I’ve been working on column ideas but after writing them down, I found one sentence that pretty much summed up what needed to be said on the subject and not a drop more to be wrung out of it.

Kind of like the writer’s equivalent to the comedian’s one liner. That said, here’s a column theme that seemed to have legs and distance, but it starts and ends with ….

“So, why is it necessary to wash a washcloth? When you think about it, aren’t they self-washing?”

This occurred to me while folding a load of towels when I noticed the care tag on one of the washcloths. It read ‘washable.’ Huh?

Does the washcloth maker think we, their customers, are so indecisive that they need help deciding whether it’s okay to get a washcloth wet and a care tag to support their decision to use it around water?

I suppose it could have read “wash at your own risk,” but then sales would suffer.

See what I mean? This topic has no legs. No distance. Editorial page writing is for long distance marathoners not this stubby-stemmed sprinter stumbling toward an elusive finish line.

The other thing wrong with the idea is that there is no local angle anywhere in those few sentences and “local” is the point of what we do here at the Chagrin Valley Times.

Who here wants to read about laundry and the odd care label found on washcloths? Headline it “The Loneliness of the Long Distant Runner’s Washcloth.” But that’s silly.

The editorial page is supposed to be serious and thoughtful with a dash of advice and a smidge of hopefulness so readers will want to keep their subscriptions or become a new subscriber because they ran across a copy in the dentist’s office.

Let’s investigate my original idea a little more deeply by asking this:

If you had only one detergent pod left in the bag and a too full laundry basket, would you choose to remove the washcloth in favor of a pair of undies or would you trade the undies for the washcloth?

Personally? I’d take the quilt out of the basket. But that’s just me.

So, “washcloths” are definitely out as a column subject unless we can somehow say the laundry basket, detergent pod, undies, washcloth and washing machine involved in this controversy live someplace in the Chagrin Valley.

Or the undies vs. washcloth problem was once faced by someone who lived elsewhere before moving to the valley. Perhaps this person regales friends with the story of the undies and the washcloth at cocktail parties. Perhaps they should resist telling the story or risk never being asked to another party again.

But that is also silly. Since we are creating something, let’s not stifle our ideas before they are fully formed. Let’s stick with our original idea a little longer.

Onward! Here’s a possibly worthy idea we might try out:

“Forget the tax returns and the redacted version of the Mueller report, who’s with me on demanding to see the president’s washcloth, take samples from it and prove once and for all that his “tan” is bottled and, as he has claimed, he is “related to God.”

Naw, not good. Writers have been penning funnier and more precisely aimed musings about the president than this offering so let’s leave them to it.

How about a piece on the next presidential election or new regulations to slow down the rate of gun deaths in this county.

Just who do I think I am to command a discussion of two such urgent and complex topics? Who am I? I’m the one who just wrote 600 words on the subject of washcloths.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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