Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quotes from Late Comedians

1. “You know you’re getting older when the candles cost more than the cake.”  Bob Hope.

2. “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter; if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.”  Jack Benny.

3. “A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.”  Milton Berle.

4. “All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.”  Red Skelton.

5. “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”  Groucho Marx.

6. “Most people are embarrassed to admit there’s another human being that’s in control of them, that your heart beats three times as fast because you’ve given yourself to someone else.”  Jerry Lewis.

7. “Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.”  Johnny Carson.

8. “As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.”  Buddy Hackett.

9. “When I was in the hospital they gave me apple juice every morning, even after I told them I didn’t like it.  I had to get even.  One morning I poured the apple juice into the specimen tube.  The nurse held it up and said,’ It’s a little cloudy.’  I took the tube from her and said, ‘Let me run it through again,’ and drank it.  The nurse fainted.” Alan King.

10.  “Eddie Fisher married to Elizabeth Taylor is like me trying to wash the Empire State Building with a bar of soap.”  Don Rickles.

11. “Get well cards have become so humorous that if you don’t get sick you’re missing half the fun.”  Flip Wilson.

12. “A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.”  Fred Allen.

13. “When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.”  George Burns.

14. “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”  George Carlin.

15. “Some people ask the secret of our long marriage.  We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week.  A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing.  She goes Tuesdays.  I go Fridays.  Henny Youngman.

16. “I’d much rather be a woman than a man.  Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships.”  Gilda Radner.

17. “I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”  Joan Rivers.

18. “You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.”  Joe E. Lewis.

19. “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.”  W. C. Fields.

20. “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”  Lucille Ball.

21. “Money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.”  Spike Milligan.

22. “If I ever completely lost my nervousness I would be frightened half to death.”  Paul Lynde.

23. “All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.”  Pat Paulsen.

24. “A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”  Robert Benchley.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Helpful Shopping Tips for "Captive" Husbands

I cannot speak for the entire human race but it is a fact that the vast majority of women I know enjoys shopping, while conversely, my male acquaintances, for the most part, find that activity less than exhilarating.  A wit once said that when they are depressed women eat and shop, while men relieve their anxiety by invading another country! There might be some truth to this.  The point is, there is absolutely nothing wrong in either enjoying the shopping experience or loathing it.

However, we men who are “forced” to accompany our wives on shopping outings need relief!  Therefore, I shall offer some tips to help husbands get through these horrifying experiences.

Men, when you are at the store, look around.  Is there a center for selling TV sets?  If so, tell your wife that you are going to the bathroom.  Then locate a circular clothing rack near the sets.  Crawl into the middle of the rack, make a small opening for viewing, and then enjoy any sporting event that is being televised.  You may want to set a timer, for you should not be absent for more than fifteen minutes.

Most clothing stores have mannequins, so take advantage of that fact and get creative.  Some of the mannequins’ heads are separate pieces, so a great way to kill time is to turn the heads backwards, or better yet, switch heads!  Just make sure that there is not a store camera recording your activities, for store managers are notorious for lacking a sense of humor  (Most wives would not see the funny side of this, either, so be careful).

Another way to entertain yourself while in captivity is to try on the most outrageous pants, shirts, shoes and hats that you can find.  Make sure you pick sizes that are much too big and be certain that the different pieces of clothing do not in any way match.  Just stepping out of the dressing room in such an outfit might make your better half  reevaluate whether it’s really worth making you tag along.

After trying on clothing you may wish to use the locked changing station for a brief nap.  If someone knocks at the door, just say, “I’ll be out in a minute.” If the store has a camping area, select a comfortable sleeping bag and then zip yourself up in a tent that is on display.  In a man’s world, a good nap always tops shopping!

If you’re lucky the store will be passing out free food samples.  By making the rounds five or six times you can devourer enough food for an entire meal.   To avoid suspicion, for every round change your voice and posture.  You might also consider wearing some of those ridiculous outfits that you had tried on earlier.  During the Halloween season you can use celebrity masks.  For example, you might become Richard Nixon, and say, “I am not a cook, but I  enjoy good food.  Please give me a sample.”

If you have a step tracker this would be a good time to get in some mileage.  After your better half has tried on an outfit, volunteer to take it back to the rack.  This will give you brownie points and also will give you the chance to buy a hamburger at the restaurant section of the store.

You’re in luck if the store in which you are entrapped has a magazine section.  Browsing through football, basketball and baseball articles seems to make the time fly by.

While you’re doing these various activities use your cell phone to order a pizza from your favorite restaurant.  Have them deliver it along the sidewalk in back of the store in which you are imprisoned.   While outside devour the delicacy and then deposit the evidence (the pizza box) into the nearest trashcan.

But seriously, remember what a lucky guy you are that she has selected you to be a part of her life.  Rather you like it or not, go with her whenever she asks you to tag along.  If she wants your opinion on an outfit, be truthful but tactful.  Be there and be supportive.  Of course, it  won’t hurt to pray that she will select the first dress rather than the tenth one.  Remember,  miracles do sometimes happen.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Three Magic Words

About twelve years ago our son Todd graduated from high school and began the process of selecting a university.  Soon it became evident that the University of Cincinnati had become his overwhelming favorite.

So he, his mother and I scheduled a visit there.  While in a crowded room  waiting to be assigned to a  campus touring group, Todd began looking at the numerous photographs on the walls.   “Hey Dad, come here,” he beckoned.  “Look, the Bearcats won the national basketball championship in 1961, and they beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in the championship game!”

“I know,” I replied.  “I’m trying to forget, but yes, I remember.”

But he wasn’t finished: “And look, the Bearcats won again in ‘62, and once again they defeated the Buckeyes!”

In 1960 the Buckeyes, led by sophomores Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek, had won the national championship by defeating California by a score of 75-55.  Most experts believed Ohio State would then roll to two more championships before Lucas, Havlicek and company graduated. 

The Buckeyes came into the 1961 championship game with a perfect 27-0 record.  In overtime, they fell to the Bearcats, 70-65.  In 1962 the two Ohio teams met once again.  Lucas was ineffective due to a leg injury as the Bearcats prevailed, 71-59.

Throughout the following years Todd would good-naturedly remind me of those two defeats (He has his mom’s sense of humor).  Then he came up with a brilliant way to rub it in; he special -ordered a baseball cap with lettering proudly proclaiming the Bearcats’ victories over the Buckeyes in both 1961 and 1962.  I wore it whenever I took out the garbage.

Oftentimes in life what goes around comes around.  The 1963 version of the Bearcats was still a powerhouse.  For the third straight year Cincinnati reached the championship game of the NCAA tournament and was heavily favored to once again be at the top of the heap.

The opponent was Loyola of Chicago, a small Catholic school.  My cousin Ron remembers listening to the first half on the radio.  With Cincinnati leading 29-21, he felt that the Bearcats were in the driver’s seat so he went to bed, only to be surprised the next day to learn that Loyola of Chicago had made a tremendous comeback and had defeated the Bearcats in overtime by a score of 60-58.

So I have a weapon.  Whenever Todd teases me about the Buckeyes’ losses to the Bearcats, I simply smile, state three magic words, and then walk away.  Those three words are “Loyola of Chicago.” 

Maybe I should special -order him a hat commemorating the 1963 championship.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Roosevelts Speak

1.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3. “My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.” Alice Roosevelt Longworth, President Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest child.

4. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”   Theodore Roosevelt.

5. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt.

6. “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”  Franklin Roosevelt.

7. “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anyone, come and sit here by me.”  Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

8. “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”  Theodore Roosevelt.

9. “When you cease to make a contribution you begin to die.”  Eleanor Roosevelt.

10. “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt.

11. “He (Calvin Coolidge) looks as though he’s been weaned on a pickle.”  Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

12. “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Theodore Roosevelt.

13. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”  Eleanor Roosevelt.

14. “It is common sense to take a method and try it.  If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all try something.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt.

15. “I’ve always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development.”  Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

16. “When they call the roll in the Senate the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty.’”  Theodore Roosevelt.

17. “Friendship with one self is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”  Eleanor Roosevelt.

18. “The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt.

19. “I live by three rules.  I eat when I’m hungry, sleep when I’m tired and scratch when I itch.”  Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

20. “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”  Theodore Roosevelt.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Generation Gap

Sometimes we forget just how different life can be for the next generation.  Occasionally while reminiscing we take for granted that the “youngins” will understand what we are talking about when in fact they haven’t a clue, and often we foolishly believe that they will cherish the same things that we oldsters valued so long ago. 

Many years ago I told my son Todd about the old-fashioned telephone that my grandparents used until I was about six or seven years old.  The poor misguided youngster thought that a party line was linked to your best buddies’ homes so that you could automatically dial them and set up a great get-together!   I had a lot of explaining to do.

Later I told him about a college basketball coach who had recruited several great players.  They were all excellent scorers but left something to be desired on defense, prompting the coach to proclaim that his athletes couldn’t guard Marilyn Monroe in a phone booth.  Todd then asked what a phone booth is.  After a thorough explanation he had yet another question: “What is a Marilyn Monroe?”  I must be terribly old or he is extremely young.  Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

On at least one occasion my daughter Kayla also had one of those deer-in-the-headlights moments.  Living across the street from us was a very nice elderly gentleman who had served in the army during World War II.  For some reason he had been stationed in that dangerous and far-away place we call Hollywood.  Taking advantage of the situation, he had his picture taken with many movie stars of that era.

While visiting our neighbor I noticed a picture on a stand.  Hoping to impress my daughter, I proclaimed: “Look, Kayla; here is a picture of Sully with Jack Benny.”

Looking at me in a bewildered manner, she asked, “What’s a Jack Benny?”  If Mr. Benny had been there, he would have paused for a long moment before saying, “Well….”

Todd had no idea that  newspapers had once been delivered by kids.  However, he does remember seeing an adult drive up to our mailbox and stuff in a paper before quickly zooming off to the next house, leaving behind a dark cloud of grayish smoke. 

I told Todd about my brother’s gigantic paper route that had been made up of three smaller ones.  Every day he filled a bag with newspapers and began walking the route, expertly flipping those papers onto the customers’ porches as he hurried along.  Later in the week he went to each house to collect the money owed.

My son believed that this constituted unethical child slave labor.  Besides, he argued, it is a proven fact that too much walking can stunt your growth (He has his mom’s sense of humor).  Maybe he has a point, for my brother is only about five feet, eight inches tall.  I am too, but I never had a paper route.  Perhaps walking to and from school every day stunted my growth.  It was uphill both ways, you know!

During those long-ago days of our youth my friends and I spent many hours playing “electronic football.”  Onto the metal field eleven players on each side of the ball were lined up along opposite sides of the line of scrimmage.  One guy on offense toted the ball.  After the offense and the defense were set the board was turned on and began vibrating.  The action would continue until a defensive guy would make contact with the ball carrier.  Sometimes the runner would get turned around and head the wrong way, but that was part of the fun.

When Todd was about twelve I discovered that some company was still making this game!  This, I thought,  would be a great opportunity to relive my childhood and share some great memories with my son.  The only problem was that Todd played video games, so to him the aforementioned football game seemed old-fashioned and silly.  Out of kindness, however, he did play around with it for a good ten minutes before stuffing it into the closet right behind the cat chow, the winter boots, and my wife’s exercise machine.  Oh well.

I try to keep things in perspective.  Although my children showed little interest (or understanding) in the childhood things that I hold dear, I’m happy that they have become productive, upstanding adults.  For what else can a parent ask?

As Porky Pig would say at the end of a Warner Brothers’ cartoon, “That’s all, folks!”  On second thought, strike that.  Probably my kids would just stare at me and ask, “What’s a Porky Pig?”

Monday, March 19, 2018

Robot Husbands

I love science fiction.  One of my favorite long-ago TV shows featured a bunch of twelve-foot tall creatures who came to earth with the stated objective of serving mankind.  This was not fake news, for the aliens quickly got us healthy, fattened us up, and then took many of us on a one-way trip to their planet, where they then served mankind as the main course at their fanciest restaurants!

So the other day I was excited about my friend’s conviction that in the not-too-distant future just about every task will be completed by robots that will be thousands of times smarter than we are.  Moreover, he said, these computerized machines could be made to look just like human beings.  My friend argued that someday people will actually have the option of marrying robots!

When I shared this with my wife Bev she initially  scoffed at the idea.  After careful consideration, however, she admitted that this might not be a bad thing: “If scientists and technicians can make human-like guys but make sure they don’t have the usual male human flaws, then that could be a good thing,” she conceded.

Content in the knowledge that my buddies and I are close to perfect, I asked, “What flaws are you talking about, dear?”

“Well, for one thing, those robot men would have to be programmed to not leave their dirty underwear and socks on the bedroom floor.”

“But then you would lose a valuable type of exercise.  Every time you have to bend over to pick up my dirty clothing you are burning tons of calories,” I defensively argued.

Ignoring my brilliant logic, she continued: “And, of course, a robot husband would have to be programmed to put the seat down after he used  the toilet.”

“Dear, I kind of doubt that a robot guy would have such bodily functions, but if robots do use the bathroom, then female ones should also be considerate and put the seat up for the guys.”

Now on a roll, Bev added: “There’s no way I’d pay for a robot husband unless he was programmed to never channel surf!  That drives me crazy!”

“Channel surfing sure beats watching five minutes of commercials,” I replied.

“Could I order a robot that isn’t crazy about sports?  Sometimes you watch four football games in a row, and look at your friend-he’s always out somewhere in that stupid bass boat!”

“I suppose you’d replace the robot’s sports programming with something else?” I sarcastically inquired.

“My robot husband would be programmed to shop.  He would love nothing more than to spend several hours with me in my favorite stores.  And he would watch hour after hour of romantic movies with me.  And sometimes, after watching those movies he might show a little emotion.  Maybe he’d even shed a tear or two.”

“Wait a minute,” I interjected,” I often show my emotions and even cry a little.”

“When is that?” she questioned.

“Whenever you hold your credit card above your head and shout, ‘Charge!” just before getting into your car and heading for the mall.”

Ignoring my weak attempt to make a joke, she continued: “And my robot husband would never waste his and my time by talking about politics, sports, and automobiles!”

“There’s only one problem with the changes you would make,” I cautioned.

“What’s that?” Bev asked.

“I’m not sure what you would have, but it wouldn’t be a man.”

Monday, March 5, 2018

Jazz Age Robbed Kids of their Childhoods-a 1927 Article

* Many times during the ‘50s and ‘60s my father declared that rock and roll was destroying America’s youth.  According to this 1927 article, however, jazz and what came with it had already ruined Dad’s generation.  Read the following and see what you think:
    The jazz age has stolen about four years of childhood from every American girl and boy.  Miss George Ann Lillard of Chicago, pioneer in the girl camp movement, makes this sad assertion.  Miss Lillard knows her girls.  She has studied them for years in her summer camp in Hebron, N. H. and is here now preparing for another summer out-of-doors.
    “Ten years ago the girls who could catch the natural gypsy spirit of camp life and enter into it best(?) were girls from 12 to 16 years old,” she said.  “Now it takes much younger girls-tots from 8 to 10.  One camp out of Chicago accepts children from 2 to 6 years.
    “This shortening of childhood’s span is a step backward in civilization,”  is the way Miss Lillard sums up the tendency of the age.  “Biologically it lowers the race.”
    She cites the animal kingdom to prove her statement.  The length of time from birth to maturity is one sign of a higher form of life.  Reptiles and fish take a short time to mature.  Kittens are full grown in a few months.  But their lives end in nine years or so.  Horses take longer to reach maturity and live often to 30 years.  Man, the highest form of life, enjoys a greater span and needs more childhood to prepare him for it.
    “This sophisticated age has made little men and women of its children,” she asserts.  “The clothes of boys and girls are an indication of their thoughts and actions.  Long pants like papa’s for the boys, French frocks, hats, even purses just like mamma’s for the girls.  Children are surfeited with life … before they are old enough to start to live.
    “At their parties paid entertainers amuse them.  Their whole lives are artificial.  Formerly, little girls who wanted to act ‘grown up’ would lengthen their skirts and put up their hair.  Now they rouge and smoke cigarettes.”
    Miss Lillard described some of the innovations in the new models of little eight-year-old girls.  She found one child who was making a collection of face creams.  A tot of 10 brought to camp at least a dozen bottles of beauty lotions.  A newcomer of nine remarked about the lovely time she had on her last day at home-she had had a facial, a shampoo, water wave and a manicure.
    “Get back to the simple life if you want to cut through the artificiality of the age,” is Miss Lillard’s advice.  “Camp life is natural, simple-the kind of life one cannot lead until he has shed sophistication and artificiality.  Therefore, camp life promises a remedy for the blasé lives of today.
    “Not camp life just for children.  Adults need it just as much (not this adult!)  For their own sakes and also for the sake of their children.  Enjoyment of outdoors and appreciation of sunrises, mountains, the ocean give balance to life, as well as food to the soul.  The very best way to combat the evils(?) of this age is to become as little children and enter the kingdom of camping.  It will put health into bodies and give a sense of proportion to life.”