Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

When it came time to dismantle Mom and Dad’s house, I made a vow.  I will not keep unnecessary stuff around for my kids to have to sort through.  Mom had antiques, family treasurers, glassware she bought and collected “to pay for the nursing home,” and lots of other stuff.  My brother and I took everything we wanted.  Then we sold antiques and the glassware through a dealer.  (By the way, Mom was right about the glassware paying for the nursing home.) When everyone in our family had what they wanted, we still had a house and a half of stuff left.

In the basement, there was an antique monstrosity tucked away in a remote corner.  It was a brass, gas light chandelier.  Big enough for a ballroom.  Mom’s house wasn’t that big.  For some reason Dad had kept an old beer can with the original pop top lid.  At least there was something of value there.  Why did they do that?

Doesn’t matter.  This story is about me.  I SWORE I wouldn’t do that.  I lied.  We – all of us –are collectors.  We like gadgets and lots of them.

My minister recently spoke on this issue.  Meddler!  In the process, he listed “stuff” that we probably should do without.  A water fountain for a cat. (Ours would be lost without theirs.)  A two-foot high ceramic pig wearing a chef’s hat that sits on your kitchen counter and does absolutely nothing.  (I have a relative like that.  He parks himself in front of the frige.)  Colored elastics for the braces on your teeth.  (What self-respecting youth could face friends in school with normal rubber-band colored rubber bands on their teeth?)  Inflatable furniture.  Coloring crayons that smell.  Doggie sweaters.  (I know.  I know.  I’m crossing the line here.  Doggie sweaters are vital to life itself.)  I passed a car the other day driven by a little gray haired lady wearing a pink sweater and pink sun glasses.  Her white haired toy poodle sitting in her lap sported the identical outfit.  Maybe I’m brash, but I think the dog should have gotten rid of the lady.  Someone with sense needed to be in control.

But, the show stopper in items we should do without – but won’t – is a pair of men’s pants that talks.  Yep.  You read that right.  Talks.  

As you’re getting prepared to go out for the day, if all “is not as it should be,” the pants sound out, “Zip me.”

I bought one, but it got severely damaged.  Gun shot wound.

I wore it to one of my presentations.  There were 350 people in the audience.  Just as I was about to go on stage, I decided to do a “safety check” to see if I was zipped up.  I was.

But, Mr.-Know-It-All, my pants, said loud enough for the entire group to hear, “Get your hands off me. I’m zipped up.”

That gray woolen smart mouth became target practice that very day.

Date of Blog Story: 
October 20, 2009

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