I’m really sorry (that I got caught)
I’d like to apologize for my actions even though it really wasn’t my fault. What I did was a mistake even though it really wasn’t my responsibility. I have no one to blame but myself, although I would like to blame a number of others.
But here’s the truth: I shouldn’t have taken column-enhancing drugs.
I know that now. But while I was grasping for the easy joke, when I was searching for the quick zinger that would bring out major guffaws, I lost my way.
I saw other columnists forging ahead with clever witticisms and setting laugh records with blistering parodies. I felt I had to keep up.
Everybody else was doing it, which is no excuse even though it is my excuse.
So I started taking CEDs. Just a little, at first, a few synthetic laughs that I know I hadn’t earned but that I thought would get me over the hump. I felt they would make me more amusing even if I could no longer do funny foreign accents.
And then, before I knew it, I was hooked. I kept taking column-enhancing drugs not just to elicit guffaws, but also for giggles, cackles, twitters and even chortles.
No one knew, although I realize there were whispers. People wondered how I could be that funny and yet so humorless in person so much of the time. But I passed every test, including the one where I had to determine the hilarious reason why the chicken had crossed the road.
For the longest time, I denied that I was taking CEDs. I refused to acknowledge that what I was doing was wrong even though everybody told me it was.
I realize now that was the wrong thing to do, particularly since I got caught.
CEDs, I know now, are dangerous. They make you think you’re funnier than you are and all of a sudden you start telling long, involved stories about a rabbi, a priest and an astronaut that people have heard already and by the time you get to the end you can’t remember the punch line.
I should have known what they can do to you, how they can warp your sense of humor and make you believe Garfield the Cat is funny.
I also feel terrible about how I have disappointed young jokesters, all of those kids out there working on their knock-knock jokes. I was a role model to them and I know I have let them down. I want all of you kids to understand that you definitely can be funny the natural way, by slipping on an organic banana peel, for instance, or dropping your pants at inappropriate times.
All I can do now is try my best to mend my ways and give my word that I am definitely off the juice. Which reminds me, have you heard the one about the rabbi, the priest and O.J. Simpson?
Neil Offen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.