Fake News Briefs: Safire and B-Ball

William Friggin’ Safire dead at, like, 79

William Safire, a speechwriter for presidents and a prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times who also wrote novels, books on politics and a treasury of articles on language, like totally died Sunday from a really wicked case of pancreatic cancer. He was way old, hanging out in this righteous realm for something like 79 years.

The conservative columnist, who feared no politician and was a master of the English language, croaked at the hospice where he was chillin’ while waiting to get his ticket punched to the Big Pressroom in the Sky. One of his last appearances in public came in 2006 when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by another Dude of Significance among conservos, former President George W. Bush.

In the Safire world of politics and journalism, it was simple: there was his own unambiguous wit and wisdom on one hand and the blubber of fools on the other. The Billster was never down with fellow writers at the Times, whom he regarded as gonzo honchos who thought they were (air quotes) kewl when in fact their judgments, offered with Olympian detachment and self-appointed expertise, were in fact both gimp and crunk.

A talented linguist widely cited as the consummate wordsmith, Safire wrote the “On Language” column for the New York Times magazine for 30 years. He was a pundit well known for his use of alliterative allusions, most famously in his description of Republican opponents as “nattering nabobs of negativism.” As an awesome aggregator of analism himself, he could barely keep his Pulitzer Prize-winning piehole shut as he pursued his erudition mission.

In its obituary printed yesterday, his former employer called him a “Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns.” Whoa.

He was sick with excellence for over half a century, and sick with the cancer for about six months. His wife of 47 years and two children survive his final am-scray from the ‘hood.

Duo thinks they got game

John Millard poured in 38 points while rookie Alan Garfield added another 29 yesterday as the team of guys who go through the day thinking every toss they make is actually a basketball shot soundly defeated a non-existent division rival.

The 113-94 victory appeared secured early in the fourth quarter when Millard banked a wadded-up paper towel into the corner trash bin of the employee breakroom from just next to the vending machine. Referees that exist only in his head at first ruled the shot a two-pointer but quickly upgraded it to a trey after reviewing the tape.

Garfield slammed the door shut on an opponents’ attempted comeback with a series of sparkling moves that included a hook shot of toilet paper into the commode, the lay-up of a paper clip into a magnetic cannister on his desk, and the thunderous dunk of a crumpled receipt into a bag of groceries he bought to restock the client refrigerator.

“This was a key game and I’ve been looking forward to it all day,” Millard said after the imaginary game. “Right from the moment I got up this morning, I felt I was going to be ‘on’ today. When I nailed a disposable razor shot into the heart of the trashcan in my bathroom before work, I knew the accuracy would be there.”

Garfield attributed his slow start of only 6 points in the first half to a lack of confidence following a devastating miss he made while preparing tea before leaving his suburban home.

“I tried to arch the teabag into the garbage disposal from only about four feet out, but I was just barely off-target,” Garfield recalled. “My cat was on the counter and probably would’ve been whistled for goal-tending in a live-game situation.”

He said that his confidence remained shaken until he spit out the window of the bus and hit a manhole cover on 32nd street. “That made all the difference in my play from that moment onward,” he said.

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2 Responses to “Fake News Briefs: Safire and B-Ball”

  1. steve Says:

    I love it!

  2. fakename2 Says:

    You can always tell a lifelong reader of Safire…
    In today’s newspaper there were a few translations of common text message shorthand along with a website you could go to that has a dictionary of same. (Now there’s a suggestion for you, language guy.)
    I once sent a text message to a coworker who had to take it to another employee so that together they could puzzle it out. I think, said Employee #2, she is saying she will be here but is going to be late. This is possibly because I used the archaic term “late”, as opposed to “L8”.

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