Kickass, the doorstop dog, turns it over to the keeper as he—the keeper, attempts to explain the presence of editors in his life decades after he thought there was any need for them. So, after a recent Kickass rant in which the keeper had Kickass in an imaginary conversation with a robin, there was Randy Curwen, a former Chicago Tribune features editor, commenting that the only appropriate end to the story was to have Kickass eat the robin.
The keeper knows that through his long newspaper stint, editors kept him out of trouble, embarrassment and jail on countless occasions, and so he appreciates them, particularly in their roles prior to spell-check.
The editors were not fail-safe, however, and once allowed the keeper to write about suet in the chimney, which necessitated a follow-up item explaining that cows on the keeper’s home farm could fly and had to be shot down, hence the suet in the chimney.
The mark of a good editor is restraint, it is often said, and the keeper would agree with that; recalling the story of the columnist who threatened a Milwaukee Journal editor with the copy-desk scissors and said, “Don’t you ever touch my copy again—you are nothing but a GD seamstress!”
The keeper entertains no such editor hostility and welcomes Randy back into his life. He—the keeper, may pass, however, on Randy’s suggestion to have Kickass eat the robin. Considering the travail of this spring, a story ending on a lighter note seems called for.
Also, Kickass knows that feathers can be a problem when they get stuck in your mouth, something he learned while dreaming that he had eaten a whip-or-will that was keeping him awake. (Get your editing pencil out for that one, Randy!)