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Can you have too much fun with asterisks? No, you cannot

A number of my loyal readers have expressed concern about the photo that appears with my column week-in and week-out. Some folks, like my good pal Andy, have described it like this: Look out! You better not mess with Chris Morris, or hell throw you in the Gravel Pit! Others have used fewer words to describe my mugshot, words like mean, weird, creepy, off-putting, unflattering, ugly, is that really you? I mean, I knew it was you because your name was next to it but, gosh, yikes! and I think I saw you on Dateline last week. You can imagine what this does for my self esteem. For the most part, though, I remain unphased by these comments and they tend to roll right off me like water on a newly stained deck (hows that for a clever analogy?). Most of the people making fun of my picture are the type who I wouldnt take advice from anyway. What do they know? That mugshot has helped skyrocket my column to immense popularity in the world of free-weekly newspapers circulated in the Tri-Lakes area! * Recently, two people whom I hold in high regard mentioned that they did not approve of my standing head (thats a little newspaper vernacular for the three of you who care). Both are kind and unbelievably sweet, and I will not mention them by name. In general, I like to leave names out of my column, unless the name happens to rhyme with park doleman, ** in which case, said person deserves any positive and/or negative attention *** generated by my column. Anyway, these ladies seemed to think that I was doing myself a disservice by using the current photo. It doesnt look like you, one lady said. You should really take a new one. I considered **** this statement, and promised her that I would obtain a new photo promptly *****. That afternoon, upon returning from work, I told my girlfriend that I thought my picture did not look good. Its just not right, I told her. I think I need a new one. Ive been telling you this since your column premiered, she responded. Why is it that every time I offer advice, you completely ignore it, and then someone else says something to you, and then you suddenly have this epiphany, and tell me about it as if youre the smartest, most observant person on the planet? ****** I responded swiftly and wholeheartedly by saying. Jeopardy is on in two minutes. Jamie hates Jeopardy. Theres a lesson somewhere in this column *******, Unfortunately, I have completely lost track of where I was going ********. I think it has something to do with all of these asterisks ********* * There are other free weeklies in the Tri-Lakes area, right? ** Mark Coleman. *** Mostly negative attention, though. **** By considered, I mean to say that I was not paying any attention whatsoever, and I had to foolishly ask her to repeat what she said. ***** Promptly = Very slowly. ****** Fact check: I only claim Jamies ideas as my own 75 percent of the time, not all of the time. ******* There is no lesson in this column. ******** I finally ran out of space to fill. ********* It has everything to do with all of these asterisks. Chris Morris is the news editor at Denton Publications. He can be reached at chrism@denpubs.com

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