ANDERSON: Great people, great writers, that’s no joke | Archives

It was a fun week in which I witnessed a different prank being played every day by adults acting like children. The big thing was, many times the kids were on the short side of the stick.

It’s funny, because as my three children know, they are smarter than adults.

The first is courtesy of Marc Agnello. Marc is an Adaptive Physical Education teacher in Wellsville and helps coach all sports at all levels. Translation: if your child plays sports there, he could be the victim of a harmless prank.

I was walking past the high school and chatting with the coaches on Thursday when five boys from the junior varsity team ran frantically into the locker room.

The kids looked around, picked up several soccer balls, and kept rushing around looking for something.

A trainer finally said “what are your guys looking for?”

One of the players named Ryan spoke. ßCoach Agnello sent us for left-handed football.à

There was silence for a second. Then, as fast as the kids ran, they ran when they realized they were looking for something that didn’t exist.

Coach Agnello had fun with his fellow coaches last spring during baseball. He had a group of kids looking for the box of curve balls.

Meanwhile, another approached the other coaches asking for the keys to the batting box. The batting area is the square area in which you stand to hit. No keys or assembly required!

I can laugh because I fell for the same jokes. When I first got a car, someone told me I only needed one thing to pass inspection.

Oh, the laughs at the parts store when that cocky 16-year-old walked in and announced, “I need a can of your best turn signal fluid.”

Now I have some tips that are actually true, and also happened to be a joke to me at the same time.

One of the few times readers say they got something useful out of my columns was when I said pull your car’s emergency brake at the drive-thru. Then you can keep the car running and watch the movie without the headlights coming on (we used a blanket on them until we figured out how to do this).

My tip for today is about cutting onions.

I cry just picking them up to buy them.

However, if you just close your mouth while cutting them, you’re not doing it. I tried it, and sure enough, no burning eyes, redness or tears. It felt like my first time using Johnson & Johnson shampoo!

I was chopping onions for a salad and my friends told me we needed more chopped onions. I didn’t know two was enough. But if I cut the other 12, it would take 20 minutes. I couldn’t speak for 20 minutes.

They were in their glory. I couldn’t speak, which was a small price to pay for a very spicy salad.

I have to close this column to mention a few changes that have happened here over the past few months.

The Times Herald has quietly lost three great editors and, equally important, three great writers. Pat Vecchio, Beth Eberth and Tom Missel have all gone to a better place. No, they didn’t die, they went to Saint-Bonaventure.

The reason I say they went quietly is that for the past few years they edited our stories and rarely wrote. And as everyone knows, it takes as long to edit one of my stories as it does for me to write it!

One thing the three of them don’t know is that in my desk, in the bottom left drawer, I have stories or chronicles that I cut out and they wrote. I only cut something that really grabbed me or was done perfectly. Although it is not a hall of fame, the number of different writers is less than 10.

I had a good laugh when I learned that this weekly column had won an Associated Press award. I never would have thought that chronicles about the locals and the nonsense that myself or my children would do would win.

People like Pat and Beth pushed me to keep writing, and with 52 columns to choose from, Pat submitted a few he thought were pretty good.

Now, to put that into perspective, one year Tom wrote three ã columns for the whole year. The AP wanted three to five columns. We submitted his and he was named the top columnist in the state.

Oh, and in the same year he only wrote two stories. They were first AND second. How’s that for a batting average? he would call me back.

It is a pity that they are no longer there. I feel like Beth would search the newsroom for a left-handed keyboard for me.

(John Anderson is an editor for the Times Herald.)