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Mark Couhig has been a writer for more than 50 years.
His first experience with the written word arrived at a very early age when he was required to painstakingly hand-trace dotted lines in a notebook, a process that led first to a mastery of the straight, purely angular letters of the English alphabet. He soon turned his attention to the curved letters, exhibiting a full proficiency in that skill by the end of his seventh year.
Before another year had passed, Couhig had begun to cluster letters into meaningful compositions, an accomplishment for which he was awarded a coveted gold star, the first-ever public acknowledgement of his extraordinary aptitude with words.
In time he would take these words and strategically create further clusters, which he called “sentences.”
Paragraphs soon followed.
In the third grade Couhig learned the skill of cursive writing, allowing him to greatly expand and accelerate his output.
Over the ensuing months and years Couhig’s now-renown facility for dramatic narrative developed. He was able to work the delicate filigree of fiction — dramatic, purposeful action that engages the reader — to a degree that astonished Ms. Sweeney, his teacher and mentor. Of one of Couhig’s early works, “Run, Tom, Run,” she wrote, “I’m so proud of you.”
As his facility with words grew, so too did his worldview, aided in part by his assiduous readings of “The Weekly Reader,” which he continues to regard as a formative influence in his later, more mature works.
In the fifth grade, Couhig’s repertoire and love of the written word translated to a sterling turn on the stage as Shepherd No. 3 in a new and dynamic dramatic reading of the Gospel According to Luke, a popular work of the time.
Approximately 50 years later Couhig moved to Sequim where he writes a blog.
And by the way, you know how every time you get on a plane there’s a seat open next to you and it stays open right up till the moment the cabin door is going to shut for good, and then you see some fat guy waddling down the aisle and you wince, knowing exactly what happens next and then it does?
That guy is me. So shut up and stop complaining.
“Fathead” wrote to Ms. Aguilera to say that the “iBeats by Dr. Dre” are the best headphones he’s ever owned, and I think we can take that recommendation seriously based on the fitting difficulties alone.
But that is nothing when compared to the Gluten-free solutions for healthy families! produced by NoGil, which are endorsed by “TV personality and NY Times Best Selling Author; Elisabeth Hasselbeck,” who is so important she has reserved the right to demand the use of a semicolon before every mention of her name.
The Queen Essential EZ Bed, once viewed in a catalog by Elizabeth Regina herself, is said to be “Easy to open, close and adjust to just the right firmness.” This is said by someone who signs himself, “Supply, NC,” which certainly calls into question his objectivity.
The city of “Atlanta, GA” provides a stirring encomium for the “Comfy Couch Dog Bed,” in which the magisterial “Tuddles” is pictured reclining, as dreamy as a last-days resident of an opium den.
The city of Atlanta is unrestrained in its praise, saying “...truly a quality product. I wish I could find a sofa as comfortable for myself.”
We wish so too, Atlanta, but where would Valdosta sleep?
For $499 one can also purchase a “Luxury Pet Resident,” replete (and who wants anything that is less than replete?) with “solid hardwood with integrated roller shades, PVC tray, and plush foam mattress,” making it the most comfy and expensive cage in the world. “I wish I could find a sofa as comfortable for myself,” the City of Atlanta should have said.
Dr. Arnold Ross, who is Board Certified in Podiatric Biomechanics, says his new “Gravity Defyer” shoes, which feature a “Versoshock Reverse Trampoline Sole” are “such high quality shoes, I even wear them myself.”
High praise indeed. Moreover, Dr. Ross prizes your confidentiality as much as he does his feet, promising “you can try Gravity Defyer’s pain relieving footwear in the privacy of your own home,” thus ensuring none of those embarrassing moments that result when you find yourself drifting helplessly through the private airspace of someone else’s home.
Sears, the appliance giant, is also represented with a fine line of “Lab Created Ruby & White Sapphire Pave Heart Pendants,” which in less classy catalogs are less classily called plastic shiny bits.
Anyway, that brings us through page 16 or so, and I’m now growing weary. Perhaps a nap is due, or as I like to call them, a light descent into a hellish half-world into which regularly intrudes the shrill voice of our captain reminding us how pleased he and the rest of the crew are that we have placed ourselves in this predicament for their benefit.
And, of course, further punctuated by the occasional colon-trembling 500-mile-an-hour-plus adventure in bumpy air.
Would that I had purchased one of “Dr. Robert’s Deluxe Self-Medicating Kits,” which “Now Features a Fat and Sassy Dose of Demerol,” which is “Capable of Solving All Your Problems, At Least Temporarily ™.”