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After paging through local newspapers, skimming celebrity gossip headlines and reviewing Facebook’s trending topics list, area newspaper columnist Paul Ryan will just write another goddamn St. Patrick’s Day column, he guesses. This will be the thirty-seventh St. Patrick’s Day themed column Ryan has written since 2002. The columnist said he’s completely out of ideas and “doesn’t give a single fat crap” anymore.
“To be honest, I’m completely flaccid right now,” said Ryan, pouring a fourth shot of breakfast scotch into a novelty coffee mug with “Writing Juice” printed on the front. “I’ve been limp for days. As soon as Sunday hits and that writing deadline gets close, I get hella floppy. Happens every week. It just keeps shrinking and shrinking, smaller every second until the writing is done.”
Ryan’s inability to get his writing up will lead him to yet again write a humor column involving lazy, stereotypical St. Patrick’s Day jokes about getting wasted and vomiting into objects that are comically pleasing. Regular readers - which include only Ryan’s parents and the newspaper employees who edit his work - will sigh loudly and skim the column so they won’t hurt his feelings if he references it later.
“It’s that time of year again!” wrote Ryan, cringing at the predictability of his lazy, cliche-filled writing. “The grass is wet with dew, the sun’s rays are shining bright and warm, and your neighbor is bent over the hedges, violently vomiting the remains of last night’s Buffalo Wild Wings before crawling to his car to drive to work. He says a quiet prayer beforehand, hoping he won’t run over anyone important enough to sue him.”
Ryan fills most of his columns with references to getting drunk or stoned in hopes that the few college and high school students immature enough to enjoy his writing won’t realize he’s 36 years old and hasn’t been cool since the first Gulf War. The horrid column he started is quickly discarded for not having enough jokes about poop.
Most Sunday mornings, Ryan will wake up at 8am, spend 15 minutes attempting to come up with a column topic, and then give up and watch TV for six hours. During this period, Ryan may accidentally produce minor levels of creativity, writing down ideas like “Maybe the Minnesota Twins sign a waterskiing squirrel to a 12 year, $276 million contract” or “Maybe millennials who live with their parents have early-onset dementia.”
After failing to produce more than one paragraph of useable comedy from said ideas, Ryan will again give in to the siren song of four leaf clover themed humor. He will write four entire sentences of total schlock before becoming distracted by a woman outside his apartment selling tamales from a shopping cart.
“The Lucky Charms leprechaun turned on the shower and removed his tattered green suit,” wrote Ryan, using another company’s intellectual property to lazily stir nostalgia in his readers. “Hot water ran down Lucky’s back, causing him to flinch slightly as it reached a bite mark on his bruised, bloodied shoulder blade. The children nearly got him today. But soon the children would all be dead. Oh shit, tamales lady! Street tamales for $1! Gotta get downstairs while she’s still there!”
Lazy, stoned and generally lacking in charisma anyway, Ryan will waste the rest of his Sunday afternoon researching Violet Crawley of Downton Abbey for one joke, getting distracted looking up photos of the actress online, and then masturbating to them for three to six hours. It won’t be until 11:15pm that a panic attack will finally push the writer to finish his tiresome, predictable holiday column.
“Lucky lifted the whiskey bottle to his chapped lips, drowning himself in it as he tried to forget arranging the dead children into piles,” wrote Ryan, stopping briefly to check his previous 4,753 St. Patrick’s Day columns to make sure he hadn’t already written this exact comedy bit. “He had arranged them into the shapes that had haunted him for so long: Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers and purple horseshoes. The drunk micks of the DPD would take nearly seven days to find them, but they would never catch Lucky. No one but the children could see him. No one at all. Lucky angrily smashed the bottle against the shower wall and scraped the jagged shards along his chest until he climaxed.”
Around 3am Monday morning, satisfied that his column was disgusting enough to cause elderly pensioners and mentally unstable religious people to send hateful letters to the editor, Ryan will email the column to the newspaper without proofreading it. He will then spend the next six days mentally shaming himself while poorly masking his self contempt to others, as every Minnesotan writer has done since the dawn of time.
But first, he takes a few moments to unwind.
“There isn’t a single joke left about any major holiday that I haven’t reworded and republished at least 47 times,” said Ryan, painstakingly cleaning the barrel of a shotgun he bought a week ago. “I really love writing them, though. It’s a lot of fun finding an eighteenth way to subtly imply that all Irish people are drunks. I’m having a really great time, and I hope I can continue writing these holiday columns forever.”