May 6, 1998

Rob and Va Bid a Fond Farewell

By Vanessa Nygaard
and Robin Davidson

In light of Vanessa's imminent departure for New York (she was drafted by the New York Liberty of the WNBA), this will be our last column together. Before you cry and smudge the ink, we thought we'd share what we've learned through this experience.

Robin: The world is coming to an end! I don't know how I'll ever be able to go on.

Va: Really? I feel strangely liberated. Freed from the shackled cloud of discontent that writing this column brought to my life.

Robin: That's not a compliment, is it?

Va: Maybe.

Robin: Well, since this was such a miserable existence for you, why don't we try to figure out a few tips for others who may attempt similar ventures? That way it won't be so torturous for them.

Va: I knew you were good for something.

Robin: Well, that works for our first tip. Don't write a column with someone who hates you and likes to makes fun of you and beats you and generally isn't nice and . . .

Va: That's not fair, Robin. You're not that bad.

Robin: What do you think is a key to a successful column?

Va: Iambic pentameter.

Robin: I don't know what that is, but I know we didn't do it.

Va: My point exactly.

Robin: Well, what was your favorite thing about the columns?

Va: All the great adventures we took - to the rodeo, fishing, lawn dart championships, building our own bat cave under The Daily. . . .

Robin: That brings up another very important point: Making things up is bad; truth is good.

Va: But Robin, the truth isn't funny. Failing your oceans midterm because you got bitten by a shark is much funnier than saying you didn't study.

Robin: Have you ever heard of journalistic integrity?

Va: No, is it anything like virtual reality?

Robin: I don't understand you. Another important thing for writing columns is to always have a clear, thought-out topic.

Va: You could've told me that four months ago.

Robin: Do you have any advice for the readers?

Va: One thing I've noticed is that inside jokes don't work with an audience as big as The Daily is so maybe you should try to avoid them, Nanny-boo. But when you think about it, aren't all jokes inside? Some are just more inside than others. It's like a bunch of concentric circles, that just keep circling and circling and circling until it looks like one gigantic pile of circles.

Robin: Are you done yet? Because I have another tip. You should be sure to find a co-columnist who can actually focus on the task at hand.

Va: What? Did you say something? I'm watching the game.

Robin: Well, since if I have your attention for just a second, maybe you could tell me if there are any issues we didn't cover that you would have liked to have discussed.

Va: Short coaches - do they really carry the same authority? Dog racing - why? If retired horses go to the glue factory, where does retired glue go? Mascot basketball - why is it so entertaining? And, the ever popular problem that really has nothing to do with sports - why do you say take a dump when you obviously leave a dump?

Robin: Those are riveting topics. My favorite that we never got the chance to write was "Famous Historical Figures - What Sport Would They Play?"

Va: Abraham Lincoln would have made a kick-ass curler. With his beard he wouldn't even need a broom. And can you imagine our founding fathers in a street luge, federalists vs. anti-federalists grudge match? I hear Thomas Jefferson had a very low center of gravity.

Robin: OK, getting back to the column. Another tip is to avoid random tangents that don't make any sense.

Va: They make sense to me.

Robin: Is there anything that you learned from this experience? Or to put it another way, what will you take away from this experience? And don't use this as an opportunity to pick on me.

Va: Well, the right thing to say would be that I learned that journalists' jobs aren't as easy as they look and maybe they should get all those seats really close to the court even though they didn't pay for them. But the things I really learned. . . wait a minute, just like a Cal student, I didn't learn anything. What did you learn, Robin?

Robin: Clearly, I learned more than you, but that would be true on most days. What I really learned is that most things I think are funny really aren't. And most things you think are funny are twisted and mean.

Va: Hey, this is more depressing than the ending of "Seinfeld." Before I go, in the tradition of Fiona Apple, I'd like to take the opportunity to use this forum to make a statement about society. I don't remember that Maya Angelou quote, but here's what I have to say: The world would be a much better place if people followed the rule of DOTTING your i's. Make a dot, not a circle, not a heart, not a smiley face, not a shamrock - a dot. And that's all I have to say about that.

Robin: I just want to have the last word. Word.

If there's anyone out there who actually enjoys reading this column and doesn't want to see it end, send us money and maybe it won't. Then again, maybe it will. Either way we could use a free burrito, Nanny-boo.