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Doug Clark: A la Tiger, I’m moved to my own fessing up

If there’s one thing we celebrities can take away from Tiger Woods’ public statement Friday, it’s that publicly apologizing for our past peccadilloes is a swell way to keep basking in the limelight.

(Hey, if I’m so wrong, then why are so many big names apologizing all the time?)

True, Tiger’s “thanks for coming, there will be no questions” contrition speech was more choreographed than Evan Lysacek’s gold medal-winning ice skating routine.

That won’t derail Tiger’s road to redemption and renegotiated sponsor contracts because Americans are warm, forgiving people.

Not to mention dumber than a 3-pound bag of dryer lint.

Well, I thought Tiger was inspirational. He inspired me to jump onto the Apology Bandwagon. So brace yourselves as I attempt to make some hollow amends for some of the stomach cramps I’ve caused.

Before beginning, however, I’d like to ask for a little understanding. See, it’s not easy living in a small town like Spokane when you wear such a recognizable ball cap.

Unlike all of you boring noncelebrities, I can’t go through a grocery store checkout line without some star-struck employee gazing at me and saying …

“Paper or plastic, Mr. Clark?”

Yeah, the Clarkarazzi are everywhere. Check out the invasive e-mail that recently arrived from some guy named Willard.

Willard, a guy I’ve never met, wrote that “reliable sources” told him the 1987 Jaguar I bought last year on a whim was leaking oil.

“The plot thickens,” he said, “but not the oil. Grab the drip pan.”

This is the same fictitious vicious slander that Tiger has had to put up with.

No wonder Tiger, one of the world’s greatest tappers of golf balls and cocktail waitresses, had to devote part of his apology session to state that – contrary to tabloid headlines – his wife never tried to brain him with a sand wedge.

So I’d like all of you snoops to listen up while I set the record straight.


The “drip-drip” leakage was due to the car’s original water pump finally giving up the ghost.

So take that, Willard. Tell your spies that the pump has been replaced. And once again, my sage-green Jag is running like a fine, handmade 23-year-old British motorcar.

(On a side note, I needed resuscitation after learning that a “new” water pump for an ’87 Jaguar sells for the same price as a 2006 Subaru Outback. Whoa. I’m starting to feel dizzy again.)

Enough jalopy gibberish. Let the apologizing begin …

•I feel enormous regret for writing that being a TV weather reporter is “easier than flunking the WASL.” This was a cheap shot. Truth is, television weathercasters have some actual skills. An ability to apply eyeliner and pancake makeup, for instance.

•I am also thoroughly ashamed for claiming the “SPD” stands for “Secrecy, Paranoia and Deceit.” In fact, the first letters of the Spokane Police Department actually stand for “Secrecy, Paranoia and Donuts.”

•I stooped to a new low several years ago by writing that then-Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession had “an undertaker’s fashion sense.” How rude. “Cadaver’s fashion sense” is what I meant. My bad.

•I’m obviously no good with Spokane mayors. That’s why I’m issuing a heartfelt mary-culpa to Mary Verner, whom I cruelly referred to as our “current one-term” mayor. Verner, in reality, has an excellent chance of being re-elected and thereby breaking the Lilac City’s bizarre string of one-term mayors that amazingly predates my Jaguar by about 120 years.

(And I have an excellent chance of being asked to pose naked on the cover of Playgirl.)

•I certainly took the low road with Avista. I wrote that giving our power company an award for customer satisfaction was like the Boy Scouts giving Bernie Madoff a merit badge for honesty. So please, from the bottom my heart, what I did was a vile and terrible injustice.

To Mr. Madoff.

Wow. Now I know how fresh and clean Tiger must feel. I need to do this apology crap more often.

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