How about a little levity?

John Grindrod Guest columnist

John Grindrod Guest columnist

As soon as the computer became pretty much a fixture in most abodes around 2000, I began getting a pretty fair amount of emails designed to tug on my patriotic strings, arouse me to espouse a certain political mindset or provide for me what I certainly always can use, which is a good laugh. While I get these missives from a variety of sources, a large amount of them are forwards from my dear friend Denny Bauman.

Now, I have to admit to the man more commonly known as Buzzy to his many friends that I don’t have the time to open and read every one he sends, but I certainly do check out several. One I received a few weeks ago was a series of what comedians have referred to over time as one-liners. Some were a tad risqué; some, a bit absurd; and some, slightly below the comedic surface, undeniably true in much the same way as the humor so often is in Seinfeld, a show in my opinion and Buzzy’s as well, that belongs on the Mount Rushmore of sitcoms.

One of the one-liners, “I’m on two diets since I wasn’t getting enough food on one,” really hits home for me. While my Lady Jane’s weight has been in gradual decline for quite some time, mine, sadly, has not. At 70, while I’m certainly not ready to go belly-to-belly on the sumo mat, I do have a bit of a pillow, no doubt, exacerbated over time by my fondness for a certain amber-colored frothy beverage.

While some may approach the slight problem by trying crash diets and trying to emulate all those toned yuppies I see on the commercials furiously pumping the pedals of those Pelotons, I went a different direction. I just choose only guy pals with similar anatomies. That way I’m not playing Hardy to someone else’s Laurel!

It’s been an eternity ago when I was a freshman and future NFL head coach Jerry Glanville, my phys ed teacher, sneered at me in the locker room after class and said,” Grindrod, how much you weigh?” to which I responded enthusiastically, “116 pounds, coach!” to which he replied, extending each monosyllabic word, “Innnn whiiiich leeeeg?” It became a line my pals would use on me in a far more good-natured jibing way than it was initially spoken for quite some time.

While I’m a big fan of pretty much any and all foods today, as a child, I had an overall apathy for most consumables, save certain Post breakfast cereal, particularly if the box I pulled off the shelf had the most coveted and colorful rectangular baseball or football cards featured from 1960 through ’63. Actually, I really had little patience for the eating pastime since it robbed me of time better spent outside perpetrating my own brand of mayhem.

Alas, however, those days are about 60 years and 60 or so pounds ago. So, indeed, it sometimes may appear to some Skinny Minnies that I am on two diets!

Another I found comically true is “I really don’t mind getting older, but my body is taking it personally.” I think all of us who’ve seen enough decades roll by can relate. Once upon a time as a young adult, I could still sit cross-legged on the floor with my arms folded across my chest and rise to a standing position with arms still folded. Now, the memories of that kind of leg strength are so very distant.

Another I enjoyed despite its underlying snarkiness. It reads, “As I watch this new generation try to rewrite history, one thing I’m sure of … It will be misspelled and have no punctuation.” Surely older lovers of the language have noticed the gradual decline in the language skills of so many younger folks, which saddens this former high school English teacher.

Recently, while working doing a cleaning inspection in a dorm on one of my college campus accounts, I saw a series of door signs on some young ladies’ rooms designed to show they were certainly empowered. The door hangings were intended to read, “Behind this door reside warrior goddesses.” Unfortunately, each and every sign announced behind those doors were “warrior godesses.” Also, throughout my buildings, I’m always spying a number of apostrophes either missing in entirety or hanging out on the wrong side of the s.

Finally, and this one is by far my favorite, there was this observation: “I want to be 14 again and ruin my life differently. I have lots of new ideas.” Of course, I ask myself the same question so many my age and older do, as in, “Where in the heavens did the time go?” Of course, the partnering observation that always ends with an ellipsis is, “If I only knew then what I know now….” It suggests were we able to do it all over again, somehow, we’d do a lot better. While we’d like to think that, truth be told, we’d probably mess things up even worse!

At any rate, I hope I’ve built a few comedic bridges with you this week. I know things are pretty tough out there, but they do get a little easier if we can just laugh a little.

John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest, a freelance writer and editor and the author of two books. Reach him at [email protected]

John Grindrod Guest columnist Grindrod Guest columnist