Columnists

A look back at happenings of this year – part 1

Every year about this time, I look back with appreciation at the people, places and predicaments that made it into my column during the past 12 months. Here is Part One. So, thanks to…

My brother-in law Tom, who last Christmas gave me an Apple watch: I am not tech savvy, but Tom told me not to worry. “Many have been intimidated, but with a little patience you will find it all worthwhile.” This was the exact advice he gave me when I told him I was going to marry his sister.

To IKEA stores that had to withdraw their Swedish meatballs temporarily because there were traces of horsemeat in the product: In racing terminology, horses are not withdrawn. But no shopper wants to hear over the loudspeaker, “Effective immediately, we are scratching our meatballs.”

To the mice that have infiltrated our house the past year: My wife favored the catch-and-release traps, so we took them back to the woods after we captured them. Heard in the forest…

MOUSE 1 ¬– “Hey Myron, have you been to the Wolfsie home lately?”

MOUSE 2 – “Is it worth the trip?”

MOUSE 1 – “It’s awesome. You walk into this container and there’s a morsel of peanut butter. The little door closes behind you. These people then pick up the container and give you a free ride back to the woods. Next day, back for more treats. I mean, are humans really that dumb?”

To the makers of our new toaster who, in the directions, warn against using toasters for any other purpose, like six of them to heat an extra bedroom: Their liability is limited to the price of the appliance. So, if the toaster ignites and burns down your half-million-dollar home, a check for $29.95 is in the mail. No questions asked.

To all the critters in our back yard—the deer, rabbits, birds and squirrels that are so enjoyable to watch: We used to have raccoons, but when they lifted the mask mandate in Indiana, the little bandits felt self-conscious and we haven’t seen them since.

To my doctor, whose new Medicare questionnaire really stumped me: It asked how all my aunts and uncles died. I had no clue. We were not a close-knit family. I called my brother.

“Peter, it’s Dick.”

“Dick who?”

“Very funny. I have a question about Uncle Sid’s death.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. When did he die?”

“1978.”

To the Prevagen people who make a pill that supposedly improves your memory: Mary Ellen and I both took the pills for a few weeks. One night Mary Ellen was arguing with me. “I am angry because you once told me I was starting to look a little chubby in a bathing suit.”

“Wow, that was 35 years ago.”

“I know, I just remembered.”

To my barber and dentist, both of whom I returned to in 2021 after a year of not having an appointment with either one due to COVID restrictions: I think I mixed them up. Who tilted me back in the chair and said, “This won’t hurt”? And do I tip the barber or the dentist? I believe I should tip the dentist. After 25 years with him, I still have all my teeth. My hair? Not so much. By the way, I can’t remember whether it was my dentist or my barber who told me to brush twice a day.

Watch for Part 2, next week.

Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@ aol.com