By Jerry Zezima
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
William Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Dorothy Parker did the Bard one better when she said, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”
Since it is February, the shortest month of the year, I am going with another old saying: “Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, except February, which has 28, and in a leap year 29.”
Not brief (at least not in the sense of lingerie) but true. So this month I have compiled a list of short takes. They will be with you shortly.
• In our never-ending quest to expand our base, we got to second base with the Association of Opinion Journalists, to which (swinging for the fences with the baseball analogies) we pitched the idea of merging or forming a partnership. The AOJ struck out when it decided to partner with the Poynter Institute, which is in Florida, where — you guessed it — spring training begins on Feb. 19. Go Red Sox!
• On Groundhog Day, Indiana Izzy came out of his burrow (if he lived in New York City, he’d have come out of his borough) to see his shadow and declare that there are four more months until the 2015 NSNC conference in Indianapolis. Izzy or isn’t he going? Of course, he is! Are you?
Register now. Registration opens in March; watch the website for details on the Indy conference.
• February is when Presidents’ Day is celebrated, so I thought I’d set a president and give a tip of the stovepipe hat to my predecessors, all of whom did a wonderful job in making the NSNC the great organization it has been since its founding in 1977. Here they are: Richard Des Ruisseaux, Mary Ann Lindley, Bill Tammeus, Sheila Stroup, Jonathan Nicholas, Regina Brett, Pete Rowe, Mike Leonard, Suzette Martinez Standring, Mike Argento, Samantha Bennett, Ben Pollock, Larry Cohen and Eric Heyl.
• In keeping with both the February and presidential themes, the shortest U.S. president was James Madison, who stood only 5-foot-4 in his stockinged feet. He borrowed the stockings from his wife, Dolley Madison, who was taller than the shortest NSNC president.
• February also is the month when Valentine’s Day is celebrated. You might want to go to Victoria’s Secret and get your significant other (or yourself) some lingerie. Dorothy Parker, who was only 4-foot-11, would be proud.
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Jerry Zezima writes a syndicated humor column for his hometown paper, The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate.