You may have noticed, for example, how much better person What’s Her Name has become, after four years of my influence and counsel. In addition there are two gentlemen (using the term loosely) who obviously have also found my wisdom and advice to be invaluable.
Mark Webb found a column of advice I wrote about commode seats, to be so helpful that he now sees me as a father figure, and thus sent me a Father’s Day card. The front of the card said, “I know you’re king of the castle.” The inside of the card depicted a gentleman sitting on a commode, with a caption that said, “Because you spend so much time on the throne.”
MY FRIEND Bob Kane insists on calling me a curmudgeon even though it is widely known I am a sweet and lovable person. However, I have forgiven him since he also recognizes my wisdom and leadership qualities, and refers to me as his boyhood hero and role model. It’s no wonder that he has turned out so well.
All this is a preliminary to this week’s further helpful advice on how to be more popular by being careful in what you say:
“The reason my mother had so many children, was that she was hard of hearing,” said comedian Jackie Mason on a TV show.
“What does hearing loss have to do with having too many children?” asked the host.
“Well, every night when they went to bed, my old man would ask her,
‘Do you want to go to sleep, or what?’ And she’d say, ‘What?”“
BUT IT’S NOT only people with hearing loss who can misunderstand you. You can get in a heap of trouble with folks who can hear, if you’re not careful what you say. There have been some classic bloopers through the years by folks who said the wrong thing. One of my very favorites:
“Now let’s all try to settle this problem in a true Christian spirit,” said Senator Austin Warren a number of years ago, in mediating the differences between the Arabs and Israelis at the UN.
Many years ago, a radio announcer (Harry Von Zell?) introduced on the air President Herbert Hoover. Except he got his tongue twisted, and said, “And now may I present the president of the United States, Hoobert Heever.”
BEN LUCAS once told me of his blunder, back when he was a WRGA announcer. In giving the news, he was reading from a UPI press release that was supposed to say, “President Roosevelt circumscribed Senator Wheeler.” Instead he read, “President Roosevelt circumcised Senator Wheeler.”
Many of you will also remember another great WRGA announcer, Delmas Franklin. Ben told me of Delmas almost losing the Goodyear Tire Store advertising account.
“I’m going to have to quit advertising with you,” the tire store owner told Ben. “I can’t understand what Delmas is saying on my ads, and I’m afraid no one else can either, when he says, ‘The Goodyear tar store has a special tar sale this week.’”
“Lost, a half male collie,” I once heard Delmas say on their Lost and Found program. He later laughingly told me when I asked him about the “half male” dog, that he of course meant a male dog that was half collie.
I also inadvertently got things backwards once, so that what I meant as a compliment came out as an insult. A friend was being promoted and moving to another city. “I’m sorry to hear about your promotion, but happy you’re leaving town,” was what came out.
EVEN WORSE was an episode in my office while doing an eye examination on a comely young lady, early one morning.
“I’ve just come off the night shift, and I am really tired,” she told me. “As soon as we finish I’m going straight home and to bed.” I hadn’t slept well the night before and was also right tired. The thought of being able to go home to bed was so inviting, that without realizing what I was saying, I fervently said:
“Gee, I wish I was going with you!” The more I tried to explain after I realized what I had said, the worse it got, and she was obviously convinced I was a dirty old man.
To be continued.
Jack Runninger of Rome is a retired optometrist and state and national award-winning humor columnist. His most recent book, “Funny Female Foibles,” is available now. Readers may contact him at email@example.com.