Yes, it’s Mexican bologna time again for my blog.
This time, the topic was triggered by a segment of the March 19, 2022, National Public Radio program “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” The highly popular comedy show takes on events from the previous week, skewering both the left and the right, the pompous, the famous, the just plain dumb and most importantly, those who don’t see the humor in what they’ve just done or said.
Our daughter-in-law, who follows my blog, said she heard the segment while listening to the show last month and told me about it. Thanks, Jessica. Although I listen to the program regularly, I seem to have missed that particular episode.
On the show, guest listeners are asked to identify as true, one of three wildly strange stories gleaned from recent news accounts around the world. In the March 19 segment, the guest listener was asked to identify which one of three stories were true about people not seeing the humor in comments about their pet project or work.
In one of the false episodes, a city official in Bangor, Maine, was reportedly telling the local public that kids dressing up in banana costumes constituted a danger to the public. In another, a professor from a Midwestern university, claimed that no one took seriously his research about why chickens cross the road. And the final one, which WAS true, was about the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs agent who said that smuggling balogna from Mexico into the U.S. was “definitely not funny.” The guest listener correctly identified the bologna story as being true. All the panelists on the show got a chuckle out of it, including the grumpy government agent’s finger wagging that smuggling bologna was “not funny.”
The link to the program is below. You’ll have to go into the show to about the 13:30 mark to hear the segment.
The fact that the whole bologna smuggling incident made people laugh, and the fact that the government officials had to go out of their way to officially tell us what could or could not be funny, was pretty choice. That’s right — subjugating our interpretation of events to a review by the federal humor police.
I’m going to take my in-depth investigative reporting on smuggled bologna as one of the things which tipped the balance of the story into the category of a national news frenzy. Well, truth be told, I doubt anyone at “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” actually read my blog, but at least I felt I was on top of something big.
I now feel empowered to continue my very important work as an investigative journalist on the trail of anything really dumb — especially when committed by public officials.