williamthomaswWe have a comedian in the family. Michael is 13 years of age, looks like Mike Myers and has the stand-up style of Henny Youngman.

“Take my sister,” he’d say.  “No, seriously, please take her with you.”

Recently, he set his grandmother up on Skype in more ways than one. After he walked her through the complexities of password, code name and email address, they were finally ready for the big moment of facing each other live on webcam.  All she could do was rave about how great it was to see her favorite grandson on the screen in front of her. Michael’s first words were:  “Ah Grandma, I noticed you haven’t made your bed today.” Boy, did that even things up between them for all of the times she babysat and had to hound him to do the same.

When his grandmother asked him if he had a cold, he replied:  “No, I’m fine.  It’s not a cold, it’s just puberty.  I have hair growing in the strangest places … even on my legs!”

Recently, at a family celebration attended by 120 people at a local hall, Michael asked to be the last speaker on the program. He took everyone by surprise when he announced that he could top every speaker who preceded him to the microphone. When the room went quiet, (his timing is impeccable) he said the word “Ditto” and sat down. As I said, we have a comedian in the family.

Michael, a Net nerd, has never heard of Art Linkletter and what a shame that is.  Ages ago, Art Linkletter had a hit television program entitled Kids Say The Darndest Things.  Spinning off the TV show with books, albums and a speaking career, he became a millionaire by listening to what children say. The little ones provided all the comic material free.  Apparently no kid ever said:  “Mr. Linkletter, I’d like you to meet my agent Sid Silverman.”

Innocently and in the nicest kind of way, the kids tormented Art Linkletter.

Art:  “What’s the first thing a fireman does when the four-alarm bell rings?”

Kid:  “Pulls his pants up.”

Art:  “What does your father do to help around the house?”

Kid, after a long pause:  “He makes cocktails.”

Art:  “What’s the first thing you would do as president?”

Kid:  “Keep my mouth shut.”

And the cruelest cut of all … Art:  “How do you spell Art?”

Kid:  “R-A-T.”

But Art was right – out of the mouths of babes come real beauties.  And parents too, especially in their notes to teachers explaining the absence of their kids.  I was re-reading one of my books the other day, Guys: Not Real Bright And Damn Proud Of It! in which the following list appeared.  It’s a compilation of excuses offered to teachers concerning their children’s absence from class.

(Warning:  The material contained within this listing may indicate that those parents have the same reasoning ability and attention span of an unrepentant, poorly rehabilitated, crack-happy mayor of Toronto.)  Here are but a few:

• “Please excuse Blanche from gym today.  She’s administrating.”  (And the people who work in the principal’s office were furious.  They thought that was their job.)

• “Please excuse John from being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.”  (Which again explains why February is the shortest month of the year and January kicks off a “Leap Of Faith Year.”)

• “Please excuse Gloria.  She has been under the doctor.”  (‘Care’ is the missing word and the doctor will be returning from Mexico as soon as it all gets sorted out.)

• “Please excuse Jimmy for being.  It was his father’s fault.”  (Kids!  The high price you pay for fooling around.)

• “My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired.  She spent the weekend with the Marines.”  (That’s ridiculous.  It was just one light infantry regiment.  Honest.)

• “Please excuse Sara for being absent.  She was sick and I had her shot.”  (We’re assuming the mother meant she had the doctor give her daughter a shot.  Otherwise we’re hoping it’s just a flesh wound and she’ll be back in school next week.)

• “Carlos was absent because he was playing football. He was hit in the growing part.”  (Ironic, because last week he got hit in the part that’s not growing and that was bad enough!  Also, this would not be a good place to introduce that common lower body injury known as a “groin pull.”)

• “Please excuse Roy Friday from school.  He has very loose vowels.” (Thank goodness the consonants are holdin’ up strong.)

Please understand, those were simply errors in written communication. I checked.  Nobody got shot, pregnant or traumatized. And you’ll be pleased to know that Carlos’s part did finally stop growing on February 37.


For comments, ideas and

copies of Guys:  Not Real Bright and Damn Proud of It!

go to www.williamthomas.ca