Neil Offen: My inaugural address, without ZIP code

Jan. 20, 2013 @ 09:41 PM

My fellow Americans,
As I inaugurate a new term of humorous, intermittently witty, excellently spelled, frequently perceptive and occasionally typographically correct columns, I want to share with you some of my plans for the next four years.
During these four years, I believe we can eliminate unnecessary tweets about what you ate for breakfast and increase face-to-face conversations with people who are not constantly checking out the pings on their phones. I believe we can make the world safe for those who do not understand what a Kardashian is or why everything you do in life must be documented by a digital photograph.
We are on the verge of a new era, and that means we’ll all need new desk calendars and have to be extra careful when writing out checks. The possibilities are great, particularly if we band together and see if we can make a family plan work even if we are not family.
But we must acknowledge, as well, that during these next four years we face a number of significant challenges.
How many times can I use the same joke about the three men who walked into a bar but one of them ducked? How often can I complain about confusing my password for my Amazon account with my recipe for roasted beets?
Yet I believe we can find a way, if we work together and don’t talk about religion, politics, sports, relatives, the weather, evolution, socioeconomic status, the kids, French people or ways to prepare cauliflower.
I know I cannot succeed with four more years of humorous columns without your help. I need you to laugh, to occasionally chuckle, to regularly giggle and to sometimes guffaw, even if you don’t know a guffaw from a macaw.
I believe together we can do this because I believe we have shared values.
None of us wants to get rid of old T-shirts we still have in the closet, even if they are torn, don’t fit and advertise a 5K race we never ran.  None of us can find the shirt we were going to wear this morning because it’s the only shirt that will go with the brown plaid pants. None of us can remember what’s in that unmarked green package in the freezer and how long it’s been there.
We can build on a great history of accomplishment, but only if we work collaboratively and don’t check our email when we are also talking on the phone at the same time. 
In conclusion, I say to you, my fellow Americans and anybody else who is in my list of contacts, ask not what your humor columnist can do for you, but what can you do for a humor columnist who can’t find any other way to end a column? 
Neil Offen can be reached at noffen@heraldsun.com or by telephone at 919-419-6646.