Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bob Dunning: Is it an error, or opportunity knocking?


From page A2 | August 30, 2013 | 3 Comments

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN … like a number of other folks in town, I received my copy of the very excellent UC Davis Magazine in the mail last week and was stunned to find a strange yellow “post-it” note on one of the early inside pages …

“OUR GOOF = YOUR GAIN,” it began … “Spot the misprint in one of our feature stories, visit and take a reader survey by Sept. 10 for your chance to win an iPAD!” … holy exclamation points, that’s a whole bunch of commands in one simple sentence … spot, visit, take, win … where do I start? … then again, what a clever way to cover any and all mistakes you may inadvertently make in the production of your publication …

Now when a sharp-eyed critic sends a snarky letter to the editor saying “In your Summer 2013 issue you said ‘lay’ when you should have said ‘lie’ and I expected much more from a publication put out by an internationally renowned university,” the editor can say “Oh, we did that on purpose and you, oh wise one, caught us! Congratulations!! You now have a chance to win an iPAD!!!” … in fact, this is such a great idea that I plan to institute it myself …

Here’s the deal … every now and then over the next 20 years, I will misspell a word, misuse a phrase, misstate an opinion or make a factual error, all, of course, on purpose … catch me in the act and you will have a chance to win my old ’56 Schwinn that is parked around the side of the house … so be sure and read this column every day to increase your chances of winning … not to mention whining …

SPEAKING OF ERRORS … in a brilliant, sure-to-win-a-Pulitzer column last week detailing my personal history with the forlorn and scorned Central Park WPA bathroom, I noted its proximity to the old brick St. James Church and said “Mom spent so much of her church time hauling one kid or another back and forth across Russell to the bathroom that it’s a wonder she ever got to heaven.” …

Well, my friend Rich, an expert on Davis history if there ever was one, pounced on that statement like a tom cat on a backyard scrub jay … not the part about Mom making it to heaven, which is an established fact, but about my use of the word “Russell” … Rich’s point was that we were actually crossing Fifth Street, not Russell, which was technically correct, but for the fact that back then we all called that street “Russell” because that was the name of the street we used on our eastbound journey to get to Mass from Oeste (rhymes with “toasty”) Manor …

Nonetheless, Rich will now have a chance to win the very ’56 Schwinn I rode to altar boy practice on Tuesdays after school (see above) …

A DEADLINE LOOMS … OK, I know we go through this song and dance every year, so I’m going to repeat myself in a fit of self-plagiarism … put simply, it really is time to get started on a project that could change your life forever … yes, I’m talking of the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist, which over the years has delivered fame, fortune and sometimes unprovoked attacks from angry readers in the 15-items-or-fewer line at Nugget …

The contest is open to everyone, though I will admit we’ve probably never had a winner from Woodland, Winters, West Sacramento, Willows, Williams, Winnemucca, Weed, Watsonville or West Virginia … perhaps this will be the year … there is certainly no shortage of topics to write about in this town, from Sacramento River water to Aggie football to the senior exemption from the school parcel tax …

Then again, you aren’t limited in any way if you’d like to wander off into the weeds and talk about Obamacare instead … truly, no subject is off limits … you should, however, probably avoid the seven deadly words George Carlin warned us all about if you hope to have a chance of winning … this is, after all, a family newspaper …

Please keep in mind that you do not have to agree with the many opinions expressed by the Above-Pictured Columnist over the years, whatever they may be … in fact, if you agree too much, I’m likely to lose all respect for you … rules for this contest are almost non-existent … your column should be between 400 and 800 words, though the Large Judging Body (see picture above) rarely enforces that rule, mostly because he can’t count past 100 … entries, due this coming Tuesday (by midnight), should be emailed to … time’s a-wasting … the deadline looms …

— Reach Bob Dunning at


Discussion | 3 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich RifkinAugust 29, 2013 - 5:43 pm

    "Rich’s point was that we were actually crossing Fifth Street, not Russell ..." When Davisville was originally laid out in 1868, the east-west streets, running south to north were Front, First, Second, Third and Fourth. Somewhere around 1920, all the names of the core area streets were changed. Front was renamed First, First became Second, Second became Third, and so on. Thus the east-west street that your mother crossed at C Street was originally Fourth Steet. And C Street itself was originally called Cherry Street. The roads running north-south from B Street to J Street were all named for trees, except for H. That was originally called Woodland Street, because, I suppose, it was next to the railroad line which headed to Woodland. ..... Later, Fifth Street, which originally did not meet up with the highway (Russell Boulevard), was re-routed at an angle between C and B, as we know it today, so drivers could more easily get on the highway. That was possible only after Central Park was built, and part of it was cut off for the newly angled Fifth Street.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • August 31, 2013 - 12:42 am

    This would be valuable information to be added to the Davis Wiki.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JileyNovember 30, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    Excuse me Mr. Dunning, but you are mistaken. You have indeed had a column contest winner from Winters. I know this because it was me. 1994 - my kids will never forget the all expenses paid dinner at McDonalds!

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12



Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8





Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11







Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6