RICKTER SCALE:A message that goes unheeded

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To: klaird@blackpress.ca

Subject: No Rickter this week

Hi Kevin,

Hope you are doing well.

It looks like there won’t be a column this week. Although this is the first of four days away from the Goldstream Gazoo, I’m in the middle of a long stretch of work dating back to April that has temporarily removed any semblance of feeling semi-retired. Too many weeks of journeyman journalism have left a hole in my well of creativity that has drained it to a level lower than a snake’s belly.

In my defence, I had initially set the morning aside to pump out a column because the only other commitment looming on my horizon is a haircut at noon. Unfortunately, three coffees later, the most I’ve been able to come up with is narrowing down the topic to three choices that just ain’t gonna happen today.

I was leaning toward writing about an incredible young woman I interviewed yesterday that turned the drive home from Metchosin into a period of reflection the likes of which I haven’t felt for a long time. She works two jobs, is an avid gardener and recently earned four medals in the pool at the BC Summer Games Special Olympics. She also is an eloquent spokesperson for everything that’s right about that program. But the problem is at this moment it’s a puzzle with too many missing and moving pieces to insert the kind of craft her story deserves.

I thought of taking a stab at the Trump circus unravelling south of the border, but it would have been a halfhearted attempt, not even worthy of a welcome response from Mr. Pimm. Even the old fall-back standby of taking a shot at the bride thinly disguised as an attempt at humour isn’t going to work for me today.

It’s frustrating because I take the responsibility of writing a Rickter seriously. It’s a privilege to find an editor willing to provide a forum for the kind of rants, recollections and rhetoric I proffer for publication semi-regularly every two weeks, and I don’t take that lightly. Admittedly, that’s also balanced by the voice in the back of my head reminding me that I’m only a missed deadline away from wandering across the line that separates pink slips from pay cheques.

I will, however, take this opportunity to pass along a long overdue gracias to those who take the time to provide feedback on the Rickter Scale. That starts with the young lass I run into occasionally at the checkout in Village Foods, and the woman who stopped me in the parking lot to say how much she enjoyed a column I no longer remember. It would be remiss to not include the dude in Serious who passed along a backhanded compliment, and the regular at Buffy’s who shouted how much she liked the recent reminisce on my coffee mug across two tables at Buffy’s.

Have a good weekend, y’all,