I get asked on a weekly basis about when I am going to cover current events in this column. I’d have a nice chunk of change if I had a quarter for each time I am asked if I am going to write about the presidential election. I am asked if I am a Republican or Democrat, if I am for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
It comes down to this, folks. I am not saying whether I am a Republican or a Democrat. I am not saying whether I am for Trump or Clinton. Someone told me it was my job as a columnist to report the news. Well, no, it is not. I am a columnist and not a reporter. I am not a political pundit. I am a humorist. Well, sometimes I am a humorist. I know at least ten people who have read my column that have laughed, chuckled, and even smiled a little bit.
There is a growing list of things I will not write about. The presidential election is probably the biggest current event I won’t write about. It’s not that I can’t write about it, I just don’t want to. I have not endorsed a candidate. I don’t even know if this paper has endorsed a candidate. My decisions, like yours, are personal and my own business. I don’t even have a bumper sticker or yard sign. There’s nothing more silly than seeing a car sporting a bumper sticker for a long forgotten candidate.
I will not write about celebrity gossip. This column began when I joked with the editor about writing something solely to keep the Kardashian name out of the paper. As long as the Kardashians are garnering attention for something, I have job security. The moment they become respectable, I am done. I’m not too worried actually. If it isn’t the Kardashians and their merry band of loons, there will be someone else to keep out of the paper with my written words.
I will not write about the social ills in our country. Sure, I have opinions. Sure, I have some things to say. This is a humor column and I hope to provide solace from what is stressing us out. Once I start talking about all that is stressing us out, I will have done us all an injustice by contributing to the stress. As long as you like reading about my cat, my kids and my wife’s constant frustration with me, I’ll keep providing a bright spot each week.
I will write about the things that make us smile. I’ll write about a strikingly cold glass of lemonade on a humid day. I will write about the familiar scent of freshly cut grass. There are pets and children to be written about as their behavior and antics are frequently the same. My in-laws are sure to continue to be the best comedy team since Stiller and Meara. Remember, readers, I once wrote an entire column about my frustrations opening a cup of yogurt. If I can get that put in the paper, I am sure I can come up with something each week without resorting to writing actual news. Once that happens, I ‘ll have to call myself a journalist and start taking this whole thing seriously.
There are some weeks where I simply don’t have anything to write about. As I have mentioned a few times before in the last year, I don’t plan my column in advance. I don’t have a big list of things I want to write about. I like the column to be fresh. My wife asked me if it would be easier if I had a list of topics I could choose from and that way I would never have to sit at the computer and think of something.
I tried writing a list and it looked really boring. There were topics such as lawn work (which I hate doing and I think writing about it would be just as bad), puppies (we don’t have a dog), The Cola Wars (which, I think were over years ago), television commercials (and how the salacious ones are always aired at the dinner hour), the Kardashians (just checking to see if you are paying attention), and my high school girlfriend (who I am Facebook friends with and would probably not want to see her name in the paper). My daughter suggested I take requests like a wedding singer. I’m not sure I want to take requests. I have seen some of the mail the paper has received in regards to my column and some of the requests I have gotten are not only physically impossible, they are wholly inappropriate to mention in this column.
I try to balance this column with equal parts humor and nostalgia. There is plenty of humor and nostalgia to write about without writing about current events. There doesn’t seem to be much humor and I doubt there will be anything to wax nostalgic about.
Contributing columnist and Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.