Exclusively Online | Spring 2019 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Be funny

Rick Meyer’s regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: Be funny.

By Richard E. Meyer

Kiss spring goodbye.

This has been a long, tough season. It’s been hard to:

  • Clinch deals.

“Let’s shake on it. Oh, wait. Fist-bump.”

“No. My arm’s not long enough. Six feet apart!”

“Then how are we going to agree?”

“Just say, ‘I agree,’ and look me in the eyes.”

“I can’t see over my mask.”

“Lower it.”

“Yikes! I just touched my face.”

“Then go wash your face!”

“But I’m wearing gloves.”

“Ah, to hell with all of it.”

  • Make friends.

“Hi, my name is Rick.”

“What did you say?”

“Sorry, the distancing rule is four stools apart. My name is Rick.”

“Barkeep, bring Slick a drink.”

“Not Slick. Rick.”


“Women don’t like to be called that.”

“You’re not a woman.”

“No, and my name is Rick.”

“That’s what I said. Slick.”

“Not Slick. Rick.”

“Right. Slick as in crafty.”

“My name is not Slick Rafty.”

“Barkeep, forget the drink.”

  • Laugh.

“Meyer, I need your humor column. You’ve missed the deadline.”

“I know.”

“You’ve missed every deadline all spring.”

“Been busy.”

“Doing what?”


“Then write.”

“Everything has been sad and scary. Nothing is funny.”

“What are you doing?”

“Playing with a new TV remote. So many buttons it could land a plane.”

“What else?”

“Heating water for instant coffee.”

“Sounds boring.”

“Beats trying to write.”



The Last Laugh:

A professional writer, by definition, is a person clothed in self-denial who each and almost every day will plead with eloquent lamentation that he has a brutal burden on his mind and soul, will summon deep reserves of “discipline” as seriatim antidotes to any domestic chore, and drawing the long sad face of the pale poet, will rise above his dread of his dreaded working chamber, excuse himself from the idle crowd, go into his writing sanctum, shut the door, shoot the bolt, and in lonely sacrifice turn on the Mets game.

— John McPhee, from The Patch

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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