|The Funniest Newspaper Column
in the Country
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2008 First Place Humor Column
By Clet Litter from the Ozarks
Spent Memorial Day remembering
Howdy, this is Clet Litter from the friendly, sometimes wholesome, hamlet of
Hogspore. Hope you had yourself a nice Memorial Day spending yesterday
remembering the folks who paid the ultimate price for our homeland. I did attend
a cookout last evening and helped to diminish the world’s inventory of grilled burgers
by five. The burgers slid down, along with some tater salad and chips. I can’t recollect
the brand of chips but I remember the name ended in ata, ita, or tos. I’d probably know
more if I hadn’t been sipping a jar of untaxed whiskey. So, when I took to bed, I slept
like a baby with no conscience. And, I’m proud to say, I didn’t wet my diaper all night.
My assistant Bob, who helps with the spelling of the news, fancied a say this issue.
I said no, at first, but he reminded me that he knows things that I might not want people
to know … so you won’t hear no more of my mutterings today.
Howdy, this is Bob from the friendly, sometimes wholesome, hamlet of Somewhere
Else. Today I get to add a remembrance for a long-gone friend of mine, Marine Lance
Corporal Francisco Albert Mazariegos, 29 December 1947 to 27 June 1967.
I met Frank in high school. His family lived on the nearby Air Force base. I wasn’t a
military dependent but somehow I persuaded the Air Force recreation center director
to let me join their band playing saxophone, which was fortunate because that’s what
I played. His son was the lead guitarist and sang. We had weekend gigs there and at the
enlisted men’s club, and once at the officer’s club. The group also performed at Tampa’s
teen dance centers and appeared on a local TV dance show a few times. Frank was
there in the crowd, but he was hard to spot behind a busy circle of starry-eyed girls.
In those days, I could drive to the Rec center by identifying who I was at the gate and
telling the guard where I was going. I hung out at there two or three days a week in the
afternoon. Frank and I shot pool there. He always won. I was there with him because
the young ladies liked him … and they were always there too. He had been a runner-up
in the annual Mr. Florida contest.
Frank was good-looking, smart, with a quick sense of humor and a confident manner
about him that was not common in most of his goofy classmates. Over the years, he has
come to mean all those who gave their lives for our country. This is why I remember him
every Memorial Day, and more often than you’d think, throughout the year. We all
have a Frank. So, we honor him and all the previous protectors, by never forgetting
them and by fully living our lives, the way they would have wanted us to.
Anybody that knew Frank still misses him. When you mention his name, some smile
and nod their heads. Others turn away to shed a tear. Yet, he is here. He is forever our
Thank you, Clet, for the space this week. Next time, it’s back to correcting your
apathetic attempts at orthographic study.
You can contact Clet Litter at email@example.com.
to you each week.