Category Archives: Men

April Fool’s Day Joke

I was driving home from the supermarket when I dreamed up an amusing April Fool’s joke to play on my husband. The day before he had sweat through an entire Saturday planting annuals along the path leading to our front door. And April Fool’s Day was right around the corner.

The day finally arrived. I strolled along our walkway after work and entered the house. My husband was sitting on the sofa sipping a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. I cleared my throat and said, “What happened to all your beautiful flowers?”

“What do you mean, what happened to my flowers?”

I put on a super-duper gloomy face and replied, “Well, they’re all sort of drooping and dying.”

He threw the paper aside and hurried out the door with me trailing close behind.

When we were both standing looking down at his still-blooming flowers, a real explosion of color, I clapped my hands and shouted, “April Fool’s.”

My husband turned and stared at me. He didn’t think it was funny.

(I still say it was a great April Fool’s joke.)

10 Recent Books I Have Read and Loved

  1. Stealing the Dragon by Tim Maleeny (suspense intrigue thriller)
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (sort of a historical memoir)
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (historical romantic time travel) My favorites in this series were the first and the second, Dragonfly in Amber
  4. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin (fantasy) This entire series is not to be missed.
  5. The Other Bolelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory Don’t think history, think a really fine read.
  6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer Now if you DO like a little (history) mixed in with your (humor), try this book on for size. The entire book is written in letters. Sounds boring doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not.
  7. If you love Renoir, then you will love Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. (fictionalized biography) It’s not a book about his entire life, but instead covers the period during which he was painting the luncheon masterpiece, one of his most recognizable¬† works.
  8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (thriller) You’ve never known a character like Lisbeth Salander.
  9. Bloodsworn: Bound by Magic by Kathy Lane (fantasy romance suspense) What more can I say?
  10. If you’ve never read a Janet Evanovich book, run to the nearest bookstore or tiptoe to Amazon.com and start off with One for the Money If you like human, colorful, (laugh out loud) characters, you’ll love her books. Easy reading, don’t be expecting Pride and Prejudice. These are just fun books in a series.

 

Chubby Checker

Who would’ve guessed that out of all the shows I’ve seen in my lifetime, Chubby Checker’s concert would take first prize? I didn’t think anyone could possibly displace the double bill of the fantastic Tina Turner and the inimitable Joe Cocker, but there it is. Chubby Checker skyrocketed.

His show didn’t begin with an announcer’s usual warnings, “There will be no flash pictures allowed during the show” and “Turn off all cell phones.”¬† Once the show started, I understood why. Because if a cell phone rang, no one would’ve heard it anyway.

Only one prior statement was made–“Chubby will be available in the lobby after the show to sign autographs and say hello.”

Then his band walked out, took their places and the sax player walked up to the mic and simply said, “Chubby Checker.”

Chubby walked out onto the stage and proceeded to sing non-stop for an hour and a half. He embraced the audience and they embraced him back.

By the mid-point of his concert, it became obvious he needed no back-up singers or performers, because his audience filled the bill. People were dancing in the aisles, standing at their seats dancing and those who couldn’t get out of their seats were dancing in their seats.

Whenever he sang a song that came complete with its own dance, he’d shout, “If you know how to do the Pony, come on up.” People of all ages went up to the stage and danced. At one point, he had over 20 women onstage teaching them how to do the Fly. Toward the end of the show, he had 20+ men on stage doing the Twist.

He encouraged people to sing and since everyone in that audience knew the lyrics, everyone in that audience sang. He didn’t just perform his own songs, he sang songs that were well-loved in the 60’s. Songs by Little Richard, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, and so many more I couldn’t keep track.¬† He sang Blue Suede Shoes and he didn’t massacre it. He did Elvis proud.

At other concerts I’ve attended, when a recognizable song is about to begin, there is a hushed sort of “ahhh” that permeates the audience. At this concert, every time Chubby started to sing, people screamed their approval.

Senior teenagers! It was a night to reminisce, to do things we hadn’t done in many years. Some folks who climbed up on stage had to be helped up the steps. In one case, a man actually used a cane to get up on stage to join the rest of the guys.

Inhibitions be damned! Everyone was a kid again.

Many people stayed to talk to Chubby after the show and get his autograph. Some held old 33 1/3 record albums for him to autograph. Others just wanted to tell him what he meant to them when they were growing up.

I was there well over an hour and there were still people waiting to talk to him. They took pictures of him with their cell phones. He was gracious, never rushed anyone, and he signed every autograph requested.

It was a party!

 

The Defenders

I’m thinking about my next list, which will be my ten favorite ladies, but in the meantime, let’s make room for a little fluff. I definitely needed something sort of fun and mindless to watch on Friday evening after viewing a week of CNN coverage from Egypt.

So, if you haven’t tuned in to The Defenders yet, you should give it a try. It’s not Shakespeare, but it hits the mark as lightweight, non-violent entertainment. Jerry O’Connell and James Belushi make terrific sidekicks. Besides that, Belushi pulls off wearing pink dress shirts with panache. His wardrobe is deliciously daring, different and delightful.

And by the way, order in the southern fried chicken ’cause Justified on FX is coming back on Wednesday at 10 p.m.

10 Men I Like — A Lot

I haven’t listed any American presidents, politicians or religious leaders. That’s an entirely different list. My list is random. Although the names are numbered, no ranking is intended.

  1. Prince William – He has done his mother proud.
  2. Anwar Sadat – His death was a tragic loss to his country.
  3. Joseph, Chief of the Nez Perce tribe – His ill-fated retreat of more than 1,000 miles from federal troops is legendary.
  4. Martin Luther King – He had a dream. We’re still working at it.
  5. George Carlin – He’s probably my all-time favorite comedian.
  6. Paul Newman – A good man.
  7. Danny Thomas – He was much more than met the eye. Visit the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis to see what I mean.
  8. John J. Audubon – I’m a birder, so Audubon makes my list. He spent 50 years painting and describing the birds of America.
  9. Norman Rockwell – He shared the spirit of America through his paintings. I grew up enjoying his artistry on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post.
  10. Thomas Edison – Every time there is a power outage, I wonder what people did before the light bulb.

These are the first ten names that popped into my mind. I probably missed a few of your favorites.

Animal Lover

For years, I used to carry gardening gloves in the trunk of my car, in case I ever had to rescue an injured animal.

Don’t laugh too hard. I knew a fellow who carried a long, heavy rope in his trunk, in case he ever had to rescue someone from drowning.

See–my gardening gloves don’t seem so strange now, do they?

Anyway, as it happens, I have moved a turtle or two out of the middle of the road to safety wearing those gloves. But this is a story about a bird.

Many years ago, I was driving on a narrow two-lane street when a Mourning Dove swooped down and I hit it with my car. It lie limp in the road. I wasn’t sure if it was dead or not.

With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my gloves out of the trunk and had just slipped them on when a man, driving on the opposite side of the road, stopped his car.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I ran into a bird.”

He laughed hysterically. When he looked at my gloved hands, he sneered, “Are you going to operate?”

Then he drove off.

I couldn’t stop crying. The idea of killing a bird horrified me. I walked over to it. I’m sure it was dead, although people have since informed me that birds go into shock and the dove may have been perfectly okay later. I didn’t believe them then and I don’t believe it now. At any rate, I carried the bird to the side of the road and placed it under a bush.

Over the years, I’ve actually saved a lot of birds who went into shock for one reason or another. They fly through badminton nets and into windows. Birds are simply not always equipped to handle human obstacles.

But no matter how many I’ve rehabilitated, I’ve never been able to forget that poor dove, or that guy’s repulsive, insensitive mocking.