Loopy Lede Lassos Mystic Tie

Jeff Kramer Mystic Tie Award 2014

New Jersey-based writer Dave Astor displays the Jeff Kramer Mystic Tie Award he won June 27, 2015, in Indianapolis at the 39th annual conferenced of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Photo by Cathy Turney.

New Jersey-based writer Dave Astor displays the Jeff Kramer Mystic Tie Award he won June 27, 2015, in Indianapolis at the 39th annual conferenced of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Photo by Cathy Turney.

INDIANAPOLIS, June 27, 2015 — Dave Astor, a New Jersey-based writer, employed a bit of magic realism to take home the 2015 Jeff Kramer Mystic Tie Award for his creation of the top of a story from a farcical premise.

The set-up, by longtime NSNC member Bill Tammeus, was as follows, well more or less:

There’s the old joke about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where it’s the only place were you can drive 500 miles and still end up in Indianapolis. Write the introduction to a story where the subject ends up elsewhere.

Astor has written the award-winning “Montclairvoyant” humor column for New Jersey’s Montclair Times since 2003, and began his DaveAstorOnLiterature.com blog in 2014. He is the author of the memoir Comic (and Column) Confessional.

Here is his topper:

“When I drove the NSNC car at the Indianapolis 500, I found myself going back in time. Started in Indy, then reached Washington, D.C., in 2014, then Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013, then Macon, Georgia, in 2012, then Detroit in 2011.

“In Detroit, General Motors recalled the NSNC car because the ignition turned on conferences that were too fun and educational. So I walked to 1977 and tried to post a Facebook item about the NSNC’s founding. My typewriter had no Internet access.”

The award is a lighthearted tradition of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. The set-up is announced on the Friday of the conference with a Saturday deadline for imaginative conferees. Jeff Kramer now is a columnist with the Syracuse (New York) New Times. He’s not currently in NSNC — Jeff’s bio may explain why. Mystic refers to the 1989 NSNC conference held in the Connecticut city. The tie is spectacularly ugly. And soiled. Heck, it’s not even Kramer’s tie anymore. That one must have disintegrated.

-30-

Print Friendly