'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
25TH REUNION IS LOTS OF LAUGHS
I attended my 25th college reunion back in the spring, and it was quite an interesting event. The last time I saw most of my classmates was on Graduation Day in 1979, and I found it remarkable that one minute we were all in our early 20s, and then a moment later (well, a brief quarter-century moment later), weíre all in our late 40s. It was a weird sensation.
My classmates and I spent most of the reunion reminiscing about the good olí days. Actually, we spent most of the reunion laughing so hard it caused bottled water (formerly beer) to spew from our nostrils. We laughed at what we did; we laughed at what weíve become; and we laughed at the fact that a full quarter-century has flown by in the blink of an eye.
We discussed the things weíve done during the last 25 years: marriage(s), jobs, kids, travel, etc. For me, a more accurate way to describe my life is not by listing what Iíve done, but instead by listing what Iíve avoided during that time.
So far, Iíve been able to avoid bankruptcy. Iíve also been able to avoid wealth, although itís not like Iíve been trying to avoid it; itís just that wealth has done a good job so far of avoiding me.
Iíve avoided divorce, which is due entirely to the enormous patience of my darling bride and the power of prayer.
Iíve avoided drinking myself to death, a remarkable achievement that caused many classmates who knew me well in 1979 to lose sizable wagers. They all expected my funeral would take place no later than 1990. But I fooled themówith the help of God, A.A., my wife, and again, the power of prayer.
During the past 25 years, Iíve avoided Viagra and all the other middle-aged male pharmaceutical products with weird names, including Levitra, Cialis, Zantac, Ziploc, Xeon, Pentium, Xerox, Chiclets, and Flintstone Vitamins.
Iíve avoided joining the Hair Club for Men, which means, however, that I still have something on my head that desperately needs some Grecian Formula or one of the other middle-aged male hair coloring products, including Just For Men, Pennzoil, Kiwi Shoe Polish, and the always versatile Flintstone Vitamins.
So far, Iíve avoided prostate cancer, but unfortunately, I have not been able to avoid prostate exams.
Iíve avoided being audited by the I.R.S., but Iím afraid my luck will run out someday when they discover that I havenít filed a tax return since 1993.
During the past 25 years I have avoided getting a tattoo, or having any part of my body pierced, which I realize puts me in a very small minority of America citizens nowadays.
Iíve avoided getting hooked on Reality TV shows, avoided low-carb mania, and Iíve avoided purchasing either a minivan or an SUV (again, putting me in a very small minority).
Over the past quarter-century, Iíve avoided becoming a fan of NASCAR and/or country music, although I was almost sucked in a few years ago when I stumbled across a song on the car radio that was a real twanging tear-jerker about a guy who had nothing left but his dog after his wife ran off with his best friend and a twister wiped out the trailer park, but then the dog up and died. I had to force myself to change back to my usual ďclassic rockĒ station because I was developing a powerful urge to buy cowboy boots.
The most impressive item on my list is the fact that during the entire 25-year period since my college graduation I have successfully avoided deciding what I want to be when I grow up. Many of my classmatesóespecially some of the doctors, lawyers, and corporate presidentsówere very impressed by this feat.
Maybe by the time we have our 50th reunion Iíll have finally settled on somethingóalthough my classmates now know better than to bet on it.
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