Opinion: The joke’s on them


I’d like to thank the people, places and things that prompted my humor columns this year. My wife, Mary Ellen, has a great sense of humor and allows me to include her in my stories. She usually doesn’t say a word, although after one column I wrote, she literally didn’t say a word to me for a week.

Thanks to Mary Ellen for booking an 11-hour layover at Miami International Airport on our way to Peru. MIA is a massive place, and while walking around, I got lost. I was MIA at the MIA.

Thanks, too, to Mary Ellen for making our treks around our new neighborhood a fun but costly experience. Every new addition to a neighbor’s home (shutters, landscaping, screened porches), she suggests we should add to our house. When she asked me recently if we could afford a rather pricey vacation we were considering, I told her it was cheaper than taking a walk.

Thanks to my editor, Heidi, who left me a voicemail that ended with “Adios.” Somehow, the transcription on my cellphone showed up as “I love you.” Ever since I told her about that, she ends all our phone conversations with a sarcastic “I love you,” which was funny the first time, but we talk three or four times a day.

Thanks to the electric company for comparing our monthly energy usage to our neighbors. Mary Ellen used to get angry with me for never closing the garage door, but now I know it saves us 87 cents a year.

Thanks to our friends the Goslings who invite us every year for Thanksgiving dessert, but they forgot to mention it this year. We didn’t know if we should ask, just show up, or sit it out. We finally asked, and Dan told us we were “invited for pie in perpetuity,” which is the first time those words have ever been used in the same sentence.

Thanks to the classical music channel that’s part of our cable TV package. It projects tidbits of music history in the corner of the screen. Often, the factoids are vague. For example, the 13th-century French musician Léonin gained fame at Notre DameBut what did he play? French horn? Violin? Quarterback?

Here are some items they could add:

  • Johann Sebastian Bach’s wife made him a sandwich to take to work every day and is credited with inventing a Bach’s lunch.
  • Beethoven was not deaf. He simply had heard enough already.
  • It wasn’t that Brahms didn’t like children — he just liked them better when they were sleeping.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


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