Today’s column offers 3:1 odds that you’ll enjoy it. That’s better than the Bulls-Heat game tonight!
On to today’s files!
On Humor Writing
There isn’t much I like more than writing humorous material. Maybe free-donut Friday at the office, though they’ve started bringing in a lot more bagels, which brings down the experience. Anyway, there isn’t much I dislike more than being shown up an eight-year-old who thinks he’s funny.
On Friday evening I picked my son up from his mom’s per our usual arrangement. As always, he brought with him a folder containing his schoolwork from the week so I could see how he’s doing and ask him how he knew that 39 minus 14 was 25, but for 9 + 3 he answered 6. Well…these things happen.
Besides his folder, he said he had a present for me. Somehow, at a fund-raising fare the school had earlier in the week, he came away with a small bottle of cologne called (and this is completely true) Really Ripped Abs. Being a guy, he was sure I would really want the cologne so I could get some really ripped abs. Ignoring the fact that cologne doesn’t have metamorphic powers, I said “What if I already have really ripped abs?” He laughed like I had told a joke. Then he said we could always use it in the house like Febreze, only manlier. I asked if he would want to sit on a couch that was sporting some really ripped abs. Sure, you wouldn’t need cushions anymore – because of the couch abs – but it might not be that comfortable. He laughed about that all day and I felt like a winner. But then he showed me a short story he had written at school.
His short story came equipped with a picture that was too large for me to scan into the computer, so use your imagination. It was a green-colored bird in a cage squawking to get out while the owner looked on with a puzzled look on his face. Here is the story, as written by my offspring:
This hunter has just caught a rare green-feathered robin. He has been looking for one for three years.
The bird does not like the cage and wants to go back to his family.
The hunter thought about letting him go. Then he decided to let him be free for two reasons:
One, he wanted the bird to be happy; and, two, it was really annoying.
“It was really annoying.” Great punch-line that I may steal one day. I laughed all day about it and he let me know that he felt like a winner. But part of me understood that my own son might be funnier than I am.
On Sunday I took my son golfing for the first time. We’ve played miniature golf and hit the driving range many times, but “real golf” is entirely different. Because the course operators can be hard-core about keeping up the pace, I decided we would play best-ball. It wasn’t like I wanted to show the kid up, but obviously we would be using my tremendous shots all the time.
The first hole, he gave the ball a mighty thwack with his little driver and burned it across the open ground, about half way to the fairway. Short, but nice and straight. I let him know it was an excellent hit, but now he needed to stand back while I took my turn. Of course, I topped it and we ended up using his shot. First hole of the season, I said. Just getting the kinks out.
On the approach to hole four, I landed the ball about twenty-five feet from the edge of the green. A pitch from there and we’d be on. Unfortunately, I had placed the ball under a tree and on the other side of a sand trap. I had no idea how I would get over the trap without hitting tree branches, other than punching the ball over the sand and all the way across the green, which would leave a huge put.
I told him to drop his ball near mine and get ready to take his shot. I had just started pointing out where he should aim when I realized he was already swinging his club. I saw his ball go sailing over the sand, drop onto the green, and roll within eight feet of the hole. Being a good dad, I immediately congratulated him on his excellent shot.
From me to you: it’s hard to be a good dad when it comes to golf.
At the end of the outing, as we walked back to the car, all I could hear was my son saying “Remember when we used my shot on that hole,” and “Remember when I made my put and you didn’t,” and “What was my best shot today? Was it that drive that beat yours?” Of course, I answered yes to all and put on my brave, happy face. After all, it couldn’t get any worse, right?
At the car, as I popped the trunk and started loading the clubs, my kiddo slipped into the back seat of the car. There must have been some funky leftover aroma hanging out (I won’t say what) because he stuck his head out and said, loudly enough for the people walking by to hear and give us a movie-quality double-take, “Dad, this car needs some really ripped abs.”