The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 21, 2013

Heckler Ojanpa shouldn't get last word

---- — What the heck has happened to the editorial backbone of The Free Press?

There is an unwritten rule in show business that states never give a heckler the last word. I have waited for several weeks now to see the snappy comebacks The Free Press would give a well-known community heckler and have only been met with silence.

Well, one of our community hecklers has publicly quit fighting those battles and I, for one, will not let him slip away once again getting the last word.

I am speaking of Brian Ojanpa who has, by his own admission, been heckling the Mankato community for 38 years and getting away with it. And a few weeks ago he just walks away from The Free Press getting the last word — again.

Well, I am here to tell you that I will not let that happen this time.

Many a truth is told in jest and a famous movie line is “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Brian wasn’t afraid to stick his nose into disputes and offer his opinion on the truth using the philosophy of H. L. Mencken that the duty of a newspaper columnist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Brian tweaked the nose of those in authority and yelled “The emperor has no clothes” to those of us who were too oblivious to notice that we were often supporting issues that were not in our own best interest. And he did it with humor.

He rarely got his own feelings hurt — because he could get the last word.

So to that heckler, I want to give him some last words — and those are: “Thank you.”

Timothy Berry