Discovers that after a certain point, it’s almost not worth the effort
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
The Other Press’s Humour Editor, Rebecca Peterson, was found muttering to herself at a coffee shop this past week, scrolling the news and occasionally taking breaks to pound her head against a wall. Other Other Press journalist, Fay Quenuz, conducted a brief interview with the harried editor.
“Well, it’s all just so damn obvious, that’s the problem,” said Peterson. “There’s so much new material here, it’s almost like there’s no new material at all. You know what I mean?”
Quenuz did not. Neither did the other coffee shop patrons, who, at the time of the interview, were doing unconvincing impressions of people minding their own damn business.
“Okay, so I run a humour section, right?” Peterson continued. “And now that we’re doing monthlies, I almost feel like I have a sacred duty to dole out at least one article regarding the love child of the Mad Hatter and an Oompa Loompa who is sitting in the Oval Office. But my God, there’s nothing original here.
“Like, where do I start with the jokes? His third-grade-level vocabulary? Been there. The fact that he’s a sexist, racist windbag who shouldn’t be put in charge of a beauty contest, never mind a whole damn country? Been there! Even looking at more topical subjects—the scandals with Russia, the possible nuclear war with North Korea, the border wall—this is all old news, and stuff I’ve made jokes about before. How can I possibly put together fresh material when I’m just telling the same jokes over and over? It’s hopeless!”
A passing barista suggested to Peterson that she focus on writing well-crafted and humourous articles, instead of recycled cheap shots that only remain as relevant as the news clips they’re based off of. Peterson proceeded to stare at the barista without blinking until the barista became visibly unsettled and quickly moved on to another table.
“I know what I’m probably going to wind up doing,” said Peterson, once the barista was successfully intimidated into leaving. “It’s what I always do when I run out of ideas. I was really hoping to avoid it this time; you’d think a news cycle that includes a story about Donald Trump having a red button on his desk that he uses to summon a White House butler to bring him a can of Coke would provide better material, but alas.”
Quenuz pressed for more details on Peterson’s plan for the article, even as the barista reappeared and asked Peterson to leave on the basis of being a deeply weird and unsettling individual.
“Fair enough,” Peterson said, both to the barista and Quenuz. As she packed up her laptop, she continued, “I’m gonna do what I always do, kid. I’m gonna meta the fuck out of it. People love it when I get all meta, right?”
Peterson received a phone call as she left the coffee shop. Though it’s unclear who called her or why, she was heard shouting, “What do you mean Carlos did the meta thing first?!?”
The humour editor has not been seen or heard from since.