The Unkindest Cut

This is my first column in our bold new magazine design, which was created to bring state-of-the-art publishing innovations to our readers. Also, we were bored with the old design.

But now I only have room for 600 award-winning words, compared to the 800 award-winning words before. And now I only have 544 words left. Make that 536 words. Okay, 532. (Can you believe somebody actually has to fact-check this?) Doesthiscountasoneword?

Working in this small space, I’m reminded of Ernest Hemingway who, on a bar bet, wrote the world’s shortest novel: “Bartender ignores alcoholic author. Dies horribly.” No, that wasn’t it. Now I remember: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” (I’ll pause briefly so readers can pull themselves together.) And I wonder if I can apply the same technique to a shortened humor column: “Guy walks into a bar. Buys baby shoes. Leaves.” (Nope. I need room to express my legendary comic stylings.)

But let’s move along. Given the ongoing economic crisis in this country, Sojourners is announcing a new financial support program for struggling subscribers. If you are no longer able to pay for your monthly magazine, we will waive the cost, after putting you through a series of stress tests, much like what the banking industry is experiencing right now, only with fewer push-ups. (At least, I hope Treasury officials are making bankers do push-ups, while standing on top of them and—to make for a more memorable teaching moment—holding a bucket of hot coals over their heads. “Oops, dropped another hot coal. Sorry.”)

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Sojourners Magazine July 2009
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