'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
UMBRELLA-PHOBIA AND RAINY DAZE
Do you remember the stretch of rainy days we had in mid-May? What weird weather. It was as if the typical weather pattern for Seattle invaded New England. We had rain or showers or drizzle every single day for almost two weeks. Over in Hartford, legislators considered adopting a new nickname for Connecticut: the Mildew State. But then the sun came out again and they decided to keep the old nickname: the Corrupt Politician State.
During those dreary days I noticed something even more weird than the weather. I noticed that teenagers absolutely refuse to use umbrellas. Suggesting that a teenager should use an umbrella apparently is a lot like suggesting that a Kennedy should have a root beer. It ain’t gonna happen.
I was driving to work on one of those rainy mornings, and it was pouring like crazy. I drove by a group of kids waiting for the school bus, and not a single one had an umbrella. I didn’t know how long they had been standing there, but when I drove past, those kids could not have been any wetter if they had jumped into the deep end of a swimming pool.
Although they were getting soaked to the bone, those teens were completely unfazed by the downpour. It was almost as if they were looking forward to spending the next six hours with soggy socks and saturated underwear. I cringed at the mere thought of being that damp and clammy for an entire day.
I figured those kids either were on drugs or they had already had a few “Kennedy eye-openers” for breakfast. (Hint: the recipe contains no root beer.) If they weren’t medicated or intoxicated, then the only explanation I could think of was they were not really teenage kids, but the result of some secret genetic experiment that produced a new hybrid creature—half human, half duck.
Although I don’t remember having any negative feelings toward umbrellas when I was a teenager, I also don’t recall ever owning or using one back then. So I suspect I was no different than the kids I saw a couple of weeks ago. Which might explain why in high school I was voted “Most likely to have soggy socks and saturated underwear.”
(No, I’m kidding. I was actually voted, “Most likely to abuse Kennedy eye-openers for breakfast and end up as Ted’s or Patrick’s roommate in the Root Beer Rehab Clinic.” Only half of this prediction came true—Kennedys always get private rooms.)
Nowadays, I use umbrellas all the time—OK, well not ALL the time; only when it’s raining. On second thought, the way the weather has been this spring, I use umbrellas ALL the time.
Just to be safe, I keep one umbrella in my car and another one in my office at work. The problem is, when it starts raining, those umbrellas are never where they are suppose to be. If it starts raining while I’m in my car, I discover that I left my car umbrella at the office. If it starts raining while I’m at the office, I discover that I left the office umbrella in the car. Sometimes I call home and say, “I’m just gonna sleep under my desk tonight because I don’t want to get soaked running through the parking lot.” This causes my wife to suspect that I’m back on the Kennedy root beer again.
Well, the weatherman predicts that we’re going to have a nice long stretch of sunny weather very soon—beginning in the fall of 2007. Sheesh. I need a root beer. And make mine a Kennedy.
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