A time to strike


By Neil Offen

In solidarity with our colleagues in Hollywood, we are considering walking off the job.

Unless we can come to an agreement very soon, the adverbs will be leaving their cubicles. Conjunctions will be walking off the assembly line. Prepositions will be logging out of their workstations. Proper nouns will be hitting the picket line.

All but essential workers — those who continue to protect this column against really dumb grammatical errors and the dedicated line workers who operate the spell-check machine — have handed in their time cards or been furloughed.

Following this shutdown, only extremely crucial sentences and some useful paraphrases will be allowed into this space. Key operations, such as clever plays on words and intricate puns, will be suspended until further notice. No broad lampoons or satirical jabs will be permitted to lampoon or to satirize.

We understand that this closure will cause significant upheaval in the lives of those of you who have grown to depend on silly jokes, adroit mockery, age-appropriate cultural references and insightful kvetching to get them through another hard day of trying to figure out what to do with their old record albums and where they left their glasses.

We are indeed sympathetic to those who relied on our witty jabs to help them forget that they still don’t know who is Dua Lipa and who is Doja Cat and that the end of the Vietnam War is now about as long ago as the end of World War I was during the period of the Vietnam War.

We fully can identify with all those who just want to skim some easy-to-read sort-of-funny columns between sets of more pickleball games and so can put off trying to decipher the YouTube video instruction manual for the new high-tech kitchen blender.

But we really feel that this is the time to take a stand. It’s also the time, purely coincidentally, to get in our nap.

Carrboro resident Neil Offen has been a humor columnist for four decades and in two countries. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Building a Better Boomer.” His column appears twice monthly in The Local Reporter.

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