The Punch Line Is At The End

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

Once in a while, but not often, the ugly in the world gets to me and I go into my cave and sulk. That’s what yesterday’s silence was about. I couldn’t think of a pleasant thing to say, and figured the most life-affirming thing I could do was keep my hands off the keyboard.

Today, the sun came out and it’s a whole new world.

In these parts March is the longest month in the year.  I know other months have 31 days, but in no other month are the days two days long each. We’ve had 91 inches of snow here this winter. So far. Here’s what I see when I look out the door of my office on the ground level of our house. I’m standing on a 4-inch-high step, shooting straight ahead. The back snowdrift is separated from the front one by a narrow path up the steps that the dog made for the cats, so they can get to the kitchen door when I’m not in the office.

I’m not short.  That snowdrift is about six feet tall.

It’s not over, either. We’ll probably have more snow, and we’ll surely get at least one ice storm that shuts down all but essential travel, and sometimes even that. We get snow and ice in April, too, and somewhere on my hard drive I have a photo taken on May 20, 2003, the day eighteen inches of snow destroyed our apple blossoms. We keep the snowshoes and shovel out until Memorial Day.

What’s worst about March is that Daylight Saving Time comes back. This year it’s a week from Sunday — March 13. I’ll complain bitterly about getting up in the dark again, until it’s light out at 6.

Then I’ll complain bitterly next November 6, when we go back to standard time. I wish our Congress would make up its mind and choose one or the other. If I were milking cows, I’d choose standard time. Since I’m not, I’d just as soon have it light later in the day, when I’m done work and can get outside.

Each year I think about getting up a pool for people to guess when the last snowdrift in town will be gone. No money involved. I won’t encourage gambling. This one’s for bragging rights only. I think I’ll actually do it this year — send out a call on our town’s e-mail list. There’s time. We’ll still have snow on the ground in April.

All this grump is my way of setting up something I think (I hope) will make you laugh, if only from relief. It’s come to me from two people who don’t know each other. No reputable reporter publishes information without at least two sources to back it up. This must be true.

A corporate CEO, a Tea Party activist, and a union member all sit down at a table with a tray of a dozen cookies.

The CEO takes eleven cookies. Then he turns to the Tea Party activist and says, “You better keep an eye on that union guy. He wants your cookie.”

OK, since you liked that one (you’re still here, aren’t you?) here’s a bonus.

Earlier this week, the Fox network broadcast a video clip pretending to show violent behavior on the part of demonstrators in Madison protesting the governor’s union-busting proposed legislation.  Problem is, if you look closely, you’ll see palm trees in the upper right corner of the frame. Watch it. It’s only 45 seconds.

You and I know there are no Palm Trees in Wisconsin, but the host of this particular piece of Fox fertilizer might well ask,

Who ya gonna believe — me, or your lying eyes?

Not to be outdone, the next day, demonstrators brought props to the Wisconsin State House.

Photo from

[Hat tip to Keith Olbermann, who is back with his own blog.]

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