Bender: A holiday column from a malcontent

"My corporate overlords are demanding a column six days before publication! Because of Christmas. Six days! Ridonkulous! Anything could happen in six days! ... I can't work under these conditions!"

Tony Bender
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“We'd love you to write a column for us,” they said (on bended knee) when all this began. That's how they hook you — with flattery. Then, like a perch on Mike McFeely 's line, they reel you in. Next, they told me, “It must be 'exclusive' (check), 'brilliant' (check), and 'timely' (uh, not so fast).”

Not this week, anyway.

See, my usual deadline is already a full three days before publication, and that's tough enough. A lot can happen in three days. Jesus could rise from the dead or a goal could be scored in the World Cup.

I'm usually a good prognosticator, so most of the time my column appears to be “timely,” but I'm not infallible, which is why Cara Mund purchased curtains for her congressional office on Nov. 9.

Because she read the opinion page first.


However, this week, my corporate overlords are pushing it. They're demanding a column six days before publication! Because of Christmas. Six days! Ridonkulous! Anything could happen in six days! Our Heavenly Father Above Hallowed Be Thy Name created the heavens and the earth in six days! Heck, France scored a goal in the World Cup in six days!

This place has become a coal mine, and for what? The holidays? Boo Hamburg. Or something. This is exactly why the United Union of Columnists, Wordsmiths & Punctuators wages our annual War on Christmas. (Fox News was right about that.) So eat my shorts, Mel Torme, and you, too, Tiny Tim. And another thing, happy holidays! Wait. Did I just put the “holy” in “holidays?”

The point is, I can't work under these conditions! Well, technically, I can and will, because I get paid $100 a word, which means I'll pay more in taxes on this column than Donald J. Trump did the past six years. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

At this point, you're probably wondering, does every columnist have the same lucrative deal? No. Rob Port gets paid by the syllable which is why you see the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in many of his columns. Such as, “Liberals are not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but they think they're supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but trust me, they're not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” That one sentence put him in another tax bracket.

McFeely gets a bonus with each spiteful letter to the editor, but we've become suspicious because much of the hate mail begins by describing him as devastatingly handsome, well-informed, and a good dancer, before moving on to call him an America-hating, liberal, commie, leftist in the second paragraph. All I know is Mike has a yacht, the S.S. Bernie Sanders, on Little Cormorant Lake that's so massive, it's just two feet shy of being classified an island by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

That brings us to Scott Hennen , who was too cheap to pay Super Agent Scott Boras a commission like the rest of us, so he's stuck with a contract that penalizes him $100 for each misspelled word. “Their killing me,” he complained. I'm not saying there's any truth to the rumor that his Tesla's been repossessed, but I'm not saying otherwise, either. The good news is, if he hits .300 and steals 30 bases, he'll just about break even.

Until next week, as Scott likes to say, “Peas on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
Opinion by Tony Bender
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column from North Dakota for Forum News Service.
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