Lost Journal: Special BONUS Column Commentary

Journal entry: January 29, 2008 (age 38)

Hi, my name is Tim Mollen, and I’m the writer of “Lost Journal.”  Welcome to the special, bonus commentary track for today’s journal entry.  After suffering through many overlong, rambling, and ultimately worthless DVD commentaries by film directors, I decided to write one for my column.  Will it offer anything beyond the self-serving platitudes that fill most movie commentaries?  No.  Will it enlighten you as you read future columns?  No.  Is this bonus feature completely free?  YES.  (This opening paragraph, by the way, is usually just unfunny exposition.  But buckle up, because the second paragraph is usually a hoot and a half!)

First, let’s talk about the headline.  Most people outside of the newspaper industry don’t realize that many headlines are written by an editor, and not the reporter or writer of the actual piece.  I always submit my own suggested headlines, but they are sometimes changed or replaced by an editor.  I’ve gradually gotten better at writing headlines that editors like.  They generally include puns, wordplay, or alliteration.  I have several headlines in my head that are waiting to be matched with a story, such as:  “Three Injured in Wombat Zone,” and “Xenophobic Xylophonists Expunge Xerxes I Exhibit from Xinjiang.”

I forget what happens here.  Oh, wait – I think this is where I…no, that’s not it.  Bear with me while I read ahead to see what happens.  OK, I’m back.  Fast-forward through the next paragraph – it’s a “Deleted Thought” from a June 2006 column, and it doesn’t make much sense here.

I want to produce a television game show called Meat the Press, in which contestants hurl cutlets and shanks at news anchors.  “Wink, I’m going to wager $500 that I can hit Wolf Blitzer in the gut with this pork loin.”

The worst DVD commentaries include lots of industry jargon, and even inside jokes.  I wouldn’t do that – at least not in the nut graph.  I wouldn’t want to end up like Myrtle in accounting!  Oh man, she is never going to live that down.  Other commentary tracks include people who are supposed to chime in with trivia or anecdotes, but end up just sitting there, saying little or nothing of value.  If I were to include my mother in this commentary, I know she’d have something hilarious to add.  Right, Mom?

“Whatever you say, dear.”

Well, if you’re still reading this, you’re obviously a big fan of “Lost Journal.”  To thank you for sticking it out through this special “Even Lost-er” edition of my column, here’s a few more extra features.  Click here to watch 6 hours of bigature footage that the special effects team at WETA Workshop used to create my column photo.  And here’s the original theatrical trailer for my column:  “In a world where Oprah punishes memoir-writers who embellish their stories, one man loses his journal, but ends up finding JUSTICE.”

Finally, today’s column is scratch ‘n sniff.  Mmm…inky pulp.

Tim Mollen
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