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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Bring Back the Clowns....
 


Bring Back the Clowns

Things are getting back to normal now after the terror of the past week or so - or at least as normal as things can be with hundreds of aircraft and troops positioned in the Middle East. 

Seems I was not the only one too dumbstruck last week to think of anything funny to write about. Most of us so-called humor columnists ran out of words and quickly learned the meaning of the biblical phrase, "a time to laugh, a time to cry".

After a week of watching CNN, obsessing on the tragedy, I realized there wasnít much I could actually do except make myself sick grieving about it. My daughter is a nurse and she could go help with the local blood collection effort. I donated to the Red Cross, though I still feel that I owe blood, as if the giving of blood will somehow make up for all the blood has been shed.

I went to a public rally where we prayed, sang patriotic songs and waved flags. It didnít help the situation, but it sure helped us to feel better. One of the speakers for the occasion was a sports celebrity, one of our own Tennessee Titan football players, Eddie George. Afterward, I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated his comments. He didnít know me, but he turned around and gave me a great big emotional hug anyhow, which shows the kind of guy he is - a Titan in more ways than one.

Guess everyone is still feeling a bit edgy. When I went on my weekly pilgrimage to Wal-Mart this weekend, the electricity was out due to a power failure and the store was closed. My knee-jerk reaction was that terrorists had attacked Wal-Mart. Yes, if the terrorists truly want to damage our capitalist economy, they should forget the World Trade Center and just wipe out all the Wal-Martís. Throw in a fire station and they could accomplish about the same thing.

The air show I had planned to attend this weekend was canceled. It didnít much matter. As much as I like the Blue Angels, I know their primary purpose is defense, not entertainment. Instead I spent the weekend with my grandchild going to the zoo. There among the animals I remembered what it is like to be human. Families were together; children were playing. It was good to see ordinary people doing ordinary things and to feel normal again.

Since the tragedy, there has been an outcry for humor. "Bring back the laughter." People want to laugh, need to laugh even more in times of sorrow. Comedy seems to give relief from the pain. "Bring back the clowns." 

And so we will return to our jokes, our stories, and our comedy. Comedy and tragedy are simply two sides of the same coin. The opposite is apathy - an absence of feeling. I sometimes wonder if those who laugh loudest may also be cursed with the ability to grieve the deepest. Perhaps that is why clowns cry.

After a brief intermission, life goes on. We hug each other a little closer and pack the churches a bit fuller, suddenly remembering what we almost forgot. As so many have said, continuing to pursue our dreams and our values is the best way to show our true character.

Our innocence has gone up in smoke, but we will go on. We will recover, we will renew ourselves in the ashes, and we will laugh in the face of adversity. As our founding fathers noted, certain rights are self-evident and among these are life, liberty and, wouldn't ya just know it?... the pursuit of happiness.


Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

 
 



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