Hey, Bob! I just heard your column is going away! Can that really be?
I'm afraid it is. This is the final Blue Corn. It's disappearing from the American scene along with civility, truth, human dignity and compassion, so it's in very good company.
What happened? Was there some scandal? Were you gambling with campaign funds? Throwing stuff off a balcony at a holiday pizza party?
Nope, it's just the harsh reality of modern journalism. Shrinking news space, editors forced to choose between actual news—which is sorely needed nowadays—and my smartass commentary. They made the right choice.
Do you have any regrets?
Are you serious? PT Barnum was just sworn in as President of the United States! Of course I regret losing my public forum.
What are you going to do?
I'll buy a bullhorn, go to the Plaza bandstand and rant at the grifters, buskers and tourists. I hope my lips don't freeze to the mouthpiece. By the time the weather gets warmer, President Barnum will probably be rounding up smartasses like me and putting us in camps…
Looking back, do you have a single favorite column?
Yeah, last year, during the election primaries, I learned that New Mexico's constitution explicitly prohibits "idiots" from voting. If you're a humor columnist, that-there is the mother lode, so I ran with it.
Were there any columns where you were surprised by the reaction?
Yes. The one I did on animal trapping on public lands being legal in this state—that horrified a lot of people who hike, walk their dogs or ride horses on public lands. Many readers just weren't aware of this insanity. This issue needs to be addressed, along with atrocities like coyote killing contests. I love my state, but sometimes I feel as if it's a giant Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
Yes. My agents, my manager, the production company at…
Get a grip, Bob. This isn't the Oscars. Don't you want to thank your readers?
I was just about to do that. Santa Fe readers have been a big part of my life for four years, and I love them. Especially the ones who commented on my columns online. Feedback is bliss. Even negative feedback.
I did want to ask you one more thing. SFR stories tend to use some pretty salty language, liberally dropping the f-bomb, the s-bomb, etc. Why haven't you done that?
I'm a little too old school. I learned how to express myself in print back in the day, and I guess I just never changed.
That sounds like a fucking waste of freedom of speech to me.
Perhaps it is, but it's my freedom of speech, and it has never been as precious as it is right now. So if you spot me with my bullhorn on the bandstand, please come over and rant alongside me. We're all going to be ranting before long, my friends.