SOME OF MY MOST DEDICATED readers, who seem to have nothing better to do than try to figure out what I mean by my columns, have sent me a series of very questionable queries, all of which indicate that they really should be spending their time on something more worthwhile -- perhaps watching re-runs of Jackass. But, even so, being the man that I am, I will answer these queries to the best of my ability, which ain't much.
Terry O'Culligan of Durham wants to know: Why are you always making fun of liberals and Democrats?
My brother-in-law says I'm a contrarian. Though I'm not sure he could spell it, I think he may be right. Because the dominant ethos of this area is liberal (Republicans only being allowed within the Chapel Hill city limits during hunting season), it is more fun to make fun of liberal Democrats than their conservative Republican cousins. Further, I simply find that liberal Democrats' general wack-wack-wackiness much more personally entertaining than the banal moronity of some conservative Republicans. Trust me, I distrust them both. As it says on every greenback in my pocket, "In God We Trust" – and if that's good enough for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Dr. O'Culligan, it's good enough for me.
Michael Ratty of Orange County asks: How come sometimes you are funny and others times you are not?
Michael, sometimes the subject matter does not lend itself to humor. Sometimes I'm not feeling funny. Sometimes the jokes just don't work. But maybe it's your problem, Mike.
Dr. Henry Lesesne of Chapel Hill wonders: Don't you think that it is dangerous to put words in the mouth of God and Jesus?
Yes, it is, Hank, but at least I know I am making up what they say when I do -- which puts me on much firmer ground than many people "quoting the Bible" -- an especially popular pastime during this interminable election season.
Daniel Crummett of the Chapel Hill Tennis Club asks: Do I need to be careful so you won't put what I say in the newspaper?
No, Dan, you don't because I won't. You have to say something interesting, or at least that I think might possibly be mildly interesting to any one of the several readers of the Chapel Hill Herald, before I will put it in my column. Sorry, Dan. (And, by the way, if anyone ever did say something interesting, I wouldn't use their name, I would just steal their idea.)
David Stickel from the fringe of Carrboro inquires: Why does the Apostles’ Creed, a traditional statement of orthodox Christian belief, say of Jesus that “he shall come to judge the quick and the dead”?
David, it is not as many suppose because he, like us, will judge athletes for their rampant steroid abuse which leaves them either quick or dead. Instead, this creed employs an arcane use of the term "quick" meaning living. Dead means dead. The reason the creed says this is, well, how can I put this delicately . . . he will. And if you think about it, Dave, that pretty much covers everybody, so watch out.
Paul Jones of UNC (not to be confused with John Paul Jones, bassist for Led Zeppelin) questions: Is it true that you are a published poet?
Although I am humbled by the very thought that you, Paul, so world weary, would pose such a query; yes, I must confess I am. If you don't believe me, right here is one of my published works.
The Poet Would Be
The would-be poet sleeps with pen in hand,
reads each morning his ink-stained sheets;
hoping, waiting for the masterpiece
that comes so often in dream.
Every morning it is the same.
The spots and splotches yield not a word.
Try though he may, he cannot find a line,
remember not a word from these great works,
only the echoes of the praises
and the prizes, and his name.
Now you will have to admit that that is poetic, don't you?
Finally, Sandra Herring, from the next room, asks: Are you coming to bed or not?
Yes, darling, just as soon as I finish one more
Gary D. Gaddy was a poet in both high school and college where he found it to be the best way, short of learning to play lead guitar, which is really hard, to pick up chicks. (Go to GaryGaddy.com to see past columns and such.)
A version of this article was published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday August 2, 2007. Copyright 2007 Gary D. Gaddy