As you may be aware, The Salt Lake Tribune is running an online subscription contest featuring the hard-hitting journalist Peggy Fletcher Stack, the artistically irreverent Pat Bagley and me. So far, I’m losing.
Not just losing. I’m coming in dead last. I blame at least some of my poor showing on the fact that I got sick just before the contest started last week. Hideously miserable, I haven’t been able to do the stumping that I otherwise might have.
I checked the tally last night and discovered that, while I am running behind, I have nonetheless managed to attract several prominent votes.
Among those who have signed up for sltrib.com subscriptions using my link, are Vladimir Putin, two Mormon general authorities (whom I shall not name at the risk of causing them disrespect), a prominent rapper (who shall also remain nameless out of what’s left of the respect I have for myself), and North Korean Supreme Rodent Kim Jong Un.
I am a bit perplexed by Putin’s interest in following me, since he already knows I didn’t vote for President Donald Trump. My calls to the Kremlin have not been returned.
Then there’s Kim Jong Un, who made it perfectly clear in this heavily paraphrased email as to why he needed a digital subscription to The Tribune.
Kim • “The sad, lying Kirby is a threat to the peaceful people of North Korea. Our missiles can reach far into Utah. If war comes, he and everyone else in his Herriman, Utah, USA, will die first. I wish to read about it.”
Me • “Sonny and I have a cannon big enough for you to fit into it, you squirmy little possum. We can’t reach North Korea yet, but we can get you as far as Elko.”
The exchange ended when the National Security Agency — camped just over the mountain from Herriman — severed the email connection for reasons of “inappropriate national diplomacy.”
OK, enough of that. The point of this column is to make you aware of the fact that I am running third in a three-way contest. This will either cause you great satisfaction or considerable alarm. I’ll settle for vague concern.
See, I don’t mind that Peggy is ahead of me. She’s been doing this newspaper stuff since way before I crawled out of a police car. She’s received many awards for her work, including international ones … although none from North Korea.
Peggy is also a genuine reporter, meaning that she’s ethically committed to telling the truth as objectively as possible in her stories, most of which have to do with a subject many people find worthy of slinging threats and insults over — religion.
So losing this contest to her makes a certain amount of sense. She’s a professional news reporter. I’m just a wretched idiot with a talent for recognizing other wretched idiots.
This brings us to Bagley. We’re opinionmongers. What I write and he draws are basically fodder for commentary and discussion, if not outright gunfire.
Pat has an edge on me in that what he produces is captured in a glance — something you can’t undo once you’ve seen it. For the rest of my life, I will carry the psychological burden of having seen Donald Trump naked courtesy of Pat’s pen/scalpel.
Conversely, you can stop reading my column as soon as you start to feel a sense of loathing. Hell, I’m surprised you made it this far.
If you did, please take a moment and consider that losing to Pat (a fellow wretched idiot), won’t hurt if it’s at least close. So vote now. And, by that, I mean for me.