Magic 8 ball, Facebook for ideas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Faithful readers of The Star-News know that every Tuesday afternoon, I’m tasked with coming up with some light and wonderfully funny story about whatever it was I did or my children did during the days before, or maybe even a touching piece on a family memory.

Believe it or not folks, sometimes it’s hard to come up with something to write about, and yesterday was one of those days.

There was nothing outstanding about the weekend, because we didn’t do anything column-worthy or out of the ordinary.

We did go to Orange Beach for the weekend, but truly the most exciting thing we did was go to the outlet mall and have a grape snow cone. In its defense, it was an awesome snow cone, but it would be a stretch of my creative talent to pull out a 400-word “ode to a snow cone.”

I could have written about what a retarded idea it was to go to the outlet mall on sales tax holiday weekend, but what’s the point in that?

So, like most folks do these days when they have a pressing question or are looking for feedback in general – I turned to Facebook, posting, “Need a column topic. Any suggestions?”

Truly, you would think that with 603 friends, someone would have an idea.

Thankfully, five did.

My friend Sandy Hunt suggested I write about epilepsy and how the public needs awareness. As the mother of an epileptic child, she’s right.

Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Seizures happen when clusters of nerve cells in the brain signal abnormally, which may briefly alter a person’s consciousness, movements or actions.

Epilepsy affects nearly 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide.

My friend Lee Peacock – a fellow reporter who, incidentally, uses a Magic Ball when he’s stumped – suggested writing on dog days.

The most I know about dog days is it’s hot and then the rains came – which made it miserably hot.

My friends in Florala, Samantha McDaniel and Stacey Hudson, wanted to know why couldn’t Florala High School issue student schedules before tax-free weekend?

Sorry, kiddos. No clue on that one.

The best suggestion came from fellow columnist Nancy Blackmon, who said I should write about asking Facebook what you should write about?

“My how times have changed,” she wrote.

She was absolutely right on both fronts.