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Karl Kranston's "Where's the Wonderful?" (Week 6 - Final Installment) Goodnight Sweet Elm

Bit of sad news to relay to you, Dear Readers. I received a phone call from Gil Lowenthal, editor of the Topeka Bugle informing me of the passing of Karl Kranston; Lutheran, Kansan, saugglocke salesman and bon vivant, in that order according to the man himself. He was killed in a drunk driving accident (his fault), ironically on his way home from the newsroom after finishing this very piece. Karl's column, Where's the Wonderful?, ran on these pages a few months back to middling success and little fanfare. He and I's friendship never really solidified (mainly due to his political stances and glaring lack of culture), but I respected the man nonetheless and am saddened by his departure from this mortal coil. Here, in all its splendor, is his final column. A swansong beneath even his unremarkable talent.

Karl "The Dutch Elm" KranstonForgive me, I was working for a living at its inception, but was MTV anything other than total crap for a generation that has been unable to do anything, including wiping its own goddamn ass?

I'd think twice about that cheese sandwich. It's full of regret. And fat.

Can a haircut have a "Happy Ending"? Not at the Regis Salon in the West Ridge Mall, I can tell you. Was I out of line? Those women are whores, right?

If there's one thing that will send me into a frothing rage -  it is a hot dip at a summer party.

Is Shamu still alive? That old whale must be 107 by now. What's that in human years?

Call me cynical, but I think Dr. Dolittle has a little explaining to do with regard to reckless genetic manipulation.

Always remember Jayhawk fans; you can't spell suck without K-S-U!

That Dick Cheney sure has a "can do" and subsequently "fuck you" attitude, doesn't he? Must be that Wyoming air.

I remember quite a few things before the accident. All of them rather unpleasant.

I've always felt the advent of computers would help the crippled no end. But it seems they still insist on going outside and "doing" things.

I don't feel I should automatically change the way I fire up my grill just because of the Larson boy's burns.

"Happy" has told me a bit of good news. No longer will my in-laws, Dirk and Faith Hopkins, refer to me as that "immigrant Swede". My family is from Holland. But it's still good news after 29 years.

I've lost the ability to distinguish between irregular verbs and animals that are entirely made up. I blame my Lipitor.

One should never argue from a position of weakness. They should argue from a position wherein they can rise from the table and stab their contradictor with a hidden knife.

Kansas law implicitly states that my fist ends at the exact point where I think your ethnic makeup begins.

Maybe Hitler was crazy, but there's nothing inherently wrong with men parading around in lederhosen, surrounded by big-titted blondes, drinking strong beer and wishing there were less Jews to bother them with details.

My two weeks off for vacation better not place me below Timmy Diamond on the sales board. Bermuda could turn out to be my Waterloo.

That whole Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz syncopation thing is bunk. "Happy" and I tried it. Never matched up. Of course, we have differing perceptions when our acid circles kick in. She finds Roger Waters to be an insufferable ass and I see Jack Haley for what he really was; a cringing nancy-boy, no more suited for the Tin Man than Syd Barrett for real life. "Happy" and I go back and forth, arguing with cigarette tracer burns and hurtful personal attacks that cannot, will not, ever be forgiven. We decide that the essence (and startlingly, the actual geographic measurements) of the "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Oz" are identical. We go to bed, spoon and grit our teeth until the speed wears off. Then we go get eggs and smoke cigarettes at IHOP, even though it's not allowed.

Corn is king. I don't care if any coast dweller says otherwise.

Don't fear the reaper? Heck, that's all I do. 

Oh my, "The Elm" has been drinkin'.

Gil, can I get a ride home?

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