MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - PA­TER­NITY WARD

Col­umn writ­ing is sort of like that prover­bial box of choco­lates For­rest Gump’s momma told him about — you never know what re­ac­tion you’re gonna get.

Last week, for in­stance, I wrote about my grand­chil­dren. At last count, I have nine of them, every one of whom is the most in­tel­li­gent and beau­ti­ful kid who ever lived. More im­por­tantly, they pro­vide lots of col­umn ma­te­rial.

So I wrote a piece warn­ing that grand­par­ent­hood was “an end­less round of be­ing hit up fundrais­ers, band camps, pee­wee sports teams and class trips.” (If you missed that col­umn, it’s prob­a­bly on­line some­where, but I have ab­so­lutely no ad­vice on how to find it.) The col­umn was, of course, highly ex­ag­ger­ated, in keep­ing with my late friend Erma Bombeck’s coun­sel to “start with the truth and take it a step be­yond.”

The im­me­di­ate reader re­ac­tion was great. And, with all the mod­esty for which I am uni­ver­sally re­spected and ad­mired, I quote:

• “Boy, can I ever re­late to your col­umn to­day! From the 700 laps to the fundrais­ers to Peru! Re­ally funny. I laughed all the way to the end. Thanks for start­ing my day off on a happy note!”

• “My hus­band and I got a big laugh from your ar­ti­cle this morn­ing. We, too, are vic­tims of the ‘grand­kids’ scams.’ Thanks again for start­ing our day with a laugh!” by Joe Martin

• “We’re smil­ing from ear to ear read­ing your Grand­kids scam col­umn … too funny and oh so true. Thanks for the laugh.”

Then came this email from a reader in Hawai‘i:

read­ing the ref­er­enced ar­ti­cle in this week’s Mid­Week. What a dumb loser you are. Only a com­plete id­iot would be­have in such a way as you. Wake up. Life is short. Chil­dren are God’s great­est gift. Em­brace your grand­kids. … on the other hand your grand­kids are bet­ter off with­out you. Fool.”

That one didn’t sur­prise me, though. I’ve been do­ing this writ­ing thing for more

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