Frequently Asked Questions About This Column


By Neil Offen

Why do you say frequently asked questions” rather than FAQs?

Because, IMHO, acronyms are ruining conversation. OTOH, I could be wrong, but that’s my POV.

How can a reader get the most out of the column?

For full appreciation, sit back in your best chair, take a deep breath and make sure you never utter the word “influencer.” It’s also good if you still believe that Drake is a coffee cake.

Have any subjects been harmed in the construction of this column?

No experimentation has been allowed, except, occasionally, I may have tried to see how one of my jokes went down with my wife and asked if she thought something was funny. Most of the time, she didn’t. Only rarely did she complain of acute abdominal pain caused by excessive chuckling.

Where do you get your ideas for the column?

Clever jokes are not easy to find, although they are definitely out there. You have to cultivate them, occasionally adding some manure if they are not yet ripe. (A few ideas, unfortunately, are only available during idea harvest season.)

How do you know if something is funny?

If someone laughs, unless it’s my wife, that’s a good sign. If she laughs, then I know I’ve probably stolen the joke from someone. Fortunately, neither of us remembers from whom.

Is the column hypoallergenic?

We believe it is, although since we’re not certain if hypoallergenic means too allergic or not allergic enough, we can’t be absolutely sure.

Is special training needed to become a humor writer?

Not really, although it does help if you’ve taken doctoral-level courses in puns and received the Legion d’Honneur for knowing where to put apostrophes.  

How can I send multiple texts through this column? Can you view live video with it? Is the column streaming on Netflix? How can I fix syncing problems? Does the column have a Quad HD Super AMOLED display?

I think you may have confused this column with the Samsung X2500 GS 476-3 Rocket-Launched Pebble Blue model. It’s a fairly common mistake.

When will the podcast be out?

Unfortunately, at this time there is no podcast of this column. There is also no YA version, no Broadway musical, nor Cliff’s Notes guide, nor novelization, nor upcoming television series. We continue to work on the Sunday morning cartoon and TikTok dance tie-in, but for the moment, there is only this, and, of course, its accompanying Young Thug soundtrack album. 

How often does a question have to be asked before it can be considered frequently asked?

At least twice.

How often does a question have to be asked before it can be considered frequently asked?

Do you use algorithms in figuring out what topics will be most appealing to readers and sell them to advertisers?

We would, if we were certain we had spelled algorithm correctly. Also, we’re not completely sure if it’s really any different from logarithm. Incidentally, if you know any advertisers who would be interested, please tell us how to get in touch with them.

Are there any special apps for the column?

We are in the process of developing special apps that would allow the reader to quickly search for nearby restaurants that don’t use the term “locally grown” on their menus.        

When you are writing a column, do you have a deadline?

Yes. It’s now.

What is the most important quality in a humor column?


Carrboro resident Neil Offen has written humor pieces for a number of different publications, in a number of different countries. His column appears twice monthly in The Local Reporter.

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