'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)
HALLOWEEN REVEALS GOBLINS – AND CHARACTER FLAWS
Tomorrow is Halloween, which is a great opportunity to determine whether your child will be successful when he or she grows up. Halloween can reveal two important character flaws: procrastination and the inability to delay gratification. Studies show that when people are prone to procrastinate and cannot delay gratification, they are destined to have a lot of trouble as adults. (By the way, I was planning to cite the specific studies that prove this point, but I waited till the last minute to look it up, and then I ran out of time.)
There are two kinds of Halloween costumes. First, there’s the costume that was conceptualized by the youngster the day after Halloween last year. Then he or she began doing rough sketches in early Summer. Accessories were gathered beginning in August. Fabric was cut over Labor Day weekend. By mid-September the costume, which now looked better than anything produced by a Hollywood wardrobe department, was ready to go. When trick-or-treating tomorrow, this kid will look fabulous.
Then there is the other kind of costume. Moments away from the start of trick-or-treating, this youngster yells, “Hey Ma, what should I wear?!” The mother replies, “Well, haven’t you given your costume any thought before now?”
“Yeah,” the kid replies indignantly. “Almost 30 seconds ago. Why?”
So this child races through the house, frantically trying to put together a makeshift costume. He or she might grab an oversized coat from Dad’s closet, a bandana from Mom’s dresser, and hastily apply a black mustache. “Um, Jenny, that’s a Magic Marker. Maybe you shouldn’t— Oh never mind. It looks good. I’m sure for the next six weeks the other kids won’t laugh at you too much.”
Kids who procrastinate in this manner more than likely also do their homework at the last minute, and when they get to college they will stay up all night cramming for exams. And then they’ll wonder why they got a C-minus while the other students who studied for weeks got A’s. As adults in the workforce, they will be the type of employee that causes the department manager to say to the supervisor, “You gave that project to WHO?! Oh man, we’re doomed!”
The other major character flaw revealed by Halloween is the inability to delay gratification. When you really think about it, giving sacks filled with chocolate to children makes about as much sense as needing a chaperone for the 8th grade girls’ overnight field trip and choosing Roman Polanski. When possessing a 12-pound bag of candy, most kids, to use the technical psychological term, go bonkers.
The following conversation actually occurred many years ago on November 1st between a mother and her 9-year-old son (who would one day grow up to write a humor column in Waterbury—the son, I mean).
Mom: “How much Halloween candy to you have left?”
Son: “Ugh, errr, umm, oomph, owwww!” (Translation: “I finished it for breakfast this morning, and now I think I’m gonna barf!”)
However, there are some children who have discipline. I know of one woman (who may or may not be my sister-in-law) who as a child would eat exactly one miniature Snickers bar per day, which to her siblings’ complete frustration, allowed her sack of candy to last well past Christmas.
If your child displays either of these two character flaws tomorrow, don’t despair. There are some successful adults nowadays who as children procrastinated and could not delay gratification. (I was going to list their names, but I waited till the last minute to look it up, and then I ran out of time.)
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|