The problem with being the most influential newspaperman of my generation is that I have to be very choosy about my column topics. Sure, I could write about abortion, politics or the conflict in the Middle East and finally settle those “intractable” debates. For a man with a bulbous gourd of a head like mine, that’s not a problem.

But once you go down that road, poof!

Columnists from all across the Yale community would get put out of work because they have nothing left to write about. The Columnists’ Union at Yale would not be pleased. (I probably wouldn’t even get an invitation to the annual “Pontificate until you pass out” Ball.) Plus, I would look like a show-off. “That damn Zimmer and his clear-cut solutions,” they’d say bitterly. “I wish we could make him eat his own brilliantly crafted words.”

But I know I have a duty as the most influential newspaperman of my generation to work for the common interest. Believe you me, you don’t stay the most influential newspaperman of your generation for long if people think you’re rubbing that august title — plus, in my case, a robust backside — in their face.

So that’s why I’ve decided to write this week on another age-old debate inexplicably absent from the recent pages of the Yale Daily News. I have entitled it, “Placentas: Should you really eat them?” First I will start out with a little bit of background. A placenta, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, is a big ball of disgusting crap that comes out of the mommy after a baby is born. Apparently, some people like to take this disgusting ball of crap and eat it.

Now I don’t really remember what the placenta does when it is in the body — actually, I have never ever known — but apparently the people who eat it believe it is a delicacy and contains lots of healthy nutrients. The anti-placenta-eating faction seems to stake its argument on the idea that eating a placenta is like eating a dollop of human entrails. That doesn’t sound so good.

Now that I have given you the background on the situation, I can tell you how I want you to think. My position is that placentas do not belong on the family dinner table. After all, the placenta has so many other uses. Surprise your buddies at the golf course. Take one to a tanner and have it made into baby’s first leather coat. Use it to pull off the old “That’s my finger in the Cuisinart!” trick. There are so many fun things you can do with placentas without eating them that I could publish a pamphlet: “1001 ways to use placentas.”

So you see, that debate was fairly easily resolved, but it reminds me of another topic that has been pulsating — like a placenta might — at the forefront of my mind: “Vegans: How long until they are relocated to the Sun?” Let me give you a little background on the issue. Vegans are devil people. They only come out at night in order to suck the very last drops of bean curd out of respectable citizens’ automobile tires. Sure, a vegan would probably refuse to eat a placenta, and on that score, they’ve got the right idea.

But overall, the vegan is a sad, piteous creature, filled with self-doubt and wussy protein. Some people argue that vegans should be expelled from the Earth immediately and sent promptly on their way to the fiery inferno of the Sun. Others argue that all deliberate speed should be taken to assemble the necessary heat protection for these poor shrubbery chompers before they are booted to the fireball upstairs.

Now that you’ve got a solid background, I will tell you what I think you should believe. I find it appalling someone would willingly toss off some human beings right to the Sun — with not so much as tube of sunscreen — simply because they represent the greatest threat to humanity since the dinosaur. But our resources are quite limited. There’s only so much aluminum foil to make the space shuttle as it is. Goodness knows parasols are in short supply as it stands. Would it be fiscally responsible for us to let the vegans monopolize the world’s silly-umbrella supply simply to protect themselves from energy that is equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs exploded per second?

Wow, this is really a tough one. In all honesty, I don’t know the answer. Maybe you can’t solve it all on the editorial page. Maybe I’m no longer the most influential newspaperman in the country.

Ha! Just kidding. That was “humility.” Just pretending to keep myself honest. I know the answer. I just can’t tell you. Damn, I’m good.

Michael Zimmer is a senior in Davenport College. His columns appear on alternate Thursdays.