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What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You.
by Phil Truman

When Dan told me this month’s WFD would have an equine theme, my immediate response was, "How can you devote a whole issue to one specific medicine?" He replied, "It’s not about medicine, you moron." And I said, "Okay, vitamins. Let’s not split hairs here, editor breath. The thing is, all I know about equine is that it’s what they use to treat malaysia. Why don’t you do an issue about horses or something?"

"You are such an idiot," he said

"No, you are," I said.

"Nuh-uh, you are."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"You’re a big dope."

"And you’re a moron

"You already said that."

"Why don’t you just write about something you know, chicken lips."

Fortunately, this little meeting between two skilled and learned professionals helped me come up with an idea for this column: Drugs. No, wait, that’s the essay I promised to help Dan write for his probation officer. The column idea is "Writing What You Know."

To keep this from being the world’s shortest column, considering the topic, I asked my research assistant to look some things up for me on the net. However, she said I’d have to wait until she got home from shopping with her friend Amy, and could she please have some money to buy gas. So I gave her my last twenty bucks and told her she needed to start buying her own gas. "I know, daddy. Thanks," she said with dimples. Then she kissed me on the forehead and left.

One thing I do know, you should not try to negotiate with teenage daughters, especially if you’re a dad, especially if they are seniors in high school. For one thing, there’s nothing you can tell them that they don’t already know. For another, anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law…wait, we’re back to Dan’s probation officer again. Sometimes if I hit the side of my head just right, the neurons re-align themselves. Hold on… WHOA, DUDE! There. Now, what I meant to say was, anything you say would only be spoken by an extreme dorkhead (a.k.a., father) and would have no relevance to anything. So why should she or her friends bother listening.

Take, for instance, the whole prom dress thing, just to show you what else I don’t know. It’s unfathomable to me that in a city with enough malls and stores to put us on the EPA’s Dangerous Shopping Level List, a seventeen year old girl can’t find a prom dress. Also, why all of the "possible-but-let’s-look-a-few-more-places" candidates have to be in the Send a Space Probe to Mars price range.

Now I’m thinking, guys don’t have this kind of trouble. If we had to buy ourselves a prom dress, several of us would pile into the primer-gray Camero, turn our ballcaps backwards, and head for Bob’s Big Barn of Prom Dresses. We would find something satisfactory in less than 15 minutes and head home, stopping only long enough to check out the big screen TV’s showing a tape of ESPN’s College Cheerleaders Nationals.

So what’s all this got to do with the subject of writing? What’s my theme? My premise? Why is this nonsense even printed here? Have I taken my medication lately? Let me see if I can answer these questions in simple terms: I don’t know.

© Copyright 1999, Phil Truman

Phil Truman's website is philtrumanink.com.

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