I told my wife the other day that the stress of writing a weekly newspaper column was getting to be too much for me. “Look, Mary Ellen, we have been pretty much stuck in the house for a year and there’s nothing left to write about. The other problem is that you put a stop to articles making fun of you. That really makes things more difficult.”

“All right, Dick, because I can see you are desperate, I will lift the moratorium as long as I can approve the subject matter before you send it out.”

“Well, could I do a column about how when you go grocery shopping you never buy the kinds of stuff I like? You just buy healthy low-fat and organic food.”

“You wrote that in June of 2016. Wasn’t funny then. And besides, look at what good shape we are in.”

“How about one describing how little you know about sports, and that you ask really silly questions?”

“That would be June of 2006 and August of 2018. And I still think it’s a good question, why they call it a strike when the player doesn’t hit the ball. Or why the clock in football says five minutes left and the game is still going on 20 minutes later. Can’t they buy a better clock?”

“Okay, what about a column about how you use a knife and fork instead of picking up your pizza and cut tacos in thirds before you eat them?”

“That was your column in August of 2007. That’s what I get for being a perfect lady. And I do not eat chicken wings with a knife and fork. Okay, maybe in a restaurant.”

“Wait a second, Mary Ellen, have you been keeping track of the columns where I make fun of you?”

“Yes. Out of 1,100 columns you’ve written, I have been the brunt of the humor 275 times. And they were all complete exaggerations, taking advantage of what a good sport I am. In those where you’ve made fun of your own behavior, you told it just like it really happened.

“For example?”

“You really did lock yourself in the garage naked; you really did put on another guy’s underwear at the gym; you did flood the bathroom with your Waterpik; you did leave your cell phone in the freezer. You are an honest writer…about yourself. But with me, you always take a lot of liberties.”

“Well, can I do a column about how you return every gift I get you for Christmas? One time you returned it before you unwrapped it because you guessed what it was: a Keurig Coffee Maker.

“That was November 2019. And just for the record, I didn’t return the $100.00 Amazon gift card this past Christmas and I plan to keep the flowers you gave me for Valentine’s Day.”

“Here’s one. When we walk around the neighborhood, you always notice upgrades people have made to their homes, and every stroll costs us money.”

“You wrote about that in April of 2020. And you know you love our new deck. And the window box. And the sprinkler system.”

“Okay, Mary Ellen, how about the time you were stopped by the police for an expired plate? You asked the cop how you would know the plate had expired when you were sitting up front in the driver’s seat. I didn’t make that up.”

“I don’t remember that incident.”

“Maybe I’ll remind you in the next column.”