Opinion

Hodge: Dusting off some forgotten boxes revisits old columns

OK, so tell me if you have heard this one before.

As a veteran scribe whose penned one column per week for most of my life since the early 1970s (yikes!), I admit that sometimes it’s hard to come up with something new.

I certainly do not expect readers to remember everything I have ever written, because certainly I don’t. But sometimes the inspiration barrel is a little empty.

Good news, though. It seems I have discovered a virtual treasure trove of tidbits and tantalizing tales to tickle readers reading desires—a shed full of boxes of old junk I have been hiding away for years.

Some of the ‘collection’ has been hidden so well by other important stuff that I did not even know it was there.

As a professional, gold medal standard procrastinator, I have managed to stockpile literally stacks and stacks (and stacks and stacks and stacks…) of boxes of notes, old columns, newspapers, and other mounds of memorabilia.

I am confident some of the goodies therein will undoubtedly inspire a myriad of future columns.

I can pretty much close my eyes, wander into the pile of junk, and randomly grab a bundle of papers knowing that somewhere in that stack of material is a gem just waiting to be dusted off and written about.

As well, there are a number of old Hodge Podge columns randomly ‘filed’ with a procrastinator’s inconsistent dedication to pure chaos.

Here’s a small sample. I found an old Capital News (actually not that old) from February 2008 and sure enough there was a HodgePodge column within.

Since I don’t remember writing it, I highly doubt you recall reading it. Attached to it was the newspaper article from a week prior that inspired the column.

I print it again for your chuckling pleasure:

“All righty then, good to see there’s still some sense of adventure left in the old Okanagan Mission area. However, I strongly suggest this tale should serve as a wake-up example for others. (I’m just baring my thoughts, that’s all).

“The boys and girls in blue must still be chuckling over the interesting vehicular ‘mishap’ Thursday on Cook Road.

“Seems two occupants of an SUV decided a little late (late) night skinny dip was in the plan but on the return route home (?) managed to flip the vehicle on its side. Apparently, the male driver turned too sharp while backing up and dumped it.

“I’m willing to bet he had not been keeping his eye on the road.

“Both the driver and the female passenger were naked.

“Police gave the driver a 24-hour driving ban for alcohol (to warm them up perhaps?). The 2:30 a.m. incident turned into a frosty wake-up call for all; the temperature was minus 6 at the time.

“Now I’m sure there are numerous good lessons to be learned from this story, folks, but a couple of blatant ones jump out right away for me. Quick or what?

“First, never back up really, really quickly when you have the wheels turned sharp. Also check for ditches and other cars.

“Second, if you do back up foolishly make sure you have your seat belts on properly. For goodness sakes make sure you watch very carefully where you put the straps.

“Third, always keep your eyes on the road.

“Fourth, strongly consider skinny dipping during a warmer time of year. July or August seem most popular here in Kelowna,

“Fifth, if you must skinny dip in February consider doing it in a hot tub, a friend’s pool, or even your own bath tub. It may not be quite as exciting; however it’s generally less embarrassing.

“And finally, if you are going to skinny dip there’s no rule saying you have to take your clothes off at home. In fact most people take their clothes off once they get to the water.

“In other words, consider wearing some clothes (pants and top, robe, or even a towel) until you get to the water. Take off the clothes before you get in the water. (Wet towels do not dry you well later, either).

“Once you are done you can always put the clothes or robe or towel back on again to keep you warm for the drive home —or wherever you might be going next. (Jogging, grocery shopping, walking the dog…)

“Please don’t take this column as pushy or telling you what to do because obviously it’s all about free thinking and such. I’m just trying to be helpful. Brief but succinct —and stuff.

“Just consider this as more helpful hints from HodgePodge.”

•••

Stay tuned for next week when I might cautiously venture out to the shed for more inspiration. Remember, that which does not fall on you and kill you may make others chuckle.

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