This week marks sort of a milestone for me.

The version of this column you’re reading is the 100th since I began working for the Houston Herald in the summer of 2010.

They haven’t all hit the newsstands in successive weeks, because there were four occasions when I was involved in a different column project along with this big ol’ Welsh Corgi I know, and another four when the column segment of my brain drew a complete blank. But this “Off the Cuff” is indeed No. 100 – and yes, I’ve kept track.

Looking back, I guess I’m a little amazed there have been only four real intermissions. Then again, I guess that shouldn’t be so surprising, since my subject matter is usually the same as what Jerry Seinfeld always said his long-running TV sitcom was about: nothing.

Doug Davison

And with nothing as a driving force, there’s always plenty of material to draw from. Think about it – when nothing is all you need, there’s always something. When nothing is the focus, something always comes into view. And when nothing can become something, there’s never a shortage of anything.

Whew, that’s a bit dizzying.

Anyway, if you’ve subjected yourself to actually reading these things on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the nothings I gravitate toward don’t often involve national policy, state legislation or world peace.

Sure, every now and then I might write about something I feel is wrong or ridiculous (like when I expressed my disgust at the way that dumb website Topix promotes anonymous slander in the name of “free speech”), and sometimes I might decide to point out how fortunate people are that a scant few of their neighbors are willing to do something worthwhile for them without the expectation of compensation (like risking their lives, the way volunteer firefighters do).

But I don’t usually feel led to take issue with issues, and for the most part, I like to keep it light. I’d rather describe unique or memorable moments and circumstances, ponder strange aspects of every day life that are either taken for granted or go unnoticed, or share funny or amazing stories about animals.

I guess that’s largely because I know there are plenty of other avenues where people can get their fix of arguing, name-calling, unsubstantiated claims, and mindless drivel about entirely unimportant things or people. I just don’t feel there’s a need for me to constantly point out how dead wrong one side is on a political issue, or how wonderful the other side is for its visionary and heroic expenditure of money that doesn’t really exist. And I don’t feel a need to complain about the department of this or that, or explain how “stupid” a particular person or way of thinking is.

There are plenty of other folks going out of their way to do those things, and they seem to be doing just fine.

So instead, things that come off of this cuff will be the likes of horses, horseshoe tournaments, weather and Yogi Berra quotes. You’ll have to look elsewhere for opinions about political oxymorons or attacks on political morons, but if you’re curious about the possible origins of old sayings, or you’re interested in considering ways of dealing with escape-prone donkeys, you’ve come to the right place.

For me (and Cuff readers), it’s mostly all about nothing. And that, to me, is really something.

Thanks for enduring the first 100 of these. I’d proclaim that “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” but the fact is you have – 100 times.

So I guess now I’ll get started on the next bunch.

But don’t expect much. In fact, expect nothing.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Past versions of his column are posted on the blog page at http://www.houstonherald.com. Email:  ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Advertisements