Is this really installment no. 4 in the return of my column? Donkeys really can fly!

I begin by telling a true story (this one really is true) which a recounted a few weeks ago on social media. So to anyone who may have already heard this one, I certainly and sincerely apologize.

A few weeks ago, moi and Amanda Coers of brownwoodnews.com were about to speak with the same person at the same time for news articles for our respective media outlets.

That person asked us (and I’m not sure if he was serious), “are you all OK together?”

“No, we really don’t like each other,” I replied.

“But we try to get along for the kids,” Amanda said.


***

Now, on to my stack of stuff.


After last week’s column about people getting offended, I heard from thousands of readers — OK, two — who both said these exact words, and I quote: “I’m offended.”

So to anyone who may have been offended … if I offended anyone … I certainly and sincerely apologize.

That was a sorry not sorry apology which celebrities, politicians, athletes and other public figures give when they’ve been caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar. It sounds like what they’re really saying is “I’m not really sorry, I’m just sorry I got caught and I’m making this half-hearted quasi apology so maybe people will stop yelling at me.”

So to any cats I juggled who may have been offended: I’m sorry not sorry.


***

Sometimes, people really do “step in it,” as the cliched but true saying goes, and give cause for genuine offense.

But there is too much manufactured, id est (I learned Latin yesterday) ginned up offense, which is propelled through the ranks of the media/social media by “yeah, what he said” group think – you know, mob mentality. And thus an “offense” has occurred, sometimes after decades have passed in which no one seemed bothered by it. But suddenly comes backlash, outrage and uproar.

Exempli gratia: the sudden backlash, outrage and uproar over the song written by Frank Loesser in 1944, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Singer Deanna Martin, the daughter of the late crooner Dean Martin, was quoted in news accounts as saying she’ll keep singing the song, which Martin described as a “cute, flirtatious and romantic song” that won an Oscar for Best Original Song in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter.”

Even upon close examination of the supposedly offending lyrics, I don not feel compelled to protect the yootette, who is a senior at Brownwood Hah Skool, from this song. Admittedly, she wouldn’t like the song — not because of the lyrics, but because it’s not her style of music. (Kids today!)

It seems the recent backlash, outrage and uproar over this song started because one listener of an Ohio radio station said “I’m offended,” and the station caved.

***

Some people have too much time on their hands, exempli gratia, the previously mentioned snowflakes who decided, all at the same time, to express their backlash, outrage and uproar over the suddenly offensive Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Ditto a group of California college students who have decided that the Christian children’s cartoon “VeggieTales” is “dangerous” and promotes racial steretypes. Most of the veggiecharacters are based on biblical characters, and the storylines conclude with a moral lesson. But the way this group sees it, the villains are depicted as racial minorities.

The only aspect of “VeggieTales” that ever bothered me: I get the talking vegetable motif. It could happen. But how do they function without arms? They seem able to hold and build things without arms, and that’s never explained.

But “dangerous” and raciest?

Don’t people have anything better to do than to find offense in everything?


***

For no particular reason, I recently compiled a list of the cliched and predictable phrases and behavior the media typically exhibits. And once again, if you saw this on one of my previous social media posts, I am sorry not sorry for the repeat.

Here are my definitions of some of the media’s cliches.

Embattled/disgraced — someone the media doesn’t like.

Fiery preacher — another example of someone the media doesn’t like.

BARF-TV exclusively obtained these documents — a snitch gave them to me.

Doomed plane/boat — mandatory phrase for all reporting on plane or boat accidents. This seems to imply that a witch doctor cast a spell that “doomed” the plane or boat.

Gunman — why not just call him what he really is: killer or shooter.

Outraged — what that usually means is, the media is outraged. Find a couple of people who agree, and now the whole world is outraged.

Exampli gratia of typical media behavior: BARF-TV reporter shouts out questions to someone he knows isn’t going to answer, perhaps someone who is being escorted along in handcuffs. Reporter keeps it up until the person — very unadvisedly — snarls and curses at the reporter, who goes on to act shocked and innocent upon obtaining the confrontation that he had sought.

***

Dipping once again into my previous social media posts (sorry not sorry), I conclude with another true story.

Who would have thought that the foul tasting substance that came out of tube of toothpaste had actually come from a tube that bears a label: “maximum strength cortisone … external use only.” It happened all right — to moi.

At least the label didn’t instruct me to call my doctor right away in the event that I mistook it for toothpaste. Like “my doctor” is on my speed dial and he’ll answer my call in the middle of surgery.