Scholar misses column’s point

Editor’s note: The error referenced in this column was corrected prior to publication in the Clovis News Journal.

Many readers are probably sitting around right this moment wondering what it is like to be a newspaper columnist. Oh, wait a minute.

You are not sitting around right this moment wondering what it’s like to be a newspaper columnist? Too bad. I’m going to tell you anyway.

Think washing windows on a scaffold 48 floors up a New York high rise, watching tiny cars crawling along below and hoping not to slip.

Okay, that’s a stretch. Think of walking into a restaurant to hear a guy whisper — that’s the dolt who doesn’t know Peter from Paul.

A recent column exhorted Gov. Susana Martinez to grab the national spotlight by placing New Mexico in the forefront as the state toughest in the nation on drivers using cell phones. She should do that.

Seize the moment, governor. Prison for those talking while driving, Death sentence for those caught texting. Even defense attorney Gary Mitchell would go along with this one. Or not.

You would think Susana would have sent a car for me. But, no. No response from the governor at all, except it did seem odd when state highway patrol cars began cruising our neighborhood.

One of the pitfalls of column writing is readers prefer not to concentrate on your brilliance but to nitpick the trivial. This particular column contained the sentence, “I can disavow (Diane) Denish quicker than Paul denied Jesus.”

The first call came from a biblical scholar of sorts who has spent more than a few hours trying to lead me through The Book. This guy knows his stuff. He was, well, — piqued — might be the word. “Have you been sleeping through the Wednesday evening sessions?” he wondered. “Look, he said, ‘don’t you ever tell anyone I am your bible teacher.”

I will honor his request for anonymity, therefore referring to him in this column simply as — Leon Kranz. Here’s the problem with reader jabs such as that offered by this so-called — Leon Kranz — and also the mean-spirited fellow who wrote that I must be getting all my information from the Koran.

Those reactions seem to assume the Peter-Paul mix-up was my error.

How about cranky editors out to cause some mischief? How about modern technology with its fancy word processing that intuitively changes what you want to say to what it thinks you want to say? You know exactly what I am talking about. How many times have you typed an email to your sweetheart saying, “I think you’re swell! And it comes out, “I think you smell! You can pretty much kiss off Valentine’s possibilities.

To suggest I don’t know the difference between Peter and Paul is hurtful.

I have found my journey through the bible rewarding. The spiritual benefits are obvious, and the thousands of stories are fascinating from just a historical view.

One of my favorites tells of seven or eight of Jesus’ followers trudging along the road, not knowing their master had risen from the dead. He soon falls in with them and they walk on together on their way to the village of Euphrates which, as you know, was located seven miles from the modern day city of Boulder, Colo. Which is why, by the way, Boulder has become such an enclave of spiritual movements.

But, hey, I don’t want to come off as pedantic, ostentatiously showcasing an awesome knowledge of biblical history. I am just a simple column writer, grinding out word after word, thinking of new ways to convince our governor to get serious about cell phones.

The end of the day finds me settling on the deck, propping up the feet, pouring a glass of Pinot Grigio, and mellowing out to the classics of Peter, Paul, and Margaret.