Leave Pulitzer Out Of This
I have called this press conference to announce I am not going to retire.
I need a job.
“But there must be other reasons?”
I don’t have $46 million in the bank and I need the company health insurance are two that come to mind.
“But you have to sit around trying to think of column ideas all the time. That must really become a grind.”
Sometimes. But I don’t have to do any heavy lifting.
“But what about all the pressure?”
What pressure? If I mess up, nobody dies.
“But what if you write a lousy column? All those readers see it.”
They can always read “Dear Abby.”
“Aren’t you being a little callous here?”
Of course not. I’m just saying for 50 cents, how much insight do you expect to get? If Michael Jordan has a bad night, there’s always Scottie Pippen.
“But what about your health?”
Doctors say I can type all I want to.
“Let’s talk about burnout. You have been in the league for 16 years. ”
That’s nothing. My mother taught first grade for over 30 years for a lot less than I’m making and I don’t have to convince 6-year-olds to sit down and shut up.
“But what about living in the spotlight? Your picture is in the paper. You’re a celebrity.”
So I’ll get a gun.
“You’re referring, of course, to Atlanta Falcon receiver Andre Rison, who says he carries a gun because of his celebrity status as a pro football player.”
If I were Andre Rison, I would carry two guns. He’s not only a celebrity, he also plays for the Falcons.
“But don’t people often harass you in public for what you write?”
Yo. I don’t mind that as long as they don’t challenge my manhood.
“Still, there must be other things you would like to accomplish. As they said about Michael Jordan, there’s a lot more to him than just being a great basketball player.”
Yeah, like the 46 million in the bank.
“You wouldn’t like to, say, go into teaching?”
I can’t convince my dog to sit down and shut up.
“How about television?”
Too many have already tried to out-Andy-Rooney Andy Rooney.
“What about acting? You did an episode of `Designing Women.’ ”
In one scene I had to hug Delta Burke. Like I said, heavy lifting isn’t my bag.
“Some say Michael Jordan is retiring because he’s already won three league championships and several most valuable player awards. Is one of the reasons you’re not retiring the fact you’ve never won a Pulitzer?”
Winning the Pulitzer has never entered my mind.
“Oh, come on. The Pulitzer is the highest prize in journalism. Surely you must covet such a prestigious award.”
Awards are nice, but I didn’t get into the profession to win awards.
“What did you get into it for?”
To get mentioned favorably on the Rush Limbaugh radio show. That was enough for me.
“Michael Jordan retired in his prime. You’re telling us you don’t think you reached your prime yet?”
No. I just said I still need a steady job.
“That sounds like a cop out. How much more money do you need before you feel secure enough to retire?
Forty-five million and change.
“One more question. What primary goal do you hope to attain before you finally do retire?”
Outlast Beavis and Butt-Head.
“How long might that take?”
November 1996, if we’re lucky.