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  • 7/13/2018 As Mary Ellen and I prepare to move into our new home, she keeps saying we have to “downsize! downsize! downsize!” We are both very stressed from doing this, which is why my wife is down a size and I’ve gone up a few.

    As I described in a previous column, I discarded more than 300 VHS tapes of my past TV segments, but there were a handful I just couldn’t part with. I wrote about a few of those. Here’s the rest of the list:

    A local animal behavior specialist took my beagle Barney (my TV co-host for 13 years) for a few days and claimed he had cured him of his destructive chewing and digging habits. In the middle of the interview with this expert on my front porch step the following week, Barney dug up the landscape bed and gnawed the microphone cable in half while the vet looked on in horror.
  • 7/6/2018 

    The Wolfsies are moving to a new house.

    Finally time to get rid of almost 40 years of accumulated stuff. Mary Ellen had to decide about whether to chuck the many books, diaries and letters that were quite worn (as well as a few dozen shoes that had never been worn).

    I had a dilemma, as well. In our basement, stacked up to the ceiling, were approximately 300 tapes of me on television over more than four decades, videos that no one will ever look at…even if they did still have a VCR. Decisions had to be made. And so, as tough as it was, I reluctantly trashed every tape with only a few exceptions. I hope my son will one day watch them. Many date back to before he was born. Here are the ones that survived the giant cut—my top 10.

  • 6/29/2018 The other day, I received something interesting in the mail. It wasn’t an exotic postcard from Maui; it was a thank-you note for a recent purchase I had made.

    Dear Mr. Wolfsie,

    Thank you for buying a new Oreck. We hope it brings you many years of vacuuming pleasure. Please call us about hosting an Oreck party today.

    Your friendly Oreck sales team

    The truth is that I don’t have any intentions of spending a single enjoyable moment with my vacuum. I was a bachelor until I was 33 years old and I managed to maintain a very active social life without hovering over a Hoover or dallying with a Dirt Devil. In addition, I have always felt there is something very frightening about vacuum cleaners. Every dog I have ever owned agrees.
  • 6/22/2018 The following is a true story. But I have written two alternative final paragraphs.

    My ethical dilemma begins with an insensitive remark I made to a friend. As an apology, I invited him to breakfast at our favorite café, and I sent him a $30.00 gift card to cover our meal.

    We met the next week. When the waiter returned with the card, he informed us there was some credit remaining. “You use it,” said Jim, “and thanks for breakfast.”

    “How much credit is left?” I asked the waiter.

    “Let’s see,” said Jake, “the balance is $971.12. And I think that’s a record at this place. Second place is $13.78.”

    You could have scraped me off the floor with a spatula. “Wait,” I said, “this is a mistake. The card was only for $30.00.”
  • 6/15/2018 If you were the last person leaving your favorite restaurant and the only umbrella in the coatroom looked just like yours (but you knew it wasn’t yours), would you take it? That would be very wrong, and I wouldn’t do it. Unless, of course, it was raining.

    Here are some hypothetical situations and how I would advise anyone faced with these dilemmas.

    Q: I have been a waitress at a steak house for 35 years and I have a dark secret. I have been taking home a bottle of ketchup every night since 1985. I now have 9,000 bottles in my garage. Nobody

    missed them. What should I do? I feel very guilty but don’t want to get in trouble just before I retire.

    A: Returning them all at once would raise suspicion. Return them the exact way you acquired them—one at a time. So, either put off your retirement or eat there every night until 2040.
  • 6/8/2018 David Raymond was a fanatic, or more precisely, a Phanatic. (The Philly Phanatic is the official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies). 

    For 17 years he lived inside the iconic costume, taunting umpires, mocking the competition, dancing on the opposing team’s dugout—and even shooting hot dogs into the stands with a cannon launcher.

    Raymond started as an intern for the Phillies organization back in 1976 and soon became an insider—working literally inside the costume for a whopping 25 bucks a game. At the time, the San Diego chicken was the only mascot in pro sports. Raymond would help change all that as he brought to life a large, furry, green flightless bird with an extendable tongue. 

    His experience convinced him that a mascot was essential to a team’s ultimate success on the field, in the stands and at the box office. “A mascot is the perfect branding mechanism,” says Raymond. “Unlike players who retire or move from team to team, the mascot is perennial, bonding generations who come to the park together.”
  • 6/1/2018 Last week, ABC News reported that a Wisconsin man had just eaten his 30,000th Big Mac (more than one a day, for 50 years). Donald Gorsky lives in Milwaukee, which is unbelievable. No, not the Milwaukee part—the living part. Think about it: 30,000 Big Macs, according to a group of high school students who have researched this, is the equivalent of 800 heads of lettuce, 523 pounds of cheese, 100 gallons of special sauce, 14 heads of cattle and several million sesame seeds. And he says he never gets sick. He has no known health issues, but he has surely created some unknown ones.

    We have to give a guy like this some credit. Every health and dietetics book in the country would have predicted that Gorsky should have been in his McCoffin by now…but instead, the newspaper article claims he is healthy, robust and has actually fathered genetically viable children. And he broke four other records, as well:

    1: Most consecutive decades for one individual to surpass the recommended dietary allowance for saturated fat every day.

    2. Person with the most articles of clothing (26) with special sauce stains.
  • 5/29/2018 

    We all recall Indy 500 winners like Rick Mears, Al Unser, Jr., and A. J. Foyt. Recently, a longtime friend (and race fan for 80 years) reminisced about some of his favorite not-so-famous racing characters. If you’ve never heard of these drivers, that’s okay. I’m pretty sure he made them up.

    THE CLEANEST RACE CAR DRIVER to ever enter the Indy 500 was Daring Dudley Doolittle, a fierce competitor, and an immaculate dresser. He astounded the crowd back in 1963 when he pulled his gleaming white racecar into the pits on the 100th lap. While his crew provided additional fuel and two new tires, he took a shower and shaved. But cleanliness was his downfall: before he could climb back into his car, he slipped on a bar of soap and ended up with the longest pit stop in history, some 32 minutes. Dudley may have been the cleanest driver ever, but after that race, his career was pretty much washed up.

    THE MOST ABSENT-MINDED STATISTICIAN in IMS history was Reginald Staffordshire. His recollection of racing trivia had no match. But in 1981, his memory failed. Arising at 5:00 a.m. for the race, he dressed and got in his car, but he remembered he forgot to kiss his wife good-bye. He returned to their bedroom and then left his keys on the dresser. When he retrieved the keys, he got back in the car and realized he forgot his press credentials. He went back in the house and got the necessary passes.

  • 5/18/2018 In a piece I wrote several years ago, I poked fun at people who do yoga. People doing yoga hate being poked — however, in this case, I was commenting on their preferred pants, made by a company named Lululemon. 

    The corporation had posted a warning on their website: “In some cases you may experience extreme sheerness, especially when bending over.” 

    I’m good with a warning label on my statins, but if my garment had side effects, I might want to reconsider the selection. 

    In that column, I also made fun of yoga, in general. In hindsight (ok, there’s a pun I didn’t plan), maybe I should have been less judgmental.

    I’m under fire again, after a recent column — this time about people who meditate. Here is an actual email I received:
  • FUNNY BONE - Oh, Brother!
    5/12/2018 Have you ever read something I’ve written that changed your life?

    I didn’t think so.

    Well, I am pleased to say that finally, after almost 20 years of writing, I submitted something that just maybe did make a small difference for someone.

    My column a few weeks ago was about a longtime friend, Keith Bratton. Now 92, Keith lives in a retirement community in Fishers. I recounted some of his unique inventions over the years, like a urinal splash guard with Osama Bin Laden’s photo, Kosher confetti for Bar Mitzvahs and circumcisions, and a golf ball with GPS. Current in Fishers ran the article as a front-page feature. That was not the end of the story; a much better one followed.

    The write-up found its way onto a Facebook page viewed by Sarah Erdman, the daughter of Ron Bratton of Fort Wayne. Sarah forwarded the article to her dad, wondering if Keith might be a relative. Once Ron read the Facebook post, he was pretty sure this was his long-lost half-sibling.
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