April Fool’s Day

dribble glass

Dear Abby celebrates April Fool’s Day today by publishing a few exchanges she thinks are pretty funny.

One begins with a query from a woman who, while doing the wash, found lipstick on her husband’s undies. He says it’s red paint from his workplace men’s room, currently being done over, but she’s pretty sure it’s lipstick and wonders how to get the stain out. Abby’s clever (?) retort: Worry less about getting the lipstick out of the shorts than about keeping the shorts away from the lipstick. Ha hah!

Another ‘ask’ is by someone wondering if it would be OK to charge guests a little money for the use of a rented port-a-potty which he and his girl would have delivered to their fourth floor walk-up to help handle the ‘overflow’ from their one bathroom on the night of their big party. Abby’s answer in this case: Do this and you’ll have so few guests in the future you’ll never have to worry again about runs on the bathroom. Again, ha ha!

A final back-and-forth starts with a letter from a married man who says he’s dating a married woman. He goes on about the light in her eyes, the way he loves to watch her interact with all kinds of strangers when they’re out together and on and on, and closes with the surprise ending that – whoops, guess what? – THEY’RE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER, a revelation to which Abby responds by saying “Normally I’d advise you to try to turn your wife into the love of your life, but you’re ahead of me!” Ha ha some more!

I’m afraid old Abby is kind of phoning it in with this column. It looks to me like she just cobbled together a few semi-funny stories from the files and called the whole thing an April Fools column. ‘Course I’d like to judge her for this but then aren’t I doing the same thing by quoting her?

You bet, I am, it’s April Fools!  Old Dave is in Minnesota till late this evening but I’ll be ready when he gets home. I got the dribble glass right here, and I just finished short-sheeting the bed.

 This is how short-sheeting works if you never went to summer camp. I’ve shaved off my goatee since making this video. 😉


I don’t ‘get’ most teasing so I’m not much on April Fool’s Day jokes. Even surprises are hard for me.

We almost killed my mother with a surprise party on her 70th birthday. This was back in the day when I had this crazy legendary energy, so I hatched the plot:

What we did, Old Dave and I, was to have my mother and Aunt Grace over for dinner at 6:00 at our little apartment, kiss them goodbye at 8:00, then sneak out the back door and race to our car on a nearby side street so that while they were still buckling themselves into their seatbelts, we were zipping up I-93.

Thus there we were among the crowd at their house 20 miles to the north when they walked in.

Mom saw David and me first. She knew she had just left us in Somerville and now here we were… in Lowell?

Then her gaze fell on the many nieces and nephews, my big sister Nan and her husband, all 30 of us gathered in the living room.

“Am I dead?” she yelled. She was always a great one for humor. Then, ten years later, she did die at her birthday party, a small plate of desserts on one knee.

But ah Cal, as everyone called you, how much like you I wanted to be, funny all the time and making light.

I got the chance to be funny yesterday at the awesome Book Festival at the Maynard Public Library about which I will say more tomorrow and Tuesday too. For now, four hours late with this post, I’m jumping into my pantyhose to hit church with two of my favorite 15-year-olds.

Happy April Fool’s Day y’all! Happy Palm Sunday! Happy Week With Passover at Its End! Stroll on into Jerusalem as if you will live forever, unafraid of anything the future might hold!

April First, Sun and Clouds

I felt awful last night that I seemed to be making light of the plight of the people who can’t flush their toilets with all this flooding. When I saw on the news this morning how many people have raw sewage bubbling up in their houses I felt even worse. That’s how it always is with me: I’m laughing AND I’m feeling so squeezed by empathy I can hardly breathe. It’s a weird combination.

First, here’s some more of the empathy part: in connection with the plastic bags that our trees are wearing like brooches, I mentioned a tent city outside Tijuana many of  whose ‘houses’ are made of plywood, tar paper, even cloth. In this community of  La Morita,  uncountable numbers of plastic bag bits cling to the barbed wire fencing off every vacant lot for miles around. I worked there for a week helping to build a house and the plastic bags looked like dead birds to me, their wings lifting and falling in the wind. Plumbing and electricity, phone service and trash removal: none of these exist in La Morita. The unpaved streets run in mud, and when it rains, no one gets in or out.And yet here were children in crisp uniforms walking toward the small school; adults perfectly turned out, picking their way down the rutted hills to ride the series of buses that take them to the factories.

But it is April 1st when we’re meant to laugh some. There’s nothing funny about raw sewage of course, or about having your friends pass out on you the one time you ask them to stay awake and help you mentally prepare for whatever crucifixion awaits you. But it’s also the third day of Passover and what a great thing that memorializes: Getting free after centuries of servitude. Making it out at last with that old Angel of Death sparing everyone you love….. So what’s a principle common to the three things that make this day notable? Maybe that you’ll be all right as long as you keep your spirit free, no matter what gets done to your body. This cartoon regarding that new God the computer is meant to keep that spirit up. I say stay awake to this day and to everything it offers you even IF you have to  keep feeling your backside for Kick Me signs.