Monday, February 13, 2006

COLUMN: The Bachelorhood Martyr

Okay, it's true story time.

I recently received the following public comment on my blog ( signed by one "Steve." It reads in part:

"Shane, I've seen your blog and wonder why you waste so much energy on everyday nonsense. You're bright, and you even write well, but you spend your gift on drivel. Join the war. It's real and it's at your back door, front door, and of course, all over the 'net. You either don't care, are too self-absorbed, or you think that 'small talk' from 'small minds' to just pass some time is all that life is about."

Umm... wow. I know I'm no Nietszche or anything, but "drivel"? "Self-absorbed?" Yikes. Sure, I try to find the funny in everyday life, but I guess I never really considered it all a bunch of nonsense. Gosh -- am I, as Steve says, "wasting my gift?"

Hmm. His words have been resonating around my brain for the past couple of weeks. "Join the war. It's real and it's at your back door." Heavy stuff, man. The war is REAL, it's AT MY BACK DOOR, and what am I doing about it? Writing another column about Katie Holmes? Video games? Another fluff piece about my cat? Just how naive have I been??

You're absolutely right, Steve. Here I've been, all this time, wasting this precious newspaper space with stories to make you laugh. Oh, the shame! And all the while, The Man's been working to stifle us and crush our freedom while I've turned a blind eye. Well, Mr. Man, I say to you, NO MORE!

It's time I used this column not for drivel, but for change. For justice. For love of country. One voice, one writer CAN make a difference. The world has stepped on this paeon for the last time. In fact, thanks to Steve, I'm taking the war to print -- to make YOU, the humble reader, aware of a travesty that could, just maybe, destroy our entire way of life.

I speak, of course, of Valentine's Day.

That's right, February the 14th has plagued our fragile Earth for many years, and it's high time someone took a stand. We as a people must become the iconoclast to rise above the bourgeois masses and overthrow this sham of a holiday. I pledge to you, dear readers, that I will fight this scourge with every step.

That's right, this year I forsake Valentine's Day. In fact, I'll even go one step further: THIS YEAR, FOR THE GOOD OF THE WORLD, I WILL REMAIN SINGLE FOR VALENTINE'S DAY. No romance for me, I'll save that for you small-minded types.

(Note: the fact that I've decided to take my stance has nothing to do with the fact that I'm going to be pathetically and pitiably single for the third Valentine's Day in a row. This should be considered nothing more than an interesting coincidence.)

That's right, there are, umm, real reasons to hate Valentine's Day. Real WARTIME reasons. Lemme just think... OH, here we go! Over the holiday, over 110 million innocent roses will be clipped, trimmed, and sent to their respective Valentinean dooms. That's FLORAL GENOCIDE, people! Those flowers weren't hurting anyone... Oh, and on Valentine's Day, we give our signifigant others boxes and boxes of chocolates. Cocoa powder doesn't even come from AMERICA, you heathens!

You're giving your sweetheart FOREIGN cocoa when scores of decent American cocoa farmers get put out of work. Wait, what's that? You say there ARE no American cocoa farmers? That cocoa can't grow in our climate? Well, suuuuure -- that's exactly what They want you to believe. You're just not tuned into "the war" quite like me and my buddy Steve. We know how the world REALLY works.

That's why I laugh at your Valentine's Day! I don't need the love of a woman to validate my existence. Just give me a roof over my head, three squares a day, and a soapbox to stand on, and I'm set. You people can celebrate your conventional holiday all you want. Me? I'm thinking outside the box.

So thank you, Steve, for showing me the light. For helping me to take a stand. And most of all, for coming up with a fantastic way for me to explain why this is the third year in a row that I'm going to be single and alone for Valentine's Day. No siree, this time I'm not single because I'm a hopeless, chubby, nerdy cynic who can't get a date to save his life. Nope, this year I'm single in the name of truth. I'm single for liberty. I'm single for the American way. I'm the martyr of bachelorhood. Someday you'll thank me for my sacrifice... once you all stop being so self-absorbed and full of drivel.

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