Columnist: Neil Offen

May. 11, 2014 @ 04:38 PM

Offen: Running for my life

First, the good news. The other weekend, I ran a 5K race and I did not end up in the emergency room. In fact, I finished second in my age group.
The bad news is that I’m not sure there were more than two people in my age group.
And to make it worse, the other guy in my age group just managed to edge me out by a hair — or more precisely, by 17 minutes.


May. 04, 2014 @ 11:21 AM

Offen: My commencement address

Dear soon-to-be college graduates,

Thank you for selecting me as your commencement speaker this year once you found out that you couldn’t get Miley Cyrus.
I know you have asked me here because you believed I could offer all of you some pertinent advice about life, since I have been living for some time.


Apr. 27, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

Offen: A one-way conversation

In three-quarters of a mile, take the ramp heading west, if you can figure out which direction west is. But of course, if you could, you wouldn’t need a GPS in the first place, would you?

In 1,000 feet — that’s about 330 yards give or take, if you prefer smaller numbers or have irregular feet — move over into the right lane just past that gigantic semi tractor-trailer that’s bearing down on you and doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down at all.


Apr. 20, 2014 @ 12:26 PM

Neil Offen: Will you be drinking tonight?

On our wine list this evening, you’ll find several stains and a few grease marks, along with:

A 2007 Slovakian gamay or gamay not, with hints of goat cheese and leftover macaroni, and a finish full of crabapple and a satisfying aroma of drying cement. Great paired with the last Peppermint Pattie in the bag.


Apr. 13, 2014 @ 12:39 PM

Neil Offen: How to tax your brain

Final check before filing:

Begin by adding line 18 — number of people you run into whose names you can’t remember — to line 14, number of times you try to avoid saying their names during a conversation.
Add lines 23 through 35 and try doing it without a calculator if you start to get cocky.


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

Out of my control

The other day, I turned on my television and there was nothing there. And I don’t mean that it was only showing the usual re-runs of “Survivor: The Golden Girls Edition.”


Mar. 30, 2014 @ 06:19 PM

The signs of the times

When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter collides with Mars, it leaves a big mess, usually just the day after the cleaning people have come. And it generally means it’s time to check your newspaper horoscope.

(In case you’re wondering, or you now get all your news from friends on Facebook and have never heard of Crimea, the horoscope usually can be found in the newspaper right next to the bmujel, or jumble. That in turn is right next to the Sudoku, which is the Crimean term for kale chips.)


Mar. 23, 2014 @ 05:52 PM

Billion dollar bracket busted

There’s a very good chance now that I’m not going to win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion.

And I had such good plans for it — Twizzlers for everybody, lamb chops when they’re not buy-one, get-one free, change my oil every two months, not every three. Maybe buy hardbacks instead of paperbacks. Replace torn underwear, even if historically lucky, with new. Get the full bottle of wine, not the half, when we go out to dinner.


Mar. 16, 2014 @ 07:16 PM

Neil Offen: Staying true to form

There is, of course, only one thing worse than actually filling out your tax forms. That’s finding all the stuff that will allow you to actually fill out all your tax forms.


Mar. 09, 2014 @ 06:45 PM

The right way and the wrong way

I am part of a singularly discriminated against minority group. I have been left behind.

I am a lefty.


Mar. 02, 2014 @ 06:11 PM

Neil Offen: Your daily business report

The stock market staged an impressive comeback yesterday, bouncing back from the impressive downturn it took the day before.

At the close of trading, the S&P 500 had added two letters, making it the S&A&P, and offering buy-one, get-one free deals on creamed canned corn. The index got a boost from reports that reports were on the upswing and that the Federal Reserve was predicting that the labor market would be open late tonight so you can stop there on your way home.


Feb. 16, 2014 @ 05:17 PM

Neil Offen: Developing a new vocabulary, or DANV

OMG, BTW, ICYMI you can LOL at this POW.

Yeah, I don’t have any idea what any of that means either.
While I’m generally proficient with real words, words that have syllables and, you know, meaning, in a world where communications are limited to 140 characters or a thumb or two, I am out of it — or OOI.
And I know I’m not the only one — NTOO.


Feb. 09, 2014 @ 03:24 PM

Neil Offen: Miles to go before I fly

I have a lot of miles on me, and that’s not even taking into account how the knees are pretty much shot and the back regularly gets stiff after bowling.  Actually, it gets stiff before bowling, too.

Anyway, what I mean is I have platinum miles on me, diamond miles, gold miles and even some rollover medallion qualification miles, although I’m not sure if that’s longer or shorter than a kilometer.


Feb. 02, 2014 @ 05:41 PM

You can bet on it

OK, let me tell you who’s going to win the Super Bowl.

I’m able to do this because I have spent a great deal of time analyzing the two teams, measuring their run-to-pass ratio, checking out their blocking schemes and finding out if anyone on the defense is nicknamed Elmer.
The key to the game will be which team moves out of the 3-4 defense and into the 4-3 and thus can complete the subtraction without going into the minus numbers and screwing up the calculators on their phones. That team will then have more defenders in the box, fewer people at the movies for the 7 o’clock show and can be home before dinner.


Jan. 26, 2014 @ 04:46 PM

Neil Offen: Have an opinion?

Please join the conversation by adding your comments and telling us what you really think about what you just read. While sharing your thoughts, please remember to refrain from intelligent, thoughtful, reasoned discourse and revel in the fact that you are anonymous and no one will ever figure out who you are unless you use your real initials and leave your real zip code.