Sometimes coming up with column ideas can be tough. You notice this when columnists who turn out three or four columns a week start talking about their dogs.
Now don’t think I am just referring to Bill McClellan. When ESPN host Tony Kornheiser used to be a sports columnist for the Washington Post, he also did a general interest column once a week for the paper. Over the years I got to know a lot about his Brittany Spaniel.
So back in March when KMOX radio talk show host Charlie Brennan wrote a list of 12 things to do in St. Louis for USA Today, I had an idea for a column.
St. Louis is actually a small town.
While comedians in New York and Los Angeles get to make fun of TV and movie stars, politicians, athletes and Rush Limbaugh, we have a limited number of “famous people” to use for satire. That list would include baseball players, politicians and radio personalities, especially those working at the “Voice of St. Louis.”
I was sure to give Charlie, plus KMOX and KETC shout-outs. I even included a link to his original USA Today piece.
It's like former and convicted Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards once said (rather crudely):
“There is no such thing as bad publicity unless you are caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”
Well, I didn’t accuse Charlie of even being near a bed. I did make a little fun of a St. Louis celebrity, who voluntarily puts himself out in the public eye.
Charlie apparently has a thin skin. He wrote a comment on Chesterfield Patch claiming he had contacted me three weeks earlier, when I left a comment on his USA Today column. I have never heard from him.
He also accused me of being a “straw man.” Gee, I’m 6-foot 3-inches and weigh about 300 pounds. Nothing straw about me.
On Thursday morning's KMOX radio show, he spent five minutes telling listeners how negative I was on St. Louis.
Of course that is not true at all. I was simply being negative about Brennan’s list in USA Today. I moved back from Washington, D.C. to St. Louis after 25 years, because I like St. Louis.
I find local Chesterfield leaders, and other elected officials have a much thicker skin—and are more good-natured—when targeted for some satire, than our big time media personality.