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home : columnists : dick wolfsie February 26, 2015

Lawn problem grows for Wolfsie, grass doesn't
Spring is just around the corner and I am already a wreck about what a lousy-looking lawn we are going to have again this year. I've tried everything in the past. Even watering. I don't understand why a dandelion can grow between two slabs of concrete, but I can't get grass to grow anywhere in my front yard. Dandelions should never have been referred to as weeds. That's where the problem started.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Doesn't everyone have a giant to-do list?
I am not a procrastinator. Quite the opposite. I pay bills before they are due. I've already filed my 2014 income tax return. I kiss my wife goodnight in the morning.

The daily to-do list that I complete each night should list errands and chores that need to be done the next day, but I can't put any of those things on my little yellow notepad because I completed all those tasks two weeks ago.

Sometimes I imagine what would happen if the day I graduated from high school, I had been given a giant to-do list with everything on it that I needed to accomplish by the time I went to my 50th class reunion...which will be in October, back in New York. The Creator of that list (literally, The Creator,) already knows what I will do in my life-everything. Now, what if I were told I have to get this all done in 50 years. Here are few things that I would have to get started on . . .

Monday, February 16, 2015
"You had me at Olé." - picture that
Comedian Zach Galifianakis has never been able to do it. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has failed every time. So has country singer Brad Paisley. Stephen Colbert hasn't ever been a winner. In fact, the chances of success are about 5,000 to one. But Rachel Loveman of Indianapolis has taken the prize.

No, this wasn't a drawing. Actually, it was a drawing-of a matador dancing with a bull in the arena. Rachel's task: Write a funny caption for that New Yorkercartoon. What is the bull saying?

Sunday, February 8, 2015
Wolfsie in need of a major adjustment
In order for Mary Ellen and me to remain happily married for more than three decades, certain adjustments have had to be made. We've had some difficult moments over the years, but right now we are better adjusted than we have ever been.

Our toaster setting, for example, has been a source of some heated discussion. Mary Ellen sets the dial so low that we should call the device our Hamilton Beach warmer. What pops up is not toast. You could get the same result if you just rested a few bread slices on the windowsill. She says my toast is too burnt, which is silly, but it's hard to argue with her when I'm fanning our smoke alarm with a wet dishcloth.

"Why can't you put it back to the dark setting when you are done?" I asked her.

Sunday, February 1, 2015
Whose line is it, anyway?
What makes great one-liners? They are often wonderful insights, plays on words, or mis-directions in thinking. Below are just a few of my favorites that I collected during the year 2014. Some are far older than that, but they were new to me and made me smile. I hope they do the same for you. Think of it as a belated Christmas gift. Next week you have to read my jokes

(Note: when I know whose line it is, I give proper credit. But using other people's jokes is not unheard of. After all, that's how I got this column written.)

I told people I wanted to be a comic when I grew up. They laughed at me. They're not laughing now. (Bob Monkhouse)

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Wolfsie sees the secret side of dining
Did you know some restaurants have what they call "secret menus"? I had never heard of them, but apparently that's the point.

I discovered this the other day when I accompanied my friend Steve to one of those places where you have to order your meal off a huge board. The restaurant wasn't that crowded, which meant nine employees were standing around with nothing to do but pounce on the first customer who wandered in the front door.

"You! Way back there, just getting out of your car. What can I get you today?" she bellowed.

I think there should be a yellow line on the floor that you can stand behind to indicate you haven't got the foggiest idea what you want to order and that you'd just like to be left alone for a few moments to decide. I was considering the "Pick Two" but whenever I pick two they tell me it's not the "right" two. Panicked, I got a ham on rye.

Monday, January 19, 2015
Fishers man lives in a land of candy
Bob Brown of Fishers is addicted. And he admits it. "It's hard to pass a bar and not feel like I'm powerless." He's talking about candy bars-over 1,300 of them. Each one is different. His collection is number one in the world. And it may be the only one quite like it.

The Guinness World Record people established the new category several years ago when Brown approached them thinking his huge stash might be worth noting, especially since they were still in their original wrappers. Apparently, collecting just the wrapper is not that uncommon. Brown keeps the entire bar, although he often buys two. He saves one and eats the other.

Sunday, January 11, 2015
Wolfsie: Don't bank on privacy
What is the name of your favorite cartoon character?

Are you teetering between Bart Simpson and Sponge Bob? If you are from my generation you might be torn between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

This was exactly the dilemma I faced this holiday season when trying to create a security profile to do online banking and payments. The bank, for example, asked me a series of personal questions so if I forgot my password, they could confirm my identity by matching my answers.

Because the questions are all about me, the idea is that I won't have to scribble my responses in black marker on the side of my printer where I already store dozens of secret passwords. When I want to check my balances at 3:00 in the morning after a bout with insomnia or a six-pack of Bud Light, I can enter my code incorrectly up to three times, but they'll still allow access if I can remember five of the following:

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Wolfsie runs into a tree-for-all
At Linda Greene's house, it's always Christmas. In her modest home in New Palestine, she has around 100 decorated Christmas trees. She's not sure exactly how many there are because she has never taken the time to count them. That's because her husband really doesn't want to know. What makes this story unique is that the trees are continually on display, always decorated. They are up the whole year, 24/7. 'Tis the season. All the time.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Wolfsie says thanks again as year ends
This is Part II of my annual shout-out to all the folks who made writing a weekly humor column a little easier in 2014. So, my thanks go to:

...Black & Decker, whose weed whacker user guides aren't half as scary as their new toasters' instructions. You are clearly warned of the dangers of connecting your appliance to other devices, which means, I guess, that I can't upload iTunes directly from my iPad to my toaster. They also advise that the cord is made intentionally short so you won't become entangled in it and fall. If you are running an extension cord from your outdoor deck through the living room and into the kitchen to plug in your toaster, apparently this is not a good idea.

...the maker of the HydroFloss, an expensive dental gadget that my hygienist convinced me to buy because she said I had deep pockets, and stupidly I thought she meant my gums. Here was another product with scary warnings, like, "Don't use this when drowsy," which kind of makes brushing your teeth before bed a real problem. Also, "Do not look at yourself in the mirror when you use this device." Have you ever brushed your teeth and not looked in the mirror? I ended up spraying water all over the sink, the mirror, and the floor. I even got some in my mouth. friend Phil Miller, who owns what might be the largest collection of sugar packets in the world: 12,000, not to be exact. When asked what his collection is worth, he paused, fiddled with his calculator, stroked his chin and said: "Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

...Hammacher Schlemmer, for my favorite item of 2014: The SHARK BAIT SLEEPING BAG. The photo shows a toddler snuggled inside the bag with only his head sticking out of the shark's mouth. According to HS, this neat gift "devours children with shark-induced slumber." Soothing, huh? But there's more! "It facilitates restful sleep even while the child is being digested." My suggestion is to wait and buy this on Craigslist for one-tenth the price on December 26.

...the marketing staff at Netflix, who seduced us into buying their service with their promise that we could now upload movies and stream them on our TV or broadcast them onto the screen from our iPhone or IPad. Mary Ellen and I had no idea what any of that actually meant or how to do it, but we sure enjoy looking at their generous list of film choices. Then we find them on our regular cable service and pay for them twice.

Monday, December 22, 2014

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