If I were marooned on a desert island, I would want to take with me three important books. I have a song book that has better than a thousand songs in it. I would need that to keep me happy. I would take the New American version of the Bible in large print. That will keep me spiritually right. Then I would pack the book of 10,000 jokes, toasts and stories. That volume would keep me from going crazy. Sing a song, read a scripture and have a laugh. That’s my recipe for staying sober.
For this column, let’s try the last of those three volumes. “A man who is always in a stew generally goes to pot.” What did the 500 pound canary say to the cat? “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!” A word of advice – don’t give it. Whiskey is the only enemy that man has succeeded in loving. “Mary, you’re ugly.” “Shame on you Johnny for saying that. Now apologize.” “Mary, I’m sorry you’re so ugly.”
If you lend a man $5.00 dollars and never see him again – it was worth it. Reducing experts live on the fat of the land. Success in life depends on two things, luck and pluck. Luck in finding somebody to pluck. “I taught my boy all I know and he’s still a dumb ignoramus.” One old saint prayed after the sermon was over, “Lawd, the preacher has lit many a spark in our hearts – help us to water them.”
The section in the book I liked the best were the stories of little Willie. They begin on page 957.
“Willie hitting at a ball, lined it down the school house hall. Through the door came Dr. Hill, several teeth are missing still.”
“Little Will on his bike, through the village took a hike; Mrs. Thompson blocked the walk, she will live but she can’t talk.”
“Willie, cunning little creature, blew a bean and hit his teacher. Most impressive was the scene, Willie says, when bean met bean.”
“Willie saw some dynamite couldn’t understand it quite; Curiosity never pays, it rained Willie seven days.”
“Willie fell down the elevator, wasn’t found till 6 days later; Then the neighbors sniffed, “Gee Whiz, what a spoiled child Willie is.”
“Little Will with father’s gun, punctured grandma just for fun; Mother frowned at the merry lad, it was the last shell father had.”
“Willie caught his sister, Nan, being hugged by her young man; “Gee”, said Willie with a cackle, “that guy don’t know how to tackle.”
“Little Willie lit a rocket, which his Pa had in his pocket; Next day he told cousin Dan, “Papa is a traveling man.”
“Willie on the railroad track – the engine gave a squeal; The engineer took a spade and scraped Willie off the wheel.”
“Little Will in bows and sashes, fell in the fire and got burned to ashes. In the winter when things are chilly, no one liked to poke up Willie.”
“Willie, as the fire burned low, gave it a terrific blow; Grandpa’s beard got in the draft, dear me how the firemen laughed.”
Now let me share with you some printed church bulletin errors that have come across my desk.
“Wednesday night the ladies liturgy will meet. Miss Johnson will sing, “Put me in my little bed”, accompanied by the Pastor.”
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
“The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.”
“At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.”
“A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.”
“The service will close with “Little drops of water.” One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.”
“Thursday at 5 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All ladies wishing to be “Little Mothers” will meet with the Pastor in his study.”
“Next Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.”
Someone has said, “A sour old saint is the crowning work of the devil.” When we were working in Europe in the 60’s, I came home for reports and a few meetings. I spoke to an old folks meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. They were seated in a kind of horse shoe circle. The top of the circle was an old lady that was sitting in kind of a fetal knot. She never moved or opened her eyes. I thought she may have expired during my talk.
As I moved around after “amen” was said, I came to her. She shocked me when her eyes flashed open. She blurted out “Bet I know where you got that tie.” I had bought it in Ireland, so I said to her “Where?” She said, “Around your neck”, and then laughed and shut her eyes again.
Never sell an old lady short. She got the last laugh on me.