In difficult times it’s wise to take a moment to laugh

Eric Steinkopff - Managing Editor

These are such serious times with people arguing heatedly about their beliefs, ready to fight at a moment’s notice and some even committing character assassination against those who simply have different points of view.

So many want to seize any opportunity to bring an opponent into a negative light that it’s like they want to wield political correctness like a Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of our leaders.

Maybe that is why people who have to deal with the most despicable and unsavory things in life develop a wry, almost warped sense of humor.

I’ve experienced that around many of my former Marine comrades and I’ve seen it in private around other military services, law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics — just to name a few.

You can call this introduction a kind of spoiler alert or warning that something a little twisted is about to follow.

If you’re easily offended, then please stop here and read the Rev. David Player’s column a little early.

He’s really good about praying for you — Lord knows I’ve needed it — and helping to save your soul, but if you want a laugh first, then read on.

I was driving out of town the other day on a trip to Tulsa — about four hours each way. It didn’t take long for me to get out of range from the radio station I usually listen to in my car and I started searching for something else acceptable.

I punched some buttons and stumbled across a morning radio show I sometimes caught when I was in Eastern North Carolina called the John Boy and Billy Show.

It once was a regular staple for several years on my way to work at Camp Lejeune, N.C., although my commute was so short that I rarely heard all the skits they invented.

Some ideas seemed a little silly, others didn’t come across to me as funny at all, but every once in a while they hit pay dirt on a popular story line.

Now I’ve heard about a “horse whisperer” who calms skittish equines and about the “ghost whisperer” who seems to communicate positively with supernatural spirits.

I even like the “dog whisperer” who helps owners with canine troubles, often with a deep understanding of ancient wolf behavior.

But as I was putting along to my destination, the radio show introduced an ongoing skit they called the “redneck whisper.”

I almost drove off the road.

Now I often go hunting and fishing with some of my rural friends — really salt of the earth type of people — who would give you the shirt off their back and save you from a charging bear should the need arise.

Their personalities vary greatly. Some bristle at the sound of the word redneck, while others wear T-shirts proclaiming to be a “proud redneck.” One husband-wife couple I often went deer hunting with even got married in matching camouflage tuxedo and wedding gown.

Some might think I probably have a few redneck tendencies.

But each of these friends of mine is a little headstrong about his or her own opinions and holds the “Duck Dynasty” cast up as an example of how to live and interact in a family unit.

So, I immediately could relate to the “redneck whisperer” as someone who might try to talk some sense into one of my good, but sometimes stubborn friends.

The “redneck whisperer” character in this skit was a wise, soft-spoken Latino gentleman who was knowledgeable in many things.

The longer I drove, the harder I laughed.

When the wife in the radio skit complained to the whisperer that her husband had a series of flaws and was stubborn to the core, I was laughing so loudly that tears streamed down my cheeks.

I don’t remember every detail, except that somewhere a zombie was introduced into the mix to scare the husband who kept pulling practical jokes.

The zombie had a light snack on the husband’s diminished brain, but a feast on the wife’s brain.

So the ending was kind of anticlimactic because everyone died — except the “redneck whisper” of course.

But the premise was intact that these special people called whisperers could fix anything and anybody.

It makes me wonder if there’s an “editor whisperer” out there.

Eric Steinkopff

Managing Editor

Reach Eric Steinkopff at or 580-482-1221, ext 2072.

Reach Eric Steinkopff at or 580-482-1221, ext 2072.

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