Hell, it seems like only 52 weeks ago I was writing “Living It in 2008” for this column. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Just like in 2008, you’ve gotten my always excellent, often brilliant columns just about every other week in 2009 while the rest of the time I’ve recruited (or begged) other writers to fill in this space, like Dan Bockrath.
In “A Stroke of Luck” (issue of Jan. 8), Dan told us of a rare form of stroke he’d suffered some months earlier and the recovery he went through. I’m happy to report that Dan just recently celebrated a birthday and is feeling fine.
Happy Birthday, Dan, you’re one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met. You’re the man! (Keep in mind he’s one of the co-publishers of CityBeat. I might be sucking up a little.)
In “My Ear Is Gasping for Breath” (issue of Feb. 18), Gregory Flannery told us that in 2005 he went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and came out with only his left ear working. I can confirm that his right ear is still dead.
As his friend, I’ve had to adjust to his condition. I’m so glad I saved my Mr. Microphone from the late 1970s — it comes in handy when I want Greg to actually hear something I say.
I don’t know why in “Halfway There” (issue of May 20) Hannah Roberts thought of herself as the “human equivalent of a soft-serve ‘twist’ cone.” This got me to thinking of how much I love to lick and suck on twist cones, which might sound dirty but it’s not, because I’m not thinking of Hannah … oh, never mind!
In “Urban Legends” (issue of June 3), Katie Laur talked about the dwarf, Mr. Spoons, a lady named Caldonia and how every night at exactly 9 o’clock a big old rat makes his way across Vine Street to get over to the downtown library.
When it comes to the rat, what Katie didn’t tell you is that this rodent has joined the library’s security department.
Yeah, don’t even think of leaning over that second-floor railing now. Rats can get ugly.
July was my month for writing bus stories. In “A Thong and a Prayer” (issue of July 8) I talked about a cute girl who got on the bus with her thong showing and about a woman passing out prayer cards who didn’t approve of my taking notice of the girl. Then in “Bed Bugs on Holiday Schedule” (issue of July 29) I discussed a gentleman who got on the bus who might have had those little biting insects on him.
I received mail on both columns, but most of you wanted to know if I did indeed, after that bus ride, get bed bugs in my apartment. I’m happy to report I didn’t, but I did get a couple of thongs for myself to wear when riding the bus, hoping I’d run into that cute girl again. So far I haven’t.
C.A. MacConnell worships the devil. No, not really, but in “Nose Ring = Devil Worship” (issue of Sept. 2) some members at her yoga class didn’t like the look, and C.A. had to comply with a more conservative approach by removing the nose ring.
My view? That’s typical backward Cincinnati. Sometimes I think some people in this city are the human equivalent of a soft-serve twist cone, and in this case the word “suck” does apply.
Lucy Plum is still “Unemployed” (issue of Oct. 7), and still selfishly and shamefully living off handouts from the U.S. Government.
Lucy, I’m attempting to say this in an extreme, hopefully funny way to try to get you to lighten up and smile more. You’ll work again soon. You’re too good not to.
In “I’ve Known Some Soldiers” (issue of Oct. 21), Jeremy Flannery wrote about some of his friends who joined the service, with most going off to war in Afghanistan or Iraq. A few of his friends managed to get out of the ordeal altogether, while others came back home to never be quite the same again.
War: What’s it good for? Absolutely nothing.
There’s no point in me trying to write something cute or funny about it here.
This column hit a bit of a milestone in 2009. In “Six Years of Watching” (issue of Nov. 11), I talked about the six years of writing here, how we got started and about how superstitious I am when it comes to the word count. I always want an even number — and for the record, this particular column, when it left my desk, was coming in at 934 words.
So that’s our bit of a recap for 2009. If you missed any of the columns I’ve referenced, those and all the rest are still available here on the Web site. Just go to the Living Out Loud column archives.
I think I can speak for the rest of the writers who have contributed here over the past year when I say we appreciate your reading us every week and when you take the time to e-mail or send us letters. We do pay attention to all of it. Your feedback is important.
Now we’re gearing up for 2010. I want to wish John Fox and Dan Bockrath, CityBeat co-publishers, the happiest New Year. I think they both walk on water and are truly wonderful people. Really, two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.
You know, I could still be sucking up a little. I’ll let you, the reader, decide.
CONTACT LARRY GROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org