Clown shoes to fill

This week it was my sombre duty to deliver my mother some very sad news.

I broke it to her gently because I knew it would be painful and cause a large degree of distress.

And I’m only sharing this now because I know that distress will be experienced by many, many readers of The Courier.

So here it is: In a few weeks time, your man Ian Osterman will relinquish his grip on the reins of this column.

There. I ripped the Band-Aid off. It’s done.

Poor Mum was deeply saddened by the news. No longer will she be able to enjoy the “dry as toast” musings of the long-time filler of this spot in the paper.

Until that news was delivered Counterpoint had provided a glimmer of joy in her week and had become a welcome diversion from the endless stream of bad news on the telly.

Mum, on the other end of the line, expelled a wistful sigh before growing silent.

I grasped at something that might cheer her up.

“You cut them out each week, maybe you can just re-read his old Counterpoints?”

That didn’t seem to work.

“I like to read about all his latest funny goings on,” she said.

I then delivered the other half of the news: “We had an editorial meeting and it was decided that I will take over the column.”

Cue the sound of crickets on a still night.

“Why?” she asked flatly.

“Well, it was agreed that I was the best psychologically equipped to deal with the enormous public backlash that is sure to come.”

More crickets. Looks like, I’ll have to deal with public and private backlash.

During the meeting we discussed the direction the column could take. And so it was decided that, because I don’t enjoy frivolity or humor of any kind and eschew light-heartedness generally, this column will be much more serious in the months to come. So enjoy it, or don’t.