The following column was not ghostwritten.

It was not lip-synced.

It was not written by a professional speechwriter.

Or an anonymous TV news writer.

But I am accepting applications for the job.

Nobody does his own communicating any more. They hire it out.

Why shouldn't I?

Here's the deal: We'll still use my name and my outdated photo up there in the corner, but with your words below it (I'm actually 85 years old and have no teeth, but I haven't gotten around to getting a recent photo taken).

I'm putting the job up for the highest bidder on eBay. Don't tell my editor.

I got the idea for subcontracting my work after realizing how many other people do so.

The cute little Chinese girl lip-synced to the voice of the poor little girl with bad teeth in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Like Ashlee Simpson.

The talking heads on the network TV news get millions of dollars just to read other people's words.

Celebs and politicos hire ghostwriters to tell their stories, but they don't acknowledge it. What, you thought Paris Hilton wrote "Confessions of an Heiress?" Puh-lease.

But what really started this idea of subbing out this column-writing gig was the presidential race. It turns out that Barack Obama, The Great Orator, doesn't orate his own words. He orates words written by a bunch of kids — professional speechwriters Joe Favreau (26 years old), Adam Frankel (26) and Ben Rhodes (30).

On the Republican side, John McCain is reading words written by Mark Salter. Sarah Palin reads speeches penned by Matthew Scully. Time magazine reported that Scully began working on Palin's convention acceptance speech before he even knew who McCain's running mate would be.

When President Bush talks, he talks with words written by 26-year-old Chris Michel or 25-year-old Jonathan Horn (apparently, writing, like running the 100-meter dash, is a young man's game, so I'm leaning toward a young applicant).

It's not exactly like finding out there is no Santa Claus, or that the pop divas lip-sync. Almost no president has written his own speeches since Abraham Lincoln.

Maybe we shouldn't vote for the party or the man — we should vote for the speechwriter. Except no one cares if former President George Bush really thought of lines such as "read my lips: no new taxes" or a "kinder, gentler nation" or a "thousand points of light" (all of them penned by the great Peggy Noonan).

And no one cares if JFK was saying his own words when he said "Ich bin ein Berliner" or "ask not what your country can do for you" (thank you, Ted Sorensen).

Nobody ever says, "That was a great speech Peggy Noonan wrote." President Bush gets the credit.

So I'm getting in on the act. I'm looking for someone who will fill a 700-word column and make me look good. It will free me up to do other things, such as work on my short game.

Applications are being accepted as I write. Maybe I'll attract some big names.

I would consider novelist Pat Conroy, but only if he promises not to write about the South and how messed up the women in his life are.

I would consider Hemingway, but he probably wouldn't work out. He'd take 650 words just to describe what he had for breakfast on the Champs-Elysees, and that kills off most of the column right there. So that's a problem.

Oh, yeah, and he's dead, too.

Brent Musburger can apply, except that he talks as if he gets paid per word, and we couldn't afford him. And some people consider him annoying. Me, for instance.

Stephen King could apply, but he might take the ghostwriting thing too far, and next thing you know my laptop will be screaming at me like Linda Blair and channeling Jim Morrison.

Dave Barry will be considered, because you can never have too many lines about boogers.

Tom Clancy could fill the column with thrilling techno talk — "He clicked the safety off his BLU-118 SR thermobaric nuclear rifle and peered through the VU-1 flux-capacitor night-vision spotting scope that can accurately target an ant on Pluto within two inches ... "

Paris Hilton could fill the column with lines like this one, taken directly from her "autobiography" — "I take my dog, Tinkerbell, seriously. But I don't take myself all that seriously. ... There are a lot of boring heiresses out there. What a waste, I say! ... There is no sin in life worse than being boring."

With prose like that, how can I go wrong?


Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesday. Please send e-mail to drob@desnews.com.