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Doug Clark: Mini-me shows real potential

Tue., April 1, 2014

When you get to be a man of my age, it’s only natural to start worrying about your impending death.

Well, impending incontinence first.

Then impending death.

But once you’ve managed to get past the morbid inevitabilities, you need to focus on higher ideals like what legacy you will leave behind, you know, for the children.

Lucky me, I got my answer Monday morning in the form of a highly flattering and entertaining email from someone named Chris Taylor.

“So we were given an English assignment to mimic a columnist and I chose you,” Taylor wrote.

How about that? I’ve become part of the educational process, like dissecting virtual frogs and uncomfortable PE showers.

Taylor continued …

“We had to research more about a topic you had addressed and I personally chose urban farming.”

Thank God Taylor didn’t pick nearly naked baristas or how Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wound up in a soft porn flick.

I get enough flak from my editors without being blamed by school officials for contributing to the moral decay of our youth.

“From this we had to create our own column on the issue that mimicked your style,” Taylor added. “Just thought I would send you a copy. Thanks for the inspiration.”

This is the proudest moment of my life.

Well, except for being asked to emcee a Dean Martin-style roast of Spokane Mayor David Condon at the Bing Crosby Theater, 7:30 p.m. on May 15. (Tickets are $20, $15 and $10, with all proceeds going to the Friends of the Bing charity.)

Now that we’ve dispensed with that cheap plug, let’s get back to Taylor’s faux Clark column.

I opened the attachment expecting to read something amateurish or embarrassing. To my delight, however, Taylor had done a stellar job.

I can’t wait to meet this talented kid.

We have a lot to talk about, mainly on the subject of dropping out of school and becoming my column understudy.

This exciting and low-paying opportunity would involve fetching coffee, blindly following orders and writing all of my columns, except for the bylines.

You know, the way Jack Anderson did it back in the ’70s.

Before any mentoring begins, of course, I need to know a lot more about this student.

Taylor didn’t leave a phone number or bother telling me what class or what school this assignment was for.

So for all I actually know, Taylor could be an overweight, 56-year-old plumber who chain-smokes and is twice divorced.

Not that it matters.

I’d take a toothless grandma with artificial hips as long as she hits deadline three times a week.

But let me show you why I’m excited. Here are some excerpts from Taylor’s column, along with some instructional suggestions/jokes to help in Taylor’s quest to put me out of a job.

TAYLOR – “Our notorious Spokane City Council has hatched yet another bird brained idea to allow urban farming in order to resolve our ‘urgent’ food shortage.”

CLARK ADD – Which is laughable when you think about it. Due to our annual consumption of Cyrus O’Leary’s pies, Spokane only has a shortage of people who can still look down and see their feet.

TAYLOR – “In an effort to become a more sustainable community, many see that urban farming is a new hip thing. Apparently Spokane is now hip.”

CLARK ADD – And it’s about time. The last time Spokane was hip, disco was alive, Reagan was president and it was snowing on West Sprague all year round, and I don’t mean the white stuff you see on ski slopes.

TAYLOR – “Recently a new legislation, spearheaded by (Council President) Ben Stuckart, was passed expanding the territory for chickens. Yes, now you too can wake up to the sound of chickens clucking in the morning.”

CLARK ADD – Prior to the ordinance, however, you had to tune in to the council meetings on Channel 5 to experience chickens.

TAYLOR – “Apparently, the city doesn’t require any chicken knowledge to take up chicken farming.”

CLARK ADD – No experience necessary: Like filling potholes, plowing snow and being mayor.

TAYLOR – “Most of these novices, I mean farmers, forget the fact that these chickens only lay eggs for a couple years, but can live to be as old as 10. Most of these new hip farmers don’t have the stomach to eat poor Henrietta, so they release them ‘into the wild.’ ”

CLARK ADD – And quite frankly, the good residents of Hillyard are getting sick and tired of it.

TAYLOR – “Don’t get me wrong. I think there are some tremendous business opportunities waiting to be hatched. Sure, the South Hill already has an Urban Canine, but I’m proud to introduce the Urban Cock.”

CLARK ADD – Careful, Taylor. Remember what I told you about the editors.

TAYLOR – “All the hot chicks will be coming in for their custom-fit dresses, jewelry, and, of course, mite dustings.”

CLARK ADD – Just like Nordstrom, only with a lot less preening and pecking.

TAYLOR – “And have we taken a step backwards in gender equality? Where is the outcry over rooster banishment from the cities?”

CLARK ADD – Eggcellent, Taylor. You’d better get an A-plus, because you really cracked me up.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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