All systems are go(ing)
As you probably know by now, we have installed a new operating system for this column. This is our first new operating system in several years and we felt it was needed even though the old operating system worked perfectly well and people had actually learned how to operate it.
Our new operating system — Operating For Friends Even Now, or OFFEN — offers an all-new design and all-new features, none of which you will be able to easily understand. Which is, after all, the whole point of a new operating system, isn’t it?
In an attempt to make the new operating system even simpler, more useful and more enjoyable than what you had, we have, of course, made it more complex, more difficult to operate and more of a total pain, so we hope you appreciate all our hard work.
With our new operating system, you will be able to laugh at the column more easily without even having to read the words — all you need to do is stare at the column and guffaws will come pouring out. Just a passing glance will provide a few chuckles. A momentary glimpse will get you a couple of snickers.
Our new column control center will enable you to immediately control yourself if and when you start to laugh so uproariously that you are disturbing the co-workers in the next cubicle. The control center will also if necessary create false Facebook updates for the co-workers in the next cubicle.
Need to find a particularly clever column play on words? Just quickly access our new word center and find puns, jests, quips, witticisms, gags, wisecracks and — if you have the premium version of the column — maybe even some jokes.
Want to multi-task when you read the column? All you have to do is smooth your right index finger over my byline twice, left to right, alphabetically, chronologically and latitudinally, and then go right ahead and search for what the weather will be like in Minsk, Russia, next February, while you are skimming this paragraph and eating granola without ever losing your train of thought or what you were trying to do someplace or other or whatever.
The new operating system comes with built-in nouns, some verbs and occasional prepositions, plus completely free access to the adverb store if you need it.
With the new operating system, you can easily share your favorite column moments with your favorite columnist. All you have to do is click on your favorites, put your hands together, cross your legs, arch your back, tightly close your eyes, wish upon a star — makes no difference who you are — and by then you will have moved on to the weather report or the Sudoku.
Remember to get the new column operating system today. Installing it is as easy as first remembering your seven-digit, four-letter, six-ampersand pass code.
Neil Offen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.