Couldn’t stay quiet for too long

Hello again. It’s me, back after a two-year hiatus. What can I say except I miss the fun we had together, your often kind and humorous responses to the columns, your cute little way of calling me a weak-kneed liberal puke.

Two suggestions if these every other week musings irritate you. Complain to your editor. Or blame T.S. Last. Mr. Last is general manager of the El Defensor Chieftain in Socorro.

Pondering the decision to resume a writing deadline schedule, I canvassed state editors looking for a spark of interest, a resounding note of “you-go-guy” encouragement. Although 13 New Mexico newspapers will publish the column, the enthusiasm of their editors can best be described as muted.

T.S. Last was more to the point. T.S. Last knows how to boost the ego of a struggling writer. “Ned,” he wrote. “I thought you were dead. Since you’re still alive and kicking, we might as well use you. Count us in.” How sweet is that? T.S. had a short stint writing sentimental greeting cards for Hallmark, but it didn’t work out well for him.

Many people have asked me why the decision to write again. (Actually, no one has asked that, but I thought it a clever segue.) Because…

Because there are 171,476 words in the Oxford English Dictionary and I have used only about 800 of them on a repetitive basis. A man should use his allotment of words, and I intend to use mine. Cool words, like “bucolic.” I one day will use “bucolic” in a meaningful context.

Make no mistake. I won’t go all George Will on you. Mr. Will recently wrote a column suggesting Wilsonian progressives may be tautological in nature and I’m like, whoa, should you be talking about that stuff in a family newspaper? I swear, George is so top-heavy with all those brains stuffed into his pointy little head he is liable to tip over.

Because Ilana Gold, a diminutive KOAT-TV reporter, had an argument with her cage fighter ex-boyfriend, pulled the drawstring from his sweat suit, refused to give him back his garage door opener, and was arrested for battery on a household member and larceny. I’m not kidding. Someone has to say “are you serious!”

Because, despite years of kissing up to Bill Richardson, I am one of just 16 known New Mexico journalists who was not hired to polish his administration’s image. Now that Chubby Cheeks has exited Stage Left and Susana Martinez is in the spotlight Stage Right, it’s time to cozy up to the new governor to see if I can land myself a cushy PR job. I will not be making fun of Susana as I did Bill. First, she is a lady, and, second, I suspect she could whip me in an arm-wrestling contest.

Because that last item might have been sexist. And I need to inform readers about recent irritating telephone calls from my friend Barney in New Jersey. Barney has been on my case for two months. Barney browsed the Internet to discover your humble columnist is SECOND among the most sexist political pundits in the nation — in the NATION, for heaven’s sake — for characterizing the ugly Martinez-Diane Denish campaign as a mud-wrestling contest. The slur was bestowed by the Women’s Media Center. You’ll be reading about that in weeks to come. Oh, boy, will you.

Because I am sick and tired of all the negative, negative, negative in newspapers and television. Intent here is to celebrate positive thinkers. Positive thinkers such as Hugh Hefner, lavishly rich founder of the Playboy empire. Hugh is 84 and he very recently asked a 23 year old to marry him. Wow! Talk about positive thinking! Talk about seeing his glass as half full. Hugh said the young lady cried when he proposed. Don’t you just know it.

Because every couple of weeks I want to end with this thought: Have a nice day.