Opinion: Mad about word count


I’m mad. Not about anything big, mind you. That’s the main reason I don’t watch the news; politics, crime, disease, poverty and famine do not for a fully-functioning, emotionally-capable working mom of four make. No, my dear readers, I’m in a ginger lather for two relatively inane reasons, both of which I will tell you about right now.

The first is what I’m calling “subliminal censorship,” though it really has nothing to do with restricting my freedom of speech. Yesterday I received word that this column, my column, has been cut down to a mere 360 words, almost one hundred less than what I usually write. I know it’s to accommodate advertising space, but I can’t help but feel demoted, even a tad unloved. How am I supposed to wax poetically of my husband Doo’s antics or our children’s teenage trials if I’m limited to four lousy paragraphs? What about pushy PTO’s and Nazi breast feeders and non-vaccinators? Those require at least a half-page! Admittedly, I can pack a punch with creative phrasing and slight aberrations of the English language, but even for my considerate talents, I will struggle.

On top of this professional slight, I experienced a near ham-tastrophe just an hour later. As part of our annual Kentucky Derby party prep, I mail order a country ham. (Indiana is not well-known for southern-style pork. Corn yes, salty swine, no.) Always the same company, always the same ham. Last year I discovered that they offer a spiral-cut version, which saves Doo an hour of meat cutting and several near-amputation misses. But when I opened the box, instead of finding the normal thirteen to fifteen pound bone-in hock, I discovered this adorable little lump of a thing, clearly not worthy of serving forty to fifty plus. Clearly this was not the ham for which I’d hoped! Unfortunately, with only a day until the party, there is no time to re-order or to find a country replacement. We’ll just have to make do with a boring honey-baked and up the mint julep servings to healthy two per.

I’d continue on with my rant, but sadly, I’m out of space. Peace out.

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