That’s the Latest



In 2010, my wife and I went to St. Paul to the Fitzgerald Theater to watch a radio program. Being an old radio guy, that phrase ‘watching a radio program’ seems to be a contradiction to the norm. But indeed, about a 1000 people would flock in from across the country to watch ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ with Garrison Keillor. Garrison would write most if not all the scripts for the comedy bits and of course his tales of Lake Wobegon, his hometown where it was a quiet week there on the edge of the prairie. He described the little town as one that time forgot and the decades cannot improve. Some of the sponsors included the Ketchup Advisory Board, Bebop-A-Reebop Rhubarb Pie and who can forget the Powdermilk Biscuits? The tagline for the Powdermilk biscuits read: Made from whole wheat raised by Norwegian bachelor farmers, so you know they’re not only good for you, they’re pure…mostly.

One of the original members of the Powdermilk Biscuit Band, which played on the program, is a guy my wife and I got to know at the State Fair, Adam Granger. Adam would take part in the annual State Fair Fiddle Contest. I emceed the event for a number of years and Adam was a guitar player who would accompany many of the fiddle contestants.

But to quote the late Steve Cannon of WCCO fame, I digress. My point about writing about Garrison Keillor is that once a year he would devote the entire program to joke telling. Yes they had some music and the news of Lake Wobegon, but the rest of the program was Keillor, guest stars and the show regulars telling jokes, many which were submitted by listeners and the audience. So with that introduction, this is my somewhat annual joke column.

To start with, I found a list that my daughter Bente helped my write several years ago about how some days go better than others. It’s kind of like the song by Mary Chapin Carpenter who wrote that somedays you’re the bug, somedays you’re the windshield.

With that, I hope none of these describe how your day has gone. You start every sentence with ‘Some days we’re the’…and then the line, such as Some days we’re the ‘crack in the sidewalk of life; buttonweeds in the soybean field of life; we’re the hair (hare) in the rabbit stew of life; manure in the hog pit of life; hole in the sock of life; root canal in the mouth of life; wrinkles on the skin of life; leak in the radiator of life. Don’t forget to put ‘some days we’re the’ in front of these lines. Some days we’re the hemorrhoid in the butt of life. My daughter wrote ‘Dad, don’t do this one! And then drew an arrow to that line so I knew for sure which one she was referring to. I did it anyway because some days are like that.

Just a few more here: We’re the: cobwebs in the corner of life; gutter balls in the bowling game of life; wobbly leg on the table of life; hangnails on the finger of life; lint in your pocket of life; penalty in the hockey game of life; and finally but not leastly: We’re the boogers in the nose of life!

I had written several columns ago how I would do top five and top ten lists. I found this old one I used on the radio way back when. The top five reasons no one will steal a farm pickup.

#5. They have a range of 20 miles before they overheat, breakdown or run out of gas. #4. The dog on the toolbox looks real mean. #3. Top speed is 45 miles per hour. #2. The large round bale in the back makes it hard to see if you’re being chased. You could use the mirrors if they weren’t cracked and covered in duct tape. And the number one reason no one will steal a farm pickup…It’s hard to commit a crime with everyone waving at you!

Top 10 George Carlinisms! To the unfamiliar, George Carlin was a comedian. Controversial? Probably. Ahead of his time? Maybe. Funny? Definitely!

Top 10 things George Carlin asked: #10. How come wrong numbers are never busy? #9. Do people in Australia call the rest of the world ‘up over’? #8. Does that screwdriver belong to Philip? #7. Why is it that night falls but day breaks? #6. Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand? #5. Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons? #4. Are part-time bandleaders semi-conductors? #3. Did Noah keep his bees in Archives? #2. Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop? #1. Do you think that when they asked George Washington for his ID, that he just whipped out a quarter?

Now for my encore, the top five real signs spotted across the country?

#5. In a Maine Restaurant: “Open 7 days a week and weekends.” #4. In a Florida maternity ward: “No children allowed.” #3. In a New York restaurant: “Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.” #2 On the menu of a New Orleans restaurant: Blackened bluefish.” And the number 1 real sign: In a Texas funeral parlor: “Ask about our layaway plan.” And that’s the news from Lake Wobegon!!