Loyal readers, behold! Heavenly horns and archangels herald my return to these pages, this column I offer to the empyrean by divine decree.
Alright, I’ll be honest. It was my suitemate who suggested I write this column. And, not really “write this column” as much as “for God’s sake grab the f–ing fire extinguisher before my skin fuses to the linoleum,” but you get the idea.
Column writing is not to be attempted by the faint of heart. Not so for a champion like me, Eric March. THE one and only columnist extraordinaire. In what follows, I promise to dissect and elucidate the peculiar art of scene columnizing for all of you hopeless devotees. And, really, who better to explain the process to you? Who else do you know who can ace all of his classes, solve the Riemann hypothesis, have casual sex with attractive women every night, cure rickets and still find the time to write the occasional article for the Yale Record, the nation’s oldest college humor magazine (suck it, Vanderbilt Slant)? And really, how better to impart my unique perspective and experiential wisdom to you, readers, than in these pages?
Thus, for your benefit, I have decided to waste this clear-skied, postcoital (yes, Renata, it’s out now) Saturday morning writing about scene for scene, though as I must again confess, the idea was not my own. My suitemate brought the idea to me while I was napping. As I recall, our conversation went something like this:
Bill: Eric! Wake up! The building is burning down!
Eric: Holy crap!
Bill: Jeff is dead!
Eric: Holy cra … wait, physics Jeff or YDN Jeff?
Eric: Holy crap!
Bill: By the way, I just spoke with Renata, and she says she’d prefer you didn’t mention what happened last night. This way we can all keep getting along and she won’t have to acknowledge you to her friends and loved ones.
Eric: Duck! The rafters!
The column thing fit in there somewhere as well. But speaking of somewhere …
Stop! Forced segue! You’re trying to do too many things! Jeez, this column thing is harder than I thought. Maybe you’re not cut out for it anymore. Maybe the pressure is in your head. Maybe she’s just saying it’s huge.
I might just panic …
Okay, Eric, focus. Draw a breath. And hit the asshole looking over your shoulder. No, not him! “Sorry, Professor Gaddis!” The other guy! Yeah, that’s right, in the temple. You can write this column. Remember that time you lost that Nok Hockey game to Richie Stern in the third grade? Damn right you don’t, ’cause you’re not a pansy butt-munch quitter. Don’t just write the column, go ahead and show ’em how it’s done. God, you’re sexy. I’d do you in a second.
I can still do this! And if you follow my lead, someday you can do it too.
But Eric, you say. Why should we trust you? We don’t really even know you! If anything, we know you through your roommates, or that seminar in which your participation was satisfactory but unremarkable. True enough, but I must be doing something right. I mean, when was the last time you got even this far through one of these things? And did I mention I was in Directed Studies? I’m really fantastically smart.
How to write a scene column (an Eric March joint):
First Step: Bold List Items
No, what are you doing! Don’t put that paper down! It’s not a cop-out, I swear! If you’re looking to compartmentalize, bold list items are the way to go. They don’t just make organization a breeze, they SAY something. They say: you will sit there and read my bold list items!
Every life has them, so don’t be afraid to share. But not too many — that would be awkward. As for me, I plan to play it coy enough to spare you the finer points of the magnificent global terrorism seminar I am taking this semester, but not nearly enough to keep me from casually mentioning the leather and Kool Whip party thrown by my neighbor, Jerome Kennedy-Schaffer (no relation), that I attended last weekend. Jerry was kind enough to fit me with a frosted ball-gag for the occasion (a must!) which, by the way J, I promise to return very soon. It’s just … well, to be honest, the device has taken on a life of its own. If you know what I mean. No? OK, moving on.
More Bold List Items.
Keep ’em comin’.
When I was 12, I though Spaceballs was the funniest movie known to man. Then I watched it again in high school and sort of fell out of love with it. I can’t really explain why. Part of me thinks by then I had matured beyond Princess Vespa, Barf and President Scroob. Or maybe my tastes just shifted, who knows? Mysteries …
Is that 800 words already? Wow, look at that. Column over!
See? Easy. With this guide in hand, you can now column with confidence. Handy? Absolutely. Confusing? Perhaps, but please don’t ask me to explain anything I’ve just said. I really don’t want to get into it. Besides, once you start breaking down the breakdown, well, that’s just perfectly postmodern, isn’t it? What a disaster!
Eric March’s column has been purchased by a Finnish blog. Under his contractual obligations, he’s unable to continue writing for other publications, but leaves this column as guide for his successor. scene asks, “do you want the job?”