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COLUMNS

Jason Offutt: End transmission, over and out

Staff Writer
The Examiner
The Examiner

Well, folks, this is it.

I’ve written a weekly humor column for various newspapers since 1991; that’s 29 years, which is longer than Gen Z has been alive. Gen Z. I have no idea what that means. General Zod? Generic Zantac? Given that generation’s propensity to stare at their phones instead of, oh, I don’t know, traffic, I think I’ll go with Generally Zombies.

I spent way too long on that joke. When I get in this mood, my wife often frowns and says, “you’re not funny.” I always respond the same way, “I have a stack of awards that say otherwise.” Those awards read, “Best Humor Column.”

Why, you’re asking, is this idiot talking about himself? You’re right, I shouldn’t be. The No. 1 rule I tell my opinion-writing students is never write a column about your column. I’m breaking that rule for the first time in 29 years simply because this is my last one.

When July ticks off the calendar, so will this weekly essay. I’m finished. Jason’s column will be no more, non-existent, kaput.

Thanks for sticking with me this long.

Since this is my last chance to babble at you, here are a few topics I almost wrote entire columns about but thought better of it. Be warned, my kind and faithful readers, there are reasons I stopped myself.

Random Texts With My Wife

My Wife: My bath today was a baby wipe.

Random Conversation with Our Children

The Boy: *Yawns during homecoming parade*

Me: Are you tired?

The Boy: Yes.

Me: Well, you weren’t up half the night with a baby like I was.

The Boy: You know what you did. That’s your own fault.

Random Texts with My Wife

Jason: I forgot the list. What do we need from the store?

My Wife: Ice cream.

Jason: That’s it? Ice cream?

My Wife: Yes. Something with chocolate chunks in it.

Jason: What about milk?

My Wife: There’s already milk in ice cream.

Jason: I meant do we need milk? You know, for our children.

My Wife: Yeah. Get some eggs, too. And bread.

Jason: Do we have anything to eat at home?

My Wife: No. That’s why you’re buying ice cream.

Random Conversation with Our Children

The Girl: What’s for breakfast?

Me: Rocks and sticks.

The Boy: That’s better than what Mom cooks.

Random Events With the Baby

When a child is born, parents take it easy on them, at least the first few weeks. They have to be a month old before we even start thinking about tattoos. And smoking? No way. Not until kindergarten, young lady, and that’s final.

The first time we took our baby (now almost 6) out of the house, we were prepared for almost anything.

Have you ever gotten a newborn dressed to go into the late October air? The typical wardrobe consists of a onesie, PJs, some kind of sweater, a Kevlar vest, thermal Antarctic explorer pants and a coat made out of a bear.

Everything went well. My wife turned around to talk to the baby during the drive, even though at a couple of weeks old the baby’s conversation skills were lacking.

That’s not entirely true. The baby knew when she opened her mouth Mom would stick a boob in it.

When I parked, the baby started crying. My wife exhaled slowly.

“I wasn’t going to get her out.”

Putting a newborn into her snowsuit and strapped into and out of her rocket chair takes longer than when Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins got strapped in to go to the moon.

“I’m still not,” she said.

Then my wife did something so unexpected, so uncharacteristic, I had a hard time knowing what was real. She undid her bra, leaned into the backseat and breastfed the baby still strapped into the car seat.

I’d never been more in love with her.

Well, that’s it. I should have ended my last column with a poop joke, but my wife said that was tasteless. I thought she realized you all knew me by now. If you want to read more, you can subscribe to my website. I actually update it, sometimes.

As always, thanks for reading.

Jason Offutt’s new novel, “So You Had to Build a Time Machine,” is available for at jasonoffutt.com.