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March 28, 2013

Do you like this?

It’s with a very heavy heart, and dried up pen, that I announce this will be the last column I file with The Pulse. I hate to admit it, but after 5-? years, it’s time for the paper to print something other than my inane observations and pet peeves about parking spaces.

It’s been a good run. My first column ran on Oct. 11, 2007. Since then, you’ve been subjected to my drivel each and every week—roughly 280 entries—whether you like it or not. Thankfully, many of you have. It’s truly an honor to be approached by a friend or stranger and cited for something funny they read in the paper. That makes it all worthwhile (well that, and the beer money the paper threw at me each month).

Whether you’ve ever thought about it or not, it’s hard to sit down and come up with something to write about every damn week. I think that after my experience with this column, I can now produce 800 words about any subject you can think of. In fact, just hanging out with friends chatting about stupid stuff has inspired some of my more memorable pieces.

There was the column about how Old Spice attracts the ladies because you suddenly smell like a father figure. There was the ballad of how I would never compromise couch ownership for a failed relationship ever again. There was the famous dream sequence column about a proposed gentleman’s club filled with local dignitaries that almost got The Pulse sued. There was the popular column where I proposed that marriage licenses (and subsequently vows) be renewed every four years like presidents and military service in order to keep couples playing nice with each other. There was the S.O.S. column I wrote while hunkered down in the bathroom of the Greyhound bus terminal during the tornado of 2011. And then there was my proposed “Fonzie scheme” for slacker survival.  

When I first agreed to do this thing way back when, I didn’t think anybody read The Pulse. I certainly didn’t … well, not cover to cover. I would thumb through it like everyone does, land on the calendar and be on my way. But I wanted an outlet to speak my mind and convinced then-publisher Zach Cooper to let me take a stab at a weekly column. What amazed me in doing so is that I immediately learned people actually do read The Pulse—and rightfully so, it’s the only unwaveringly honest news source in town.  

In addition to this column, I’ve written cover stories and features every now and then over the years and will continue to contribute those in the future. Contrary to popular belief, writing for The Pulse isn’t my only job. My main gig is as a freelance advertising copywriter. Giving up my post here will provide more time for delivering convincing arguments on how you should spend your disposable income. And you may even see me hang a shingle at another endeavor in the coming months. But enough about me.    

Now comes the point in this column when it’s time for me to say goodbye. To finally end it once and for all. Kind of reminds me of some of my favorite Hollywood endings: Nicholson getting a needless lobotomy in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”; Slim Pickens riding the nuclear bomb like a bronco in “Dr. Strangelove”; Paul Newman getting shot after giving up to the man with no eyes in “Cool Hand Luke.” You know, the happier endings.

What I will take away from The Pulse are the fond memories of writing tongue-in-cheek observations about the general crap that runs through my warped mind at any given time. I’ll take away the pats on the back I’ve received from those who agree with me and also the sadness of a truly fun and rewarding outlet that is going away. I guess I’ll have to call Barry Courter at the Times Free Press and see if he’ll let me print it over there … Barry?

Until then, have a good time, all the time. Cheers!

Chuck Crowder is a local writer and man about town. His opinions are his own.

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March 28, 2013

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