Gordon Dillow Is A Hack

There are many predictable things about a column by OC Register cowboy Gordon Dillow. It'll pose as anti-government while cooing over its agents of compliance in the police and military. It'll tickle the edges of racial and religious intolerance, especially in matters of language or reparations. But perhaps the most predictable feature is that each 500-word folkscreed—impossible to read without strains of toothless, 1940s character actor Walter Brennan playing in one's head—will end with one paragraph composed of one short sentence meant to explain/rationalize/summarize the previous country-fried meanderings. It's like an old guy's finger in your sternum. Doesn't matter if the subject matter is dead pets (“A world where our dogs would live as long as we do”) or Sept. 11 (“And it's sad to realize, on this day of all days, how quickly we've forgotten”), you're going to get the line.

Regarding the Sept. 11 line: there's also a high probability that the last line will begin with either “but” or “and.” And most probably “and,” as in “And that a terrible tragedy shouldn't be used to justify bad new laws.” “And I'll see you later.” “And I can't help thinking that with this guy back in the slammer, we're all one little drop safer.” “And I'll see you in 2004.” “And certainly not the people.” “And not just because I'm sitting on it.” “And God speed you safely home.”

I could go on—seriously—but then you'd probably start thinking Dillow is a hack, and who wants that? Plus, it would take valuable time away from our new game: Gordon Dillow Is a Hack, where the end of his column means the beginning of your fun!

1. Which coded racist was Dillow referring to when he finished a column with: “And somewhere between your heart and your mouth, you should always try to get your brain involved”?

A. Rush Limbaugh's comments about Donovan McNabb.

B. Newport Beach Councilman Dick Nichols' comments about Mexicans on the beach.

C. Dillow's comments on anything.

2. With which one of these clichs did Dillow not end a column?

A. “Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.”

B. “Better late than never.”

C. “And what's wrong with separate but equal?”

D. “And start putting the death back into the death penalty.”

3. Fill in the blank: “But the ___ isn't what it used to be.”

A. Beach.

B. Flu.

C. Poll tax.

4. Which of these double negative enders didn't he not write?

A. “But vandalism, no matter how petty, never is.”

B. “If you don't want to be treated like a criminal, don't commit the crime.”

C. “Real or fake, we'll never not have a Christmas tree at all.”

D. “You can't say He didn't warn you.”

E. “And the longer it goes on, no matter who prevails, no one is going to win.”

F. All aren't none of the above.

5. With which of these holiday clichs did Dillow not end a column?

A. “And that's why Ramadan is the happiest time of the year.”

B. “Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you.”

C. “And I hope you'll have an enjoyable—and meaningful—Veterans Day.”

D. “And start putting the death back into the death penalty.”

6. When he said, “In fact, although Lord knows nobody would ever want me to, for such a worthy cause, I'd take my shirt off, too,” the intention was to …

A. Induce purchase of beefcake calendar.

B. Induce celibacy.

C. Induce vomiting.

—Steve Lowery Answers: 1 (B); 2 (C); 3 (B); 4 (F – we think. He wrote them all.); 5 (A); 6 (A).

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