I have decided to begin accepting applications for the enviable position of Bill Kalmar's Best Friend Network. What with phone calls, emails, lunches, birthdays, anniversaries, holiday and Christmas cards and other social events I have too many friends and thus I need to cull the herd, so to speak. In 2013, I really need to spend more quality time with a smaller group of friends. I know you will understand.
Before you start, you should know some of the requirements for this position:
* A thorough knowledge of Seinfeld episodes and Frank Sinatra music
*A tolerance for long, rambling sometimes nonsensical messages being left on your answering machine
* Preparing and displaying "Bill You Are The Greatest" signs at all my 10K runs
BILL'S BEST FRIEND APPLICATION/QUIZ
3) Should I choose to make up a nickname for you, as I most certainly will, do you have any names that are strictly off limits (ex. "Doofus," "Bozo," etc...)?
4) Please list your last two best friends:
5) Who is your current or most recent best friend?
6) Reason for ending relationship:
7) What qualities do you possess that you feel could not be satisfied by a more traditional best friend, like a dog? Use another sheet of paper if necessary.
8) What is the latest/earliest that you will accept phone calls?
9) Fill in the blanks: "Hey, Bill, I really your last column in the Fort Scott Tribune. It was totally !"
10) Identify the films from which the following quotes were taken:
A) "Get something special for yourself, Clark"
B) "Please watch your language -- you are in the Baird School not a barracks"
C) "What we have here is an inability to communicate"
D) "HUA" -- pronounced "whoo--ah" -- what does it mean
11) How many times have you seen Barry Manilow live in concert?
12) Essay question: You do or say something that you wish you could take back at once. One of those moments where the only saving grace is that a bunch of people weren't around to witness you do or say it. But I was there, notebook in hand. A week later you read about it, in detail, in the Fort Scott Tribune with several fabricated embarrassments added and also attributed to you, supposedly to make for a more interesting read. There was no attempt to disguise your name. In fact, your phone number was mentioned. How do you react?
13) Do you prefer grilled hot dogs or boiled hot dogs?
14) What is your favorite breakfast at Cracker Barrel?
All done? Great. Paste your completed form in the comments section below.
I'll be announcing/embarrassing/plagiarizing the winner soon. Looking forward to your being my friend in 2013! By the way -- all readers of The Fort Scott Tribune have been grand fathered into my Best Friend's Network -- unless you decide to take one for the team and not be my friend.
In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season.
P.S. Hope you know this was all done in fun. One never has enough friends!
Editor's Note: Bill Kalmar of Lake Orion, Mich., retired from Comerica Bank in 1993 and was then director of the Michigan Quality Council from 1993-2003. The Fort Scott native now writes on a freelance basis.