‘Hey, sorry for the late reminder, but your column is due this week.”

Oh, great. 4:30 p.m. on a Monday, at the day job, and Ken the Editor forgot to remind me I had a column due this week. Like I didn’t have enough to do! Ah, well. The show must go on. 

What to do, what to do. Hm. I already wrote about Donald Trump. I already wrote about summer. I already wrote about baseball. I’m supposed to write about Forest Park, officially, but I haven’t even been here much this month. I was in D.C. all last week, for work. That was OK. I could write about that. I got to hang out in the Old Executive Office Building after-hours, where I organized a poker game in honor of my political hero, Richard Nixon. I got to walk past the White House several times, which people claim “never gets old” but I can testify that in reality the shine wears off after you do it twice. After that it’s just another gaudy McMansion in a gated community, right down to the super-fussy homeowner’s association rules governing what color shirts the snipers on the roof can wear. So that’s out.

Mother’s Day! I could write about Mother’s Day! We went to my brother’s and had brunch. High point: I told the 5-year-old that she couldn’t have a second cookie because we didn’t have enough for both her and her two siblings. Her siblings being outside at the moment, she ran to the garage door, the front door, and the back door, locked them all in rapid succession, hustled back to me and said, “Now can I have a cookie?” Kid’s funny. 

Jesus. That’s only two hundred and eighty-seven words of a needed 600. SIX HUNDRED. How am I supposed to come up with SIX HUNDRED WORDS on NO NOTICE? Lookin’ at you here, Ken Trainor. Seriously, man, we gotta get a rhythm down on these things. I need to start worrying and procrastinating much earlier if I’m going to turn out something good.

Like from St. Patrick’s Day! Remember that column? I annoyed the DAYLIGHTS out of people with that one. I’m told I did, I mean. I don’t read your comments, Angry Forest Parkers. But I got some very gratifying reports about one or two of you getting heated up over your hangover-and-boiled-food-centric holiday, for which, thank you. Any day I can irritate internet commenters is a good day. 

Four hundred and eleven words in the can. This meta-tactic is working.

Hm. What remains? And what the hell do I do with the next few months? Recipes? Advice column? Guest artists? Ken, can we let Jill Wagner take one of these? She’d be great. Some of those old Forest Park Review headlines from the ’50s that are still good today, like “Budget Crisis Escalates” or “Ruffians Concern Citizenry” or “Children At Risk From Popular Music.”

I have one remaining idea for a column but after that I’m pretty much tapped. Plus, I can’t really execute on 16 hours’ notice.

Fine. Here’s a preview: The Brown Cow on Madison Street has a sundae called “The Trough.” Seven pounds of ice cream! I intend to assemble a strike team to take on this sundae and record the experience. I figure it’ll take seven people, five of whom will survive. I’ve only tried to take on a sundae like this once before, and it would have killed me if I hadn’t had a reliable team of Sherpas with me. Maybe in June’s paper. (What day is that column due, Ken?)