When something is around long enough to mark a milestone of 100, celebrations are in order.
It is the occasion for a nostalgic clip show, as is the tradition for television shows lucky enough to make it that far. They also get to celebrate getting that sweet, sweet syndication money.
If it is 100 in terms of aging, then getting your picture in the paper with your very own cake is part of the festivities. All you 99-year-olds out there, get ready for your close-ups.
But what do you do when you hit 100 columns?
I have been trying to keep count of my columns since I began writing for the Zone page back in the beginning of 2011. The neatly labeled text documents in my desktop folder count 88. There are roughly 6 or 7 more columns that I wrote at home in my Gmail outbox. And, there are some digital equivalents of junk scribbled on the back of an envelope floating around my work and home computers.
Taking the possibility of lost columns floating around in the nether world into consideration, my count comes to ... 100-ish! Bust out the party hats.
What am I celebrating? I guess that I haven't been run out of town on a rail. That no mob has gathered outside the second-story window at the Tribune to demand me tarred and feathered. That my fingers haven't worn down to nubs. That I still manage to have somewhat rational thoughts.
It is not easy coming up with something to write every week, and at the tail end of what is usually a straight-up bananas week at that. Sometimes inspiration strikes at zero hour, and a near-masterpiece is created (well, as close to a masterpiece as a column about shoes can be). Sometimes, by brain makes a noise not unlike "phlurgh," and some nonsense about
T-shirts falls out.
Nonetheless, I managed to come up with 100-ish columns about all manner of stuff - puppies, TV, music, food, friends, pizza. Most of all, writing allows me to reminisce about growing up in Warren, from high school at Warren G. Harding to hanging out at Eastwood Mall, definitely not being a nuisance to security guards.
Now the clip show portion of this column begins:
My column about the scourge of sweatpants was definitely one to remember. It sparked a Facebook war a hundred comments long, and got #SweatpantsGate trending on Twitter. I will concede - sweatpants help when its -16 degrees.
A column about my lifelong love affair with novelty pasta ("Meant to be: A classic story of girl meets Boyardee," May 13, 2011) got a nice reply from the good people at Chef Boyardee.
One of my readers knitted me a pair of the most comfortable booties, which have come in handy during the Polar Vortex.
My column about my Coca-Cola bottlecap scavenging has yielded many kind reader donations.
I never found out who mailed me gorilla poop ("Surprise package has brain doing double doody," Nov. 18, 2012).
Some of my columns got me in touch with old classmates, fellow Warren natives, and other great people in the Mahoning Valley. If anything, it gives my mom and dad some excitement on Sunday mornings, as they continue their weekly battle to get to the newspaper first.
I'm so grateful I've been able to write this many columns, and that anybody has even cared, let alone rewarded me with booties. I thank everyone for reading, and hope I haven't been too much of a weirdo.
Is it too soon for a 101st-ish column hullabaloo?
Got 100 more column ideas? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and look me up on tribtoday.com.