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Two men walk into a bar. The third one ducks.

There we go; now that the election is over, we can all laugh again. Right?

Of course, with politics, you laugh or you cry, so I've already been doing a lot of chuckling lately.

I watched one Facebooker rant and rave, on and on, about a politician in the opposite party and call that politician a "big mouth," or "blow hard," or something like that.

Oh, look in the mirror, honey.

I also found it "funny" that we all united to go vote, encouraged everyone to vote regardless of if they shared our views, talked about how American it is and how it unifies us to cast a ballot ... and we all went to vote against the party or people on "the other side."


I laugh a lot, though. That's one of the perks of being a 12-year-old, mentally. You find a lot of little things funny.

But plenty of adults have a great sense of humor. We just sometimes forget to use it -- like when we're all in the throes of elections, for example.

I just say, thank goodness midterms are over. Who's with me? Time to relax and laugh at life again.

I got a giggle out of one nephew the other day who, when taken to get his annual flu shot, remarked, "That one had a kick to it."

This is the same one who last year said getting a flu shot was "satisfying," his mom reported. And his sister, while the nurse was giving her brother his shot, said, "Where's her protractor?"

I love it.

At least she knows to ask questions and not pretend she knows everything. Everyone knows it all these days, though, don't they?

I have to give an eyeroll with a laugh lately when so many people seem to be experts on journalism. They criticize news organizations by saying their journalism is off the mark, they're not doing their jobs right ... really, Cronkite? How many journalism classes did you take in college, again? That's what I thought.

But thanks, it seems, to the internet, many of us seem to feel we're experts on all kinds of topics because we Googled something.

I think this could work in my favor. I'll make new friends and impress them with my knowledge. All I have to do is use big words.

You've got a lump under your skin there, pal? Why, I believe you have a duodenal jejunum cyst. Have you got a scapula in the kitchen? I can take care of that right here. I'll need some baby wipes.

I have friends who are into aquariums and fish and so forth. That's not my bag at all. I know nothing about bottom feeders -- well, not in the water, anyway -- or snails or frogs or angel fish.

"I found my Plecostomus!" one might exclaim.

Really? I can't even reach mine.

Look, I might read up on automotive topics, but that doesn't make me think I can fix a bad fuel pump or suddenly tell someone else all about how to replace a transmission or something. I'm not trained in that.

So why do non-journalists think they have the knowledge and expertise to tell journalists how their job is done? I laugh. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Everyone's a critic, everyone's an expert. But I can understand the inclination to feel all-powerful with the internet's broad spectrum of knowledge at anyone's fingertips.

Me? I'd make a fool out of myself easily.

I can see me walking up to the motorcycle shop folks after researching a mechanical problem my bike might have.

"Hey buddy," I might begin, placing one hand on my hip and holding the other with hand palm up, welcoming him in to my vast knowledge obtained by the, if you think about it, ridiculously named Google.

"I'm thinking the intake valve may need cleaned, or the air filter has slipped into the crankshaft and is blocking the spark plug wires," I might advise. "Don't you think the shaft drive oil needs changed to keep the exhaust from pulling too many CCs from the engine block?"

With my luck, I could get myself into red-face territory just talking about food or something. Knowing a few key words only and not being truly schooled in things can just get you into trouble.

"Waiter," I may someday be heard saying, "please tell the soup chef that this garnishment has a tangy flavor to it that sits sourly on my pallet. I'd suggest that he turn his wok up to 350 degrees, use non-stick oil on his spatula and mix hors d'oeurves with escargot until the caviar is medium rare."

I might have Google, and maybe I can research a lot -- editors *do* do that -- but I won't become a doctor or a mechanic or a chef anytime soon.

Nah. I'll stick to journalism.

Maybe you'd have better luck than I with these other things.

Become a business owner with a YouTube tutorial on "The Idiot's Guide to Running Your Own Small Business." Sure, you're the idiot here, but you're learning.

Soon you'll be meeting inventory and checking payroll, asking maintenance to put a new staple remover in the recruiter, and chanting mantras like, "the customer is never right." After all, anyone who's watched a quick video or read a pamphlet can network in the workforce and keep tabs on available and skilled community members, or get store associates to keep up with IT and raise compensation for employees when demand is down and confidence is up.

Well now. Look how easy that is.

Try journalism if you want. It's not so hard, or so some people seem to think. A little hard work and persistence, and you can be pointing out the anatomy of a newspaper page: the gutters, columns, hammers, decks and ad stacks. You'll rattle off terms like "inverted pyramid" and "dog leg" like a pro.

You'll be working on the lead and understand how to source your story, get quotes from the people involved, and research and interview like it's old hat to you. Story structure and maintaining objectivity will be things you can do in your sleep.

Suddenly, I've realized: I do know it all. I don't even need a book like "Motorcycling for Dummies." I'll be wheeling and dealing with the best of them, and wielding a wrench with the rest of them. All I need is a computer, a keyboard, and an ego.

Yeah, a big ego, and small britches. Don't forget those.

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Penny Weaver is the general manager and editor of the JG-TC. Her columns include her own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinion or editorial position of the JG-TC. Contact her at or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.


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