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Sunday, April 21, 2019
  • Friday, April 19, 2019 4:00 AM
    I always dread the arrival of the monthly AARP magazine. My wife picks through it and confronts me with ways we should amend our current financial and medical approaches to life in our senior years . . . 
    “Listen to this, Dick: men over 50—that’s you since 1997–who eat fish just once a month are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack and will live 10 years longer.”
    “Wow, now that is amazing! So, what’s for dinner?”
    “Turkey burgers. I don’t want to stink up the house. And consider this: chocolate is actually good for you. It says here that chocolate contains antioxidants and that it can prolong your life. But chocolate contains calories and fat that can cause obesity and heart disease. I guess it’s not all good news.”
    “Yes, Mary Ellen, that’s why they call it bittersweet chocolate. By the way, I read yesterday in the AARP magazine that the best place to put your money is in a CD that pays 7 percent. Why don’t we do that?”
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  • Friday, April 12, 2019 9:44 PM
    I’ve been trying to find recent photos of myself to post on Facebook that accurately reflect my current age. We got out some scrapbooks that featured shots of us during a few recent vacations.
    I found a really flattering one and I couldn’t help but comment to Mary Ellen that I thought I looked pretty good, maybe 10 years younger than my actual 72 years. My wife agreed completely, and then she skipped to the next photo from our cruise.
    “Who’s the old man gobbling down that giant sausage sandwich?” I asked.
    “That old man would be you, Dick.”
    “That can’t be me. That guy looks 85.”
    “You just didn’t take a very good picture that day.”
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  • Friday, April 5, 2019 4:00 AM
    For many years, I have neglected my hobbies. Sure, I like to read and work crossword puzzles, but these are not really hobbies. When my wife and I go on vacation we enjoy zip-lining, parasailing and windsurfing, but there is just so much of that you can watch before it gets very tiring.
    This year I made a New Year’s resolution to learn some new skills. I made it in March, which is odd because one of my other resolutions was not to procrastinate anymore. My goal was to have four new interests or activities that would fill the free time I now have since cutting back on my full-time job as a reporter.
    I’m taking a class in boxing. This is a weird thing for me to do because in 72 years I have never hit anyone and, as I told Aaron, my instructor, I have no plans to ever do that. For my entire life I have avoided any fisticuffs by successfully using my verbal skills to sidestep conflict. The course is one hour each week and I am doing it with my son. I’m glad I waited until Brett was an adult to share this experience, because no man wants to be decked by his seven-year-old kid. 
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  • Friday, March 29, 2019 1:34 AM
    Was it my ego, laziness, or just a deceptive nature? I had resisted this action for several years, but it was finally time: I decided to update my Facebook picture. I also updated my bio pictures on the WISH-TV website. These were not photos of who Dick Wolfsie is; these were photos of who Dick Wolfsie was.
    In one replaced photo, I was standing in front of Market Square Arena. In another I was holding my dog, Barney (who has been gone since 2004), and there was one of me with the late Mayor Hudnut at an Indians game at Bush Stadium. I looked great back in the ’90s. (Author’s note: that would be the 1990’s, not the 1890’s)
    The act of updating my photos caused quite a stir in cyberspace. Friends and classmates I had not heard from in years felt compelled to check with me, asking if I was well. “You looked great for 20 years on Facebook. Not anymore,” said my old buddy Phil. “I hope it’s nothing serious.”
    Some of the people who thought I was in failing health also started reminiscing about our time back in high school, like…
    “Dick, you used to bounce your leg up and down when you sat at your desk. It drove the teachers crazy. Well, I picked up that habit from sitting next to you for three years. I still do it. Thanks a lot. By the way, do you still lose stuff all the time?”
    “Dick, remember that time when you reported your car stolen from the student parking lot, but later you realized that your mother had driven you to school that day? Are you still a space cadet?”
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  • Friday, March 22, 2019 4:00 AM
    Humor is helpful in combating stress, but I believe grumpiness has it virtues, as well. In this column, I will outline for you the things that make me grouchy. They might be small, insignificant annoyances, but those are the best ones to get cranky about. I save humor for when I really need it.
    I am tired of my Facebook notifications telling me things like: Suzanne Crowder has commented on Joe Rosen’s post about Bill Roman’s meme. I don’t know Suzanne and I have no clue who Joe and Bill are. How annoying is that? No comment.
    I can go into the dollar store and buy 50 zip-lock bags for a buck, but the cheapskates at Post and General Mills can’t find a lousy two cents to put their Cheerios and Wheaties into a re-sealable plastic pouch inside their cardboard boxes. The only individuals who think the current packaging is just fine are tiny black ants.
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  • Friday, March 15, 2019 4:00 AM
    If there’s something on the market that might make my life a little easier, you can bet I’m going to try it. My interest was piqued when I saw a product on Amazon called the EZ Cracker, which is a nifty little mechanism that (the manufacturer claims) takes all the work and mess out of cracking eggs.
    I’ve always had a good relationship with eggs. I’m an over-easy kind of guy, and as a kid my basket always had the biggest haul on Easter morning. But now I was starting to worry. According to the website, breaking raw eggs on the sides of bowls and countertops has had some tragic consequences. Now, for a mere $17.95, I would get a product that guarantees I will never find eggshells in my food again.
    Here’s how it works: You simply place the egg in this hand-held appliance and squeeze the handles. Before you know it, it has sliced the egg cleanly in half and deposited the liquid contents in a bowl, yolk intact. I’ll wait while you grab your credit card.
    The ad says it will take all the drudgery out of making meals. For birthdays or anniversaries, men should give this gift idea some serious consideration. Isn’t your wife a little bit tired of chocolates and massage gift certificates?
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  • Friday, March 8, 2019 4:00 AM
    As I mentioned last week, my wife and I are trying to learn a little Spanish in preparation for our trip to South America. When I searched for translation options online, I got this: Cow to English. I’m not kidding. You can look it up on the site “Lingojam.” This is news, I mean moos, you can use.
    We shouldn’t underestimate the tremendous influence that cows have on us. English is full of phrases that reflect our connection with the bovine species. Consider these expressions that have beefed up our language:
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  • Friday, March 1, 2019 4:00 AM
    Mary Ellen and I are planning a vacation to South America this fall and we decided we both should learn a little Spanish. I ordered a language course on CDs, but I was having serious problems memorizing the vocabulary.
    I came up with an idea. While my wife was shopping, I got a stack of sticky notes and labeled everything in the house, like the chair (la silla), the table (la mesa), the door (la puerta) and the mirror (el espejo). In Spanish, nouns are identified as masculine or feminine. This really confounded me in high school and accounted for my low grades. The teacher told me I had some gender confusion, which was the last thing I needed to hear right before I asked Darla to be my date for the senior prom.
    When Mary Ellen got home and saw all the notes, she wasn’t happy, but she wasn’t as ticked off as our cat (el gato) Angel, who kept walking in circles because of the sticky note on her tail. Angel was also unhappy to learn that “el gato” is a masculine noun. I told Angel I wished there was a neuter pronoun for cat, but that just brought back a lot of bad memories for her.
    I stuck a yellow note on Mary Ellen’s back that said “la esposa” (wife). She apparently didn’t think that was funny because the next morning in church, I realized I had been walking around with “el estupido” written on my back, which requires no translation. But it does explain the hug she gave me right before we got in the car.
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  • Friday, February 22, 2019 4:00 AM
    Back pain is a major problem in this country. It is the second biggest reason that people do not go to work in the morning. The first reason is not having a job.
    I have a longstanding relationship with my back, but ironically, most of my problems come from sitting too long. I read somewhere that while poised at the computer, I should put my butt at the outermost edge of the chair. I tried that, slid off and almost broke my jaw on the keyboard.
    In the past, I’ve written about my healthcare providers, all of whom have tried desperately to counsel me on my sloppy posture. I have a genetic predisposition—sometimes I have pain in dis position, sometimes in dat position. I apologize for da play on words, but if something makes me laugh, it automatically goes in the column.
    Recently a friend advised me about some “new age” therapies. I’m somewhat “old age” and I am very skeptical of this kind of stuff. That’s why I’ve been going to a chiropractor and a massage therapist who use the traditional approach practiced by the mafia for generations: they rough me up, inflict pain, and then take my money. Time for a different approach.
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  • Friday, February 15, 2019 4:00 AM
    My wife casually mentioned to me the other night that my chest needed a little development. (While I suppose your better half is permitted to assess your upper half, I’d suggest not responding in kind.) She thinks my body lacks definition, but I disagree. It’s in the dictionary under scrawny. Women are definitely more interested in men having muscles than a sense of humor. No female has never said: “I wish Matthew McConaughey would put his shirt back on and tell more jokes.”
    I used to go to a gym to play racquetball, and I’d see men and women fine-tuning their physiques, yet I wasn’t inspired to fiddle with my own. Never really interested in the pure pursuit of brute strength, I would watch weightlifters during their routine. They’d pick up a heavy thing, then they’d put it down again. Such indecision.
    After this stinging critique of my body, I read in Prevention magazine that when you reach 45 years of age, you begin losing one percent of your bone density and muscle mass every year. Old photos of me from high school show there was very little mass to start with, although some did roll in across my midsection in the early ’80s. Density? I asked Mary Ellen about that, but she said not to worry, that I’m as dense as I’ve ever been—and she’s not one to just toss out compliments.
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  • Friday, February 8, 2019 4:00 AM
    It was 7 p.m. Sunday night and Mary Ellen and I were having the same conversation we always have at that time. “Is this the week we put out the recycling?” I asked my wife.
    “No, we put it out last week, didn’t we?”
    “We did, but they didn’t pick it up, so it must be this week.”
    “But I think we put it out too late and we simply missed the truck,” said Mary Ellen. “Well, does anyone else have their recycle bin out?”
    “Yes, Jerry has his out,” I said.
    “You can’t go by him. Jerry puts it out every Monday, Dick. He’s the cause of the confusion every week.”
    “Wait, there’s Eric putting his out, now. I’m going to put ours out, too.”
    As I was wheeling our trash and recycling dumpsters out of the garage, Eric called to me. “Dick, is this the correct Monday for the recycling?”
    “I’m not sure, Eric. But now I see Paul putting his out.”
    I called to Paul: “Paul, are you sure this is the week for recycling?”
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  • Friday, February 1, 2019 4:00 AM
    This was in an ad I saw last week:
    The McDonald’s free bacon offer will take place on Jan. 29, 2019. 
    Customers may add bacon to anything for free.
    Yes, bacon on your fries, in your McFlurry, on your Big Mac, in your back pack, and in one selected drive-thru (on a test basis, only) directly in your mouth.
    Many food-related industries have tried to take advantage of the bacon craze.
    Back in 2007, The Food Network put out their “Bacon Issue,” which contained 300 pages devoted to bacon. (This was a marketing effort to compensate for their relatively poor-selling “Tofu/Kale Issue.”) The cover story said you can find 108 amazing recipes inside, including 27 really bizarre ones—like the chocolate bacon cupcakes on the cover. Also on the front was a photo of a lollipop made out of bacon, the perfect way to lure the little ones away from sugar, which we all know is so unhealthy.
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  • Friday, January 25, 2019 4:00 AM
    "My wife doesn’t understand me.” It’s a common complaint uttered by men sitting in bars. Of course, that’s not where I picked it up. I probably overheard it at the barber shop. My problem is that my wife does understand me. Heidi, my proofreader, is also on to me. I try so darn hard to be misunderstood, but women all have my number. I’m so clueless, I don’t even know what my own number is. How the heck did they get it?
    The best example is my frequent assertion that after writing more than 1,000 humor columns, it’s time to quit. Whenever I fail to come up with a new idea for my next column, I climb the stairs from my basement office with a long face, slump into a kitchen chair, and let out a huge sigh. “I’m out of ideas,” I tell Mary Ellen. “There is nothing left to write about.” Last week I added that Dave Barry and Art Buchwald both had nervous breakdowns due to the pressure. That last part isn’t true, but my wife is not a Googler, so I may get away with it.
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  • Friday, January 18, 2019 4:00 AM
    At first glance, it seemed like a pretty good deal. Enjoy a complimentary $25.00 gift card from one of the local supermarkets. All it required was answering a few questions online. I figured it was a marketing scam. I wasn’t born yesterday. In fact, as you’ll see, I was born 100 years ago.
    I had to agree to certain contractual terms, including giving my permission for the research firm to forward my responses to businesses that could contact me to pitch their products or services. What was I thinking?
    The first line asked me the date I was born. I was honest about the exact day in March, but I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the drop-down menu and found the earliest birth year listed. I clicked on 1918. I thought that might dissuade the life insurance sales people from pestering me with calls.
    Next, I was confronted with several odd questions disguised as statements.
    92% of females who fill out this survey want to receive free samples. Do you? (Was this a trick question? I’m a guy. How do I answer that? I think the first question on tests should be the easiest.)
    40% of those who fill out this survey meditate. Do you? (Yes, and right now I’m deep in thought, wondering why I am doing this for a lousy 25 bucks.)
    Then things started getting really serious…
    8% of those who fill out this survey are unemployed. Are you?
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  • Friday, December 28, 2018 4:00 AM
    There are probably dozens of bells and whistles on my smart phone that I haven’t discovered yet. A friend told me the other day that you can have your phone announce who is calling you. Here’s another cool trick he taught me: if you are unhappy with what you’ve typed in a text, instead of erasing all of it, just shake the phone and it all disappears. Next thing you know, you’ll be able to take a photograph with your phone. How cool would that be?
    Until recently I didn’t realize that instead of using my chubby sausage fingers to text a message, I can press this tiny microphone symbol on my phone and then simply talk into the device. Magically the words are transcribed. Was I that stupid? No, I’m 71.
    Needless to say, the discovery of this simple feature has changed my life. No longer do I send messages that say things like: “I gat your email anf hipe to see yiu im the veri near futurg.”
    “Wait, don’t you have spellcheck?“ you might ask. I don’t use spellcheck. I don’t trust it. When I type PRINCIPAL instead of PRINCIPLE it doesn’t get corrected, and it makes me seem ignorant when I text a friend saying “I stand up for my principals.” It looks like I’m complimenting local school officials. But spellcheck has a hissy fit if I type Febuary instead of February. Come on, who doesn’t make that mistake? Get off my back.
    Here is what happened the other day: I was in my basement office texting my friend Bob and said into the phone: “Can we meet at Starbucks tomorrow?” As the text was being transcribed, my wife heard me from upstairs and thought I was talking to her.
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