"Did you miss me?" I wondered.
"Not your ranting and raving," he said, "but the bottom of my cage was
certainly in need of some new thought-absorbing material."
I started to explain that I had changed my column and missed a
deadline, but he interrupted and said, "So are you really running?"
"Running?" I asked, sounding quite confused and innocent.
"Yes, you knucklehead," he retorted. "Running for City Council in the
upcoming City Council races."
"No," I stated flatly.
"You're not?" he replied in apparent shock. "So what have you been
doing this last year and a half by writing a column if you're not
running? Lots of people think your column has just been posturing so that
you can run."
Then he continued, "You probably meant to say, 'No comment' rather
than simply 'No,' didn't you?"
"No, I meant to say 'No, I'm not running.' "
"Why not?" he queried. "Don't tell me that having run for the city
attorney's office, you haven't given a thought to running for City
"To be truthful with you, when I started writing this column a year
and a half ago, I did have some thoughts about taking my shot at the
"What happened then?" he asked.
"Well, after a while, I started wondering whether I was really writing
on everything I should be writing about, and not just expressing opinions
on certain subjects for fear of alienating important political figures or
"That happens,' he responded. "Whenever you express an opinion on any
subject, half of the people will disagree with you and the other half
will agree. Then, the next time you express an opinion, 50% of those who
agreed with your earlier opinion will think you're a blockhead on the
next issue. And by the time you've written five or six columns, you'd be
lucky if your approval rating was as high as 10%."
"I am aware of that, and that is what troubled me." I agreed.
"It's easy," Bobo said. "You just write a bunch of nice stuff about
everyone--in particular those political people and groups who might be
able to do you some good."
"But my column's an opinion column--my opinion, whether accepted or