Alibi V.20 No.18 • May 5-11, 2011 

Culture Shock

My Farewell Column

It is time once again for me to bid you, my fair reader, adieu.

I am moving back to Oklahoma, a state apparently bent on my destruction. I had some great tornado jokes lined up for this column—real grade-A material.

Alas, I woke up the other morning and the damn things had laid waste to most of Alabama. Severe weather humor is horribly inappropriate at this particular juncture.

So we’ll skip the tornado jokes.

I will say this: No one told me where babies come from, and now I find myself staring down the double-barreled shotgun of fatherhood and unemployment. At present, I seem to have run out of little newspaper rocks to jump between. Dishwashing seems likely, as that is what I did before becoming a journalist. I can now live out my Charles Bukowski fantasy, albeit the sober version with student loan and car payments. That's no fun at all. There are, of course, always the salt mines.

Now may be the time to convert fully to organized crime. That is where print journalism is going anyway. We are the samurai of the 21st century—out of work, soon to be the Yakuza. We aren't tough though, just hungry, driven to crime out of necessity. Remember where you heard it first.

Whatever happens, it's been fun being the Arts and Literature editor. Most of my five years as a professional journalist have been spent talking to murderers and police officers. Artists are more fun than police officers and slightly less uncomfortable to converse with than the average rapist.

I’ve learned a great deal about art and literature and even a little about theater during my brief time here. It’s been fun, frustrating, even infuriating, and though I often curse being a writer/editor/reporter, I know I will miss it as soon as I cross the threshold of the front door for the last time.

My replacement is Summer Olsson. You may know her name because she has been a freelancer for the Alibi for more than a year. She is also a fixture in the local theater scene. I hope she will find the arts community as warm and welcoming as I have.

So until I come crawling back to New Mexico in about 18 months (that’s the general amount of time it takes for me to figure out I love this damn dirty desert), I must say goodbye. Remember, a shiny new donkey to whoever brings me the head of Colonel Montoya. (“Simpsons” reference.)

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