Opinion: Laughing all the way


Every year about this time, I look back with appreciation at the people, places and predicaments that made it into my column during the past 12 months. Here is Part 1. So, thanks to:

  • My brother-in law Tom, who last Christmas gave me an Apple Watch: I am not tech savvy, but Tom told me not to worry. “Many have been intimidated, but with a little patience you will find it all worthwhile.” This was the exact advice he gave me when I told him I was going to marry his sister.
  • To IKEA stores that had to withdraw their Swedish meatballs temporarily because there were traces of horsemeat in the product: In racing terminology, horses are not withdrawn. But no shopper wants to hear over the loudspeaker, “Effective immediately, we are scratching our meatballs.”
  • To the mice that have infiltrated our house the past year: My wife favored the catch-and-release traps, so we took them back to the woods after we captured them. Heard in the forest:

Mouse 1: “Hey, Myron, have you been to the Wolfsie home lately?”

Mouse 2: “Is it worth the trip?”

Mouse 1: “It’s awesome. You walk into this container and there’s a morsel of peanut butter. The little door closes behind you. These people then pick up the container and give you a free ride back to the woods. Next day, back for more treats. I mean, are humans really that dumb?”

  • To the makers of our new toaster who, in the directions, warn against using toasters for any other purpose, like six of them to heat an extra bedroom: Their liability is limited to the price of the appliance. So, if the toaster ignites and burns down your half-million-dollar home, a check for $29.95 is in the mail. No questions asked.
  • To all the critters in our backyard — the deer, rabbits, birds and squirrels that are so enjoyable to watch: We used to have raccoons, but when they lifted the mask mandate in Indiana, the little bandits felt self-conscious, and we haven’t seen them since.
  • To my doctor, whose new Medicare questionnaire really stumped me: It asked how all my aunts and uncles died. I had no clue. We were not a close-knit family. I called my brother.

“Peter, it’s Dick.”

“Dick who?”

“Very funny. I have a question about Uncle Sid’s death.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. When did he die?”


  • To the Prevagen people who make a pill that supposedly improves your memory: Mary Ellen and I both took the pills for a few weeks. One night Mary Ellen was arguing with me.

“I am angry because you once told me I was starting to look a little chubby in a bathing suit,” she said.

“Wow, that was 35 years ago.”

“I know, I just remembered.”

Watch for Part 2 next week.