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The Jacksons take a final bow

The Jacksons from the July 11, 2019 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator

cartoon image of a family seated at a table

Are we going to call this meeting to order or what?” Brady Jackson leaned back in his chair and looked around the table. The other members of the Jackson family paused in their conversations. “I’m just curious what’s going on,” Brady explained. “Having a meeting suddenly, makes me wonder what’s up.”

Andrew set his coffee cup down on the table and nodded. “Righto,” he said. “Time to get this show on the road.” He took a deep breath. “We have two issues to discuss. One of them is of minor importance and I think we should address that one first.”

“Suits me,” said Brady and the others nodded in agreement.

“We’ve decided to sell the farm,” said Andrew.

There was a moment of silence while the others considered this.

“I am super curious right now,” said Jennifer at length, “what you would consider an issue of major importance, if selling the farm is an issue of minor importance.”

“I won’t keep you in suspense,” said Andrew. He reached down and pulled a newspaper out of the briefcase next to his chair and dropped it on the table. “Have a look at that,” he said.

Everybody did.

“I read that article,” said Randy. “Pretty boring unless you’re interested in the anatomy of wood ticks.”

Andrew looked down at the paper. “Wrong page,” he said. “Sorry.” He flipped the page and turned the paper around so everybody could read the headline. ‘The Jacksons,’” was all the headline said.

“I didn’t read that one,” said Randy.

“I never read that column,” said Rose. “I’ve tried a few times but I can’t get into it. I always feel like I’ve read it before or something.”

“Who are the Jacksons anyway?” said Jennifer. “I always wondered.”

“Oh my gosh,” said Andrew. “Look at it! It’s us! WE are the Jacksons! For the last 10 years somebody has been chronicling our life in this newspaper and we never even noticed.”

Brady took a closer look at the paper. “Nah,” he said. “Look at the picture. Doesn’t look anything like us.”

“Of course not,” said Andrew. “It’s just a stock photo that somebody photoshopped to make it look rural or whatever. But if you read the article we’re all in there!”

“Why would we read the article if it’s about us?” said Randy. “We already know everything about us.”

“That’s a valid point,” said Rose.

There was another silence.

“So, should we sue, or what?” said Brady.

“We could,” said Andrew, “but I think it would be a bad idea.”

“Why?” asked Rose.

“Well I called the writer,” said Andrew. “Turns out he’s a freelance writer and a stand-up comedian. So guess how much money he has.”

“Fifty bucks?” said Jennifer.

“I’d be surprised,” said Andrew.

“So what do we do?” asked Randy.

“I asked him to cease and desist,” said Andrew.

“What did he say?” Brady wanted to know.

“He said he would cease,” said Andrew, “but that asking him to desist as well seemed redundant.”

“He has a point,” said Rose.

“So we’re not going to be in the paper anymore?” said Jennifer.

“Nope,” said Andrew. “How do you feel about that?”

Jennifer shrugged. “I never knew we WERE in the paper so I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe I should call the writer and ask him.”

“Well anyway, not being in the paper will free up so much time,” said Brady.

“For whom?” said Andrew.

Brady pondered that. “Good question,” he said.

“So,” said Jennifer, “if we’re gonna sell the farm and we’re not gonna be in the paper, then what are we gonna do?”

Andrew picked up his coffee cup. “How many horses do we have?” he asked.

“One,” said Jennifer.

“Ah, too bad,” said Andrew. “I was going to suggest we all ride off into the sunset.”

“We still could,” said Jennifer. “We’d just have to take turns.”

“I like it,” said Randy. “It seems like a perfectly Jackson thing to do.”

Andrew looked around the table. “All in favour of taking turns riding off into the
sunset say aye.”

“Aye,” said everybody.

“Carried,” said Andrew. “I move that this column be adjourned.”

“I second that motion,” said Rose.

“All in favour say bye,” said Andrew.

“Bye,” said Randy.

“Bye,” said Brady.

“Bye,” said Jennifer.

“Goodbye,” said Rollin. “Thanks for having me. Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for reading. I can’t imagine the reading was as rewarding as the writing, but I hope you enjoyed it on occasion. If you’re ever throwing a shindig and you need someone to tell some stories and maybe a joke or two look me up on Facebook or send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll put you in touch with my agent who is a really nice guy and far more level headed than I. And one last time, thank you.”

So long, and safe journeys.

Rollin Penner is a Winnipeg-based comedian, musician and actor. He is available for hire. Find him at

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