Call me Dogwood. Perhaps you’ve seen me around the campus: I’m five-three, 180 pounds; I wear a tan trench coat, Blu-Blockers, and flannel M.C. Hammer pants, in which I sleep sometimes. It seems there has been a mistake regarding my identity. Flipping through the pages of last week’s (mediocre) Lawrentian, I discovered that a very gross error has been made. An interesting column entitled “The Art of the Ruckus” was printed on page four, my column.
A Mr. Josh Harmon has been mistakenly credited with a product of my own distinctive genius and, what is more, they’ve paid him for it.
I brought this inexcusable ugliness to the Lawrentian headquarters, where a cheerful young lady replied that they would be happy to run a correction in this week’s edition. She said she was sorry, but that everyone makes mistakes.
It was then that I informed her–in rather pointed and colorful language–that her “remedy” was unacceptable. I demanded to know what right they had to plagiarize my teachings, to step on my head while some twerpish young dandy pranced off with my plum. I was on a roll.
“You newsroom stooges really dropped the ball,” I said.
I guess I never meant for it to get personal. When two copy editors and a photographer finally calmed the girl down, she seemed to see things my way. “I’ll see,” she sniffled, “I’ll see what I can do.”
The details of my redress are still being negotiated, but, as a gesture of peace, they offered to let me run another column this week. I have chosen to look at the five items that make this affair particularly painful and embarrassing for me.
Item 1) The Money
Some people write because it gives them pleasure; others because they have a need to make their voices heard. Still others write because they feel, in their altruistic hearts, the desire to bring pleasure to others. Not Dogwood. He writes for one reason and one reason only: to keep his monkey fed.
Item 2) The Monkey
Sobriety’s a bitch. Anyone with any experience en ruckus knows that a ride on The Wagon is both uncomfortable and slow. A little fuel is almost always necessary to accelerate oneself into a fuller, more complete life. Plants need sunlight, cars need gasoline, kittens need milk. Dogwood needs a hit.
Item 3) Fringe Benefits
I would like to take this opportunity to inform my public that Christian S. Dogwood is neither married nor committed, and maintains a healthy curiosity for the exotic. See below for contact info.
Item 4) Harmon is a Boozer and a Slut
To see the credit for my efforts go to another is an insult; to see that credit go to Harmon is an abomination. Harmon is a coward as well as an imposter, often too blind with drink to regard the laws of social propriety.
If you turned your back, he would likely as not stumble home with your sister or your wife. He has, on more than one occasion, had the indecency to carouse with a large, crass man with no known past, who crashes student functions, destroys the furniture, and steals other people’s liquors and cheese.
(“Pay for cheese in this state?” one witness reportedly heard the man roar, “Never!”)
Harmon’s company is an extension of his character. If there has ever been anyone who deserves to be crammed into a cannon, which is crammed into a larger cannon and then blasted square into the wall of a cinderblock plant, it is him.
There is more creative energy in my vomit than this feeble drunk will ever have. It’s 4 a.m., Josh: time to wake out of your dream world.
Item 5) The Money
Really, they sent that kid a check.
* * *
Though I have shown the nature of this embarrassment to be quite grave, redemption by Dogwood can be relatively simple. The staff of The Lawrentian needs merely fulfill two simple conditions. They are as follows:
1. Reward the author with a sum of no less than $50 per week for his humble efforts.
2. Run a lavish apology on the front page of the next edition, set in ornate, Old English type, and composed entirely in the style of Beowulf.
If the public wishes to see more of Christian S. Dogwood in print, write to the staff of this paper at Lawrentian@lawrence.edu and demand that they concede to these modest requests.