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We Have a Winner! Early Arrivals; Reminisces; “Ty, You Can’t Be Trusted”; Husbandly Travails

Great news! I am not the only person who reads this blog and has a strange sense of humor. I am looking forward to meeting our latest contest winner, Dawn Ryan, from Longmont, Colorado, who successfully answered the question, “What do Vespa and Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral have in common?” The cathedral’s bell-ringer was named Quasimodo, and a Vespa motorscooter is a “quasi-moto”. Har har har! The young lady at left was suitably awe-struck by my humor… (Actually, that’s Maureen O’Hara, Charles Laughton’s co-star in the 1939 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame.) My Lovely Bride was also struck dumb for a few moments as we were driving down the highway in our RV and I told her about the playful pun for this contest. Thanks also to our dear friend Charles Cunis, Dawn’s neighbor, who facilitated her entry. Both couples will be appropriately feted when we return to snowy Colorado in the Spring. (Yes, Colonel, I know it’s a toasty 59F out there today, but you’re going to get hammered Friday night!)

Have you ever been invited to a dinner party, gotten dressed up, fixed a dessert to bring over, gotten a nice bottle of wine, and shown up at your hosts’ door to find them in shorts and tee shirts, looking at you with “deer in the headlights” looks and saying, “Well, dinner is actually tomorrow night…” It happened recently when a couple that we treasure showed up at our door 24 hours early. They were appalled, but we were ecstatic, because we then got to enjoy their company two nights in a row! Suzanne was just preparing a very simple meal of pasta and sausage, because we knew we would stuff ourselves the next night, but it was one of those experiences that we will never forget; nor will we ever let our friends forget it… and yes, we did help them drink that nice bottle of wine.

We were chatting with Suzanne’s Lovely Mom Ruthie the other night, and she mentioned that she was not a big bingo fan. That reminded me of an interesting experience when we stayed at an Elk’s Lodge in Bremerton, Washington, a few years ago. I was checking in at the bar (really, the bartender handles all RV check-ins… really!) A bingo game with about 50 ladies was going on, and I jokingly asked an older gent having a beer what would happen if I yelled, “BINGO!” His deadpan reply: “Son, you wouldn’t make it out the door alive.”

Suzanne and I were also reminiscing about an experience with the late Dr. Wayne Knoll, PhD, Professor of English Literature at Georgetown University, former Jesuit priest, and husband to noted medium Anne Gehman, when they visited us here in The Villages. (Readers will recall that Wayne and Anne were the subjects of Suzanne’s book The Priest and the Medium.) Wayne had been grading a big stack of student final exams, which he left on our coffee table. When we returned from dinner, there was Rudy, standing in a big pile of chewed-up composition books. Wayne sat down on the couch, stunned… speechless… until we said, “Wayne, it’s okay, those were some blank papers we tore up; here are your exams.” Fortunately, he had a great sense of humor.

This next experience was not even funny. In fact, I was deeply insulted by My Lovely Bride when we were out shopping. The last place on our list was a home goods store where she wanted to get some new place mats for our dining room table. Because she had a reading scheduled in 30 minutes, and was feeling a bit rushed and edgy, I offered to drop her off at home and return to the store and get the place mats. She looked at me rather skeptically, saying, “Ty, you can’t be trusted to pick out place mats. You couldn’t even remember the color of the walls or the carpeting in your cube where you worked for two years!” “But Love of my Life, you were going to get red place mats, and I think black and blue would be a nice combination.” “Ty, if you came home with place mats like that, they would match your eyes!” Hmmm….

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