. I told him that in the main I pretty much agreed with that restraining order and walked rapidly away. Really, really rapidly, and as anyone who knows me knows, I do nothing with much rapidity.
I’ve been asked if I’d be interested in writing about the life of garden snails, of making beer at home, the sex life of deer ticks, the search for topless beaches in Maine, home brewed anti-wrinkle cream, how to make granola, and once someone asked me if I’d be interested in writing about her torrid affair with Pablo Picasso. I was really very interested until after a bit of basic math I realized she was born a year after he’d died, so an affair with the great artist would have been no easy trick. But wow, that would have been a coup of some sort, right?? I sigh. After that, someone wanted me to review some at-home movies and write about them, then someone’s at-home music CDs, someone’s grandchild’s book of poetry on gnomes, would I please write about someone’s favorite candidate, grandmother, pet, charity, illness, religion, etc. etc. No, no, no, no, no and no. Thank you for thinking of me. Nice of you. No.
I don’t mean to be flip about this because I’m truly thankful in this season and in fact all year to all of you for your remarkable suggestions. You do keep the home fires burning for me, reading this column and making suggestions. If this were not a family paper I’d tell you a whole lot more story proposals that were, let us say, a tiny bit on the blue side, but it is, so I won’t. I assure you that no one’s ever been obscene, depending on one’s definition of obscene, but, well, never mind.
So on Thanksgiving Day I embarrassed and annoyed everyone by forbidding them to take a single bite of anything until they’d said, out loud, reasons for which they were thankful. Now these confessions don’t have to make everyone all misty, but they have to be a couple of cuts above -– well, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.
So folks, keep those cards and letters coming, emails too. I love your ideas and hope you’ll never be hurt or offended if I don’t or can’t use them. I give you my thanks anyway. Lots of them.
Email LC at firstname.lastname@example.org
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