It’s that time once again when I look back and give thanks (and a few NO THANKS) to the dozens of people and situations that inspired many of my 50 humor columns this past year. Here’s Part One of 2016 in review:
THANKS to Menards for offering a publication with tips on projects you can make with an empty five-gallon bucket. “The buckets are remarkably strong . . . adaptable and not easily bent out of shape . . . easy to work with and hold up under pressure.” Wow, I wish we could have found someone like that to run for president.
NO THANKS to my new financial service’s website that asks security questions that even I don’t know the answer to, like “What time of day was your first child born?” I don’t remember, but I know it was a beautiful day on the golf course. I also didn’t know what city my parents were married in. How would I remember that? I was only a year old.
THANKS to the security guard at the airport who witnessed my typical frantic search of my pants and coat to see if I had my cell phone or if I had left it at the check in. “I’m not going to search you,” said the agent. “You’ve done a great job of patting yourself down.”
THANKS to baby boomers everywhere for realizing that when we were growing up there were great advances in technology back then, also. Like zip-lock bags, whose slots for closure were labeled “male tracks” and “female tracks” on the box directions. As a youngster I didn’t know what that really referred to, but when it finally dawned on me, I started to really enjoy packing my own lunches.
NO THANKS to me for not having faith my headlights will go out automatically. I have spent about 17 hours of my life staring at my car because I didn’t trust the technology to do the job when I went inside my house or into a restaurant. In the old days, if I mentioned this to strangers who had left their lights on, they’d say “I appreciate it. I sure didn’t want a dead battery.” Years later, they said, “No problem, this is one of those cool new cars where they go off automatically.” Lately I get a lot of: “Relax, Grandpa. When’s the last time you bought a set of wheels?”
THANKS to our tour guide on a recent vacation. I realized that in retirement I could make a little extra pocket money doing the same thing. You know, just making up stuff no one would remember and telling silly jokes. A seamless transition from TV.
THANKS to Mary Ellen for pointing out to me some of my most annoying habits. “In restaurants, you taste my entrée without even asking me.”
“I don’t think tasting each other’s food is such a terrible habit.”
“Even when we order the exact same thing?”
“Okay, I won’t do that anymore.”
“And don’t do it to the strangers at the next table, either.”
A final good-bye to my friend Anna Weisenberger who died this year at age of 109. I went to her 100th birthday celebration, then the 101st and 102nd. At her 103rd, she said the day was a bit too taxing and she requested we simply celebrate every other year.