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Danny Tyree

Are you a terrible conversationalist?

One of my biggest pet peeves: people who can’t hold up their end of a conversation.
Oh, I’m not saying that every single human being is obligated to bring jaw-dropping factoids, whimsical quips and provocative perspectives to every mundane conversation.
But listeners could at least honor speakers with something more interactive than banal “filler” material like “Uh huh,” “Well, I’ll be!” and “How do ya like that?”

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Rich Manieri

Restarting the economy shouldn’t be a life or death decision

My mother texted me a photograph on Sunday. That doesn’t sound like a newsworthy occasion, but mom had never texted anything to me or anyone else, ever. It was a photo of the flowers I sent her for Mother’s Day. The picture was a little grainy and out of focus, but that’s what a 15-year-old flip phone will get you.
“Does this mean you’re going to start texting now?” I asked when I called her.
“No. I don’t text.”
“Why not?”
“If you want to talk to me, you call me so I can hear your voice.”

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Peter Funt

Class of 2020: Can you hear me now?

Thank you, Class of 2020! It’s an honor to be delivering your college commencement address, even with this awkward Zoom connection. Testing…
I’m sorry you and your friends won’t be partying tonight but, when you think about it, today isn’t all bad.
You didn’t have to rent the purple cap and gown that hasn’t been restyled since the school was founded in 1907. You avoided arriving at 8 a.m. in the parking lot behind the student union, only to be scolded by Mr. Walsh for being in the wrong alphabetical position.

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Tom Purcell

Ill-timed invasion of the murder hornets

The murder hornets don’t stand a chance.
We’re still amid a pandemic that has dragged on way too long, producing far too many bizarre, exaggerated doomsday scenarios on social media.
Some of our political leaders are enjoying absolute power a little too absolutely.
Conspiracy theorists claim Bill Gates, who’s probably an extraterrestrial, purposely spread COVID-19 because he wants to implant computer chips in us - or something like that.
And now the murder hornets are coming?

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Christine Flowers

Using a mask to mask your feelings

I have been trying to do my civic duty. I stay more than 6 feet away from most people. I live alone, so my trips to the store are surgical strikes. I have social distanced from vulnerable friends and relatives, mastered the art of Zoom and Facetime, and learned to make my own damn coffee.
But I draw the line at the masks. At least, I used to. Slowly, though, I am beginning to capitulate like a Frenchman during the Nazi occupation.


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