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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1997)
Secrets and lies
Columnist takes opportunity to answer letter writers ’ lingering questions
STEVE WILLEY is a senior
news-editorial major and
a Daily Nebraskan colum
Well, it’s that time of the semester
again. Time to openly respond to
some of the letters and e-mails I’ve
gotten throughout the year.
Thanks for all of them, by the
They’re always a hoot to read,
especially when they are from my
father, and he consistently misspells
the phrase, “Yew sue!”
But rather than dance around with
boring introductions, let me get right
into some of the more interesting let
All of these, by the way, are actu
al letters or e-mails I have received
this semester from students.
(Of course the names have been
changed, partly to protect the authors,
but mostly to help conceal the fact
that the letters are all from me.)
And by the looks of them, I’m not
the only idiot out there.
A few months ago, you wrote a
column about El Nino. In that col
umn, you wrote, “When I find out
who this El Nino fellow is, I’m gonna
kick his Mexican ass!” I want you to
know that I was extremely offended
by (his and was wondering why - oh
why - you are purposely campaign
ing to get all Mexicans beaten by gar
den hoes? You, sir, are a bigot!
An angry Mexican-American.”
You have no idea how much mail 1
received about his column. I had no
idea it would generate such a ruckus.
All I was trying to do was play off of
my stupidity. I was trying to convey
the idea that I actually thought El
Nino was a real Mexican person who
leapt from state to state spewing hor
rible weather on folks. Of course, I
know now that El Nino is not a real
person, but in fact, a Basset hound
from San Salvador.
As far as the column is concerned,
I wish I had it to do over. I would def
initely make the joke more evident.
Or perhaps I could have worded it in
such a manner that would NOT have
set back the struggle of minorities by
several decades. Sorry.
After reading your columns for
three years, I really feel like I know
you. Consequently, I feel like you’re
the only guy I could possibly confess
this to. You see, when I was 6,1 used
to wear my parents’ bed sheets like a
big diaper. And they never made a
fuss about it; that is, until I insisted on
wearing their bed sheets to my sister’s
wedding 15 years later. Have you ever
done something like this?
Err, no. Well, I take that back.
Once, back in my diaper days, I used
to have to wear my pet cat, Speedy, as
underwear because my father drank
all my “pamper funds.” I was too
young to remember, but my mom
says that every time she would run the
electric can opener, I would instantly
become “such a happy little Stevie.”
And when mom would turn off the
can opener, I would begin to threaten
her with the business end of a plunger
until she clicked it on again. I’m kind
of kinky that way.
A horrible rumor has been circu
lating through the company I work
for. I heard that you were recently in a
terrible auto accident last Tuesday. Is
this true? Are you dead? Can I have
your bed sheets?
Dear M.D. (again)
I’m s^d to say the rumor is true. It
was snowing while I was on the way
to Omaha to meet my boss. I was
going way to fast and after passing a
semi, I lost control of my truck and
quickly found myself comfortably
sliding down the interstate sideways.
I swear this is true!
I guess I was still doing about 70
mph, and I firmly believe that I could
have shut my truck off and slid the
next 20 miles into Omaha unimped
ed. Seriously, I thought I would never
stop, but fortunately for me, I was
assisted by another semi traveling the
opposite direction. I wasn’t too
banged up; however, when para
medics arrived, they instantly shot my
truck. By the way, I was issued a
speeding ticket for doing 163 in a 75
when I got hit by the truck.
The tooth fairy, who I later found
out at the hospital was actually a
highway patrolman, said it was the
only speeding ticket he had ever
given to a vehicle that was traveling
You don’t know me, but I have a
couple of classes with one of your
roommates, who swears you are in
love with Bailey from the TV show
“Party of Five.” Are you aware that
Bailey is a guy?
Sarah Nosine ...
Of course, I’m aware that Bailey
Salinger is a guy, but you see, I’m
confident enough in my sexuality that
I can openly express whether or not I
find another man attractive. In
Bailey’s case, not only am I confident
enough to say that I find him gor
geous, but I’m also confident enough
to state that if I were ever left alone in
a room with Bailey and some
everybody, and Merry Christmas.
Unless, of course, you’re the driver of
the semi truck - parts of which are
still embedded in my spleen.
If you’re him, piss off!
Ending it all is no solution to holiday blues
CLIFF HICKS is a news
editorial and English
major and a Daily
Don’t do it.
Believe me, I know that someone
somewhere is thinking about it, but
suicide is not an option.
Trust someone who knows.
Oh, I might not know your spe
cific problems, friend, but believe
me, I have walked down a similar
road - the way is hard for a tot of us.
You aren’t the only one who has con
sidered the idea.
Around the holidays, suicide
uecumes a tempting opuon to many
of us. It’s an easy way out of a lot of
problems, it’s a rest from all the
hardships - these are the things we
tell ourselves while we’re thinking
It’s a cheap way out.
Holiday times can be tough on a
lot of us. Sure, it's supposed to be the
Joyous season where everyone is
happy, everything goes right and our
lives are so much brighter.
But for a lot of people, it simply
doesn’t work that way.
During the holidays, some peo
pie spend a lot of time alone, and let
me tell you that it’s no fun, because I
too have been there. I’ve spent those
long days looking at the television
set, trying to find solace in the two
dimensional figures that banter end
lessly at me.
They offer no support.
This and Valentine’s Day are the
two holidays I hate the most for vari
ous reasons: Christmas because it
looms like a shadow over next year,
and the week following will set the
pace for the next year. Valentine’s
Day I just hate on principle because
I’m single and am working on beat
ing Genghis Khan’s record for
“attractive to the least amount "of
people in a lifetime.”
What can I say, it’s a tough world.
Christmas, however, reminds a
lot of people that they really don’t
have a place to go home to, or people
to help them endure the rough
weather. While some people are
spending the holiday with family
and loved ones, thev don’t feel like
they really have a place to go where
they fit in.
My brothers and sisters, I too
have shared the sentiment.
It’s a hard holiday on the forlorn
Despite that, though, to say that
you aren’t loved enough to merit
your own death is simply an empty
Most of the people who write this
kind of thing, urging people not to
take their own life during this time of
year, have never had these kinds of
problems. They’ve never really felt
the pangs of depression weighiiig
down their soul. They’ve never felt
like there was no other way out.
Sometimes they’ll tell you that
God will help you escape from your
problems, or that if you look into
yourself, the answer will be
revealed. They tell you that suicide is
a cowardly thing to do.
They tell you that they under
Well, understanding and know
ing are two entirely different things.
They understand -1 know.
I have thought about suicide
before and probably will again. It’s
not like it’s something you can easily
dispel. Life is problematic; such is
its nature. I’ve walked down the dark
path of life, striving to find a
foothold as nearly everything fell out
from under me.
Believe me, I know.
Each time I think about it, I talk
myself down. There are a lot of rea
--1___t' -L .-Ll
‘JVUJ nrujr, muoi Ul WiliUl dppijr IU
each and every one of you. The first
reason is your friends.
You’re going to say you don’t
have friends, of don’t have good
I’ve felt the same way too. But
stop and think how many people
would show up to your funeral if you
killed yourself. Think of how many
people whose life you have influ
enced one way or another. Think of
how many of diem would miss you.
Just a few days ago, I was rather
frustrated as I was preparing to leave
work,. A friend of mine asked me if I
was going home. I told her I might
go home or I might just drive my
truck off a bluff - it was something
said in frustration really, I haven’t
been suicidal for a while. But her
reaction was what struck me.
“Hey now, that wouldn’t be
I started thinking about all of my
friends who would be angry, hurt
and confused by my death. My life
has been centered on trying to help
people do better in their life, in the
hope that I’ll find the way to help
myself. I thought about all the peo
ple who would never really under
stand what I’d be trying to say.
Believe me, everyone you know
knows about you. Just because they
don’t hang out with you, don’t call
you and don’t check up on you does
n’t mean they don’t care. A lot goes
on behind people’s backs, and peo
ple check up on one another through
the network of friends.
The friend who said that to me
doesn’t call, doesn’t visit, doesn’t
hang out with me, and on days I’m
naiu-picsscu iu even uc auie 10 use
the term to apply to her; but that’s
what she is, I’d like to think. -- %
Take a long step back addlook at
the problems that you’re having and
they’ll seem small in perspective. No
matter how big they are, they can be
beat, or they cm be run from, or they
can be corrected.
The only thing irreversible is
I’m telling you right now, from
one depressed person to another, sui
cide may seem tempting at times, but
it isn’t the way. You can’t change
your mind, there’s no turning back,
and there are always going to be at
least a few good times ahead.
Even if your life is chaotic, this
too shall pass. As another friend of
mine said to me recently “Out of
chaos comes'opportunity.” It was;
something I had started td Toiget in
recent months, especially as the
problems of the world seemerf insur
We all have the things in life that
make them endurable. My roommate
He and I have been best friends
for so long I no longer remember the
times when I didn’t have him around
in one way or another. I trust him
more than I trust myself, despite his
constant jabs and jibes. He’s practi
cally a brother and he’s a hell of a
guy, no matter how many times I pun
at his expense. (Hey, fair’s fair.)
You’ve probably got someone
like this, even if you don’t know it. If
you don’t, sooner or later you’ll find
them. Sooner or later, I’ll find a
beautiful woman who will fall madly
in love with me. So I hone, anvwav
That’s really all it takes to talk
yourself out of it - hope.
Author Stephen King once
wrote, “Hope is a good thing, maybe
the best of things, and no good thing
ever truly dies.” The story was “Rita
Hayworth & The Shawshank
Redemption.” Tim Robbins and
Morgan Freeman starred in the
movie adaptation. Go rent it - it usu
ally helps me put things into per
The dark tunnel will come to an
end sooner or later, my friends.
Don’t you want to be there to see
the light on the other side?
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