'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)
SHOPPING ADVICE FOR THE GUYS
Good morning, gentlemen. If you haven’t noticed, today is December 24th, Christmas Eve, which means the Procrastination Express has reached the end of the line and it’s time to get up off the couch and get it in gear. Four weeks of good intentions, once again, have been for naught. You wanted to go Christmas shopping early this year, but c’mon, really, you know and I know it never was going to happen.
So let’s not lament over missed opportunities. Don’t dwell on the past. Just remind yourself those 467 football games you just HAD to watch during the past month were crucial contests. It was time well spent (except for last week’s Giants’ game. Ugh!). Let’s instead focus on the present, specifically the Christmas present you HAVE to purchase today or else you will spend the rest of the winter in the dog house. And I don’t need to remind you the dog house does not have cable TV, so how will you watch the remaining 188 football games this season, plus the 3,274 basketball games that will be broadcast between now and March?
My sister recently forwarded me one of those humorous and anonymous emails that seem to multiply and spread faster than cold germs in a kindergarten class. It was a list of reasons why men are never depressed (written from a woman’s point of view, of course). Some of the items on the list: “Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. The world is your urinal. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.”
There were two other items on the email list that are pertinent for today. One is, “You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24th in 25 minutes.”
I guess that is supposed to be funny. We all know it’s not true because most guys will spend more than 25 minutes just wandering thru the power tool section of the store before remembering why they went shopping in the first place. The other falsehood about that joke is the 25 relatives. No guy buys gifts for relatives. Our wives take care of that, even for the relatives on OUR side of the family. Each man has only one responsibility: a gift for his wife.
The other pertinent item on that email list is, “You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.”
Again, this apparently is supposed to be a clever joke. But it’s a gross distortion based on an untrue stereotype. Most men, especially married men, are renowned for repeated acts of thoughtfulness each and every day. Why, just recently my wife pointed out that I remember to put down the toilet seat about 40-percent of the time. When I said, “You’re welcome,” her eyes grew wide and she began to speak, but no words came out. Then she turned and quickly left the room. Obviously overcome by gratitude and joy.
However, if women choose to hang on to this untrue stereotype, you should use it to your advantage. While Christmas shopping today, don’t set the bar too high. Don’t panic and think you have to purchase the most perfect, the most expensive gift possible. Just get your wife or girlfriend something nice, something that says, “Thinking of you, honey,” and I’m sure she will be overjoyed and give you extra credit for thoughtfulness.
If, after wandering thru the store, you’re still not sure what to buy, you can’t go wrong with a lovely power tool. Merry Christmas, and good luck.
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