'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)
COMING CLEAN ABOUT FICTITIOUS FAMILY
I have an announcement to make: the family I often mention in my column does not really exist. I made it all up.
As you may have noticed over the years, in this column I occasionally exaggerate. (I’m using, of course, the definition of “occasionally exaggerate” that states: constantly making up stuff out of thin air.)
Whenever I would mention my wife or daughters in an article, they would get upset, claiming that readers might actually believe what I wrote. “Don’t worry,” I would reply, “no one could possibly believe that you once worked as a lion tamer or that you kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.”
But then something very terrible happened. We recently met some folks we hadn’t seen in years. After a bit of chit-chat and catching up, one of them said to us, “Oh, it’s been such a long time! The only way I’ve been able to keep up with your family is by reading Bill’s column.”
My wife instantly glared at me with a look that said: “I wasn’t afraid to kidnap the Lindbergh baby, buster, and I’m not afraid to take you out, too!”
So that’s why today I am finally coming clean. (I’m using, of course, the definition of “coming clean” that states: still making up stuff out of thin air.)
I really do not have a family. The wife and two daughters repeatedly mentioned over the years are just my imaginary friends, mere literary devices used to advance a compelling plotline. (I’m using, of course, the definition of “compelling plotline” that states: no actual plotline with no actual compeliosity.)
In reality I am a hermit living in a one-room shack out in the woods in Burrville. I sit around all day writing TOTALLY FICTITIOUS stuff. Any inference that I currently have, or have ever had in the past, or ever plan to have in the future the following: a spouse or children or parents or neighbors or co-workers or friends, is entirely not true. In fact, since I was raised by wolves out here in the woods, I have never even come in contact with any actual human beings in my entire life.
(Oh great. Now my wolf friends are going to be honked off that I mentioned them in a column. I can hear them now: “The beavers and the chipmunks are going to think we really raised you, Bill. It will be too embarrassing!” They’ll be so upset they will probably stay up all night again howling at the moon. I hate when that happens.)
Anyway, back to the main point. It is completely impossible for me to write anything that could embarrass or offend an actual living person. (I’m using, of course, the definition of “completely impossible” that states: absolutely certain.) And that goes double for any seemingly actual living person who seemingly actually lives with me—because that’s not possible, because, um, I’m here in the woods…alone…with the wolves…and the beavers…and the chipmunks…and the deer ticks.
So in the future, if I happen to mention that my wife did such-and-such, or that my daughters said so-and-so, you will know without a doubt that it is completely bogus. It is just pure fiction. And I’m begging you, please, if you happen to run into a pretty little fictitious woman in, say, the Price Chopper supermarket, don’t ask her, “Are you going to have to go to prison for that Lindbergh baby thing?”
There, honey, I cleared up that little misunderstanding, just like you asked. Is everything all better now? Hey, stop looking at me like that. You’re making me nervous.
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