'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)
BACHELOR LIFE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART – OR STOMACH
Studies show that married men live longer than unmarried men. And no, it’s not just because it FEELS longer. On average, a married man can expect to live almost ten years longer than a bachelor. Many reasons are cited. Married men adopt less risky behaviors, especially regarding alcohol consumption, nutrition, and the most physically debilitating activity known to mankind except for being a punt returner in the NFL: chasing women. (Studies also show that a man who both returns punts in the NFL and chases women will be dead by age 29. By age 26 if he plays for the Giants—and not because there are so many women in New York; it’s because there are so few teammates who know how to block.)
Well, I’m here to tell you married men do not live ten years longer than unmarried men. It has to be something like 20 years longer, at least if my recent bachelor adventure is any indication.
(READER ALERT, including and especially that particular reader who is my darling wife: before I begin making up facts and exaggerating the details of events that never occurred, let me just say that what I refer to as “my recent bachelor adventure” did not include alcohol consumption. I’m still on the wagon—thank God—for 25 years and counting. Also, this adventure did not in any way include chasing women. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. When you’ve got a priceless gem at home, why look for cubic zirconium? Finally, as it turns out, my adventure did not in any way include any activity that could remotely be described using the word “adventure.” Good, I’m glad that’s cleared up.)
Anyway, a few weeks ago my wife was away for the weekend. It wasn’t even the full weekend, just from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours. But still, for the better part of two whole days I was on my own, which meant that I had the final say on all decisions regarding caloric intake. In other words, if the Chicago commodities exchange registered a noticeable spike in the national consumption of bacon, Hostess Fruit Pies, and pancake syrup, well, that was me.
The most exciting part of my weekend—not counting my Saturday evening dinner of Hostess Fruit Pies wrapped in bacon and covered with pancake syrup—was my TV viewing. I watched a DVD of the Harrison Ford movie “The Fugitive” (a great flick, especially the intensity of Tommy Lee Jones), and I watched a UConn men’s basketball game (not a great team, especially the lack of intensity of, um, all of them).
I learned something interesting during my bachelor weekend. Microwaved hotdogs for breakfast are not nearly as wonderful as you thought they were going to be the night before. Luckily a bottle of pancake syrup was nearby to improve the situation.
Even though I was completely on my own during this weekend, I was disciplined enough to get in a good exercise workout. Twenty minutes before my wife was due home I worked up a sweat racing around the house cleaning up the mess I had made. I didn’t know it was possible, in less than 48 hours, to scatter so many articles of clothing and wet towels onto so many different pieces of furniture.
When my wife came home she hugged me and said, “Hi hon, did you miss—uh, why does the couch smell like maple syrup?”
Marriage is a wonderful institution, and I am very blessed. There’s no doubt in my mind if I were a bachelor today, I’d be dead two decades ago.
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