Thursday, July 17, 2014


And no, pithy is not someone with a lisp and a bad attitude. 

My friends are storytellers.  Word people.  Thoughtful, thinking. Witty. One of my favorite people in the world, when I asked about her housekeeper's health, said: "Oh, Lupe is going in for an autopsy next week."  And on the other end of the phone I could hear Lupe yell from the next room: "I Am Not!!!!"  Biopsy, autopsy, so few letters; such a big difference.

Someone else was asking the same friend about her early life, and when my friend said she had come to America on a ship during the war, she was asked: "Oh, was that the crusades?" Yeah.  Old but not that old, thank you.  And don't they teach history any more?

I love the unexpected.  Like "We're in the 18th year of a five year lease." Or  "Tim has a troubled relationship with salmon." Now I know what not to serve.   

"She has a black belt in passive aggressive behavior." We all know one or two of those.  May we never be alone in a room with them.

"I found it on the inter tube."  Youtube, internet.  So confusing.

A very witty fellow I know was being a bit snarky about a friend who's gone off the rails, and he said "She used to do interesting things with great enthusiasm..." Unstated but very well understood is the "But alas, that is no longer the case."  

This same friend gave me a favorite quote and cocktail recipe:  "A jigger of anger in a tall glass of resentment, with a dash of bitterness".

Husbands and wives can be wickedly funny too.  “I think I’ll write a book today,” the writer Georges Simenon was said to tell his wife at breakfast. “Fine,” she said, “but what will you do in the afternoon?”

And my favorite tale - a friend's parents had grown old in their house.  When the mother died, the dad stopped driving.  And repairing anything around the house.  By the time his dad died, the vines sagged off the eaves and covered the garage door.  You could not even back the car out unless you had a chain saw.

The son asked a childhood friend who's in real estate (the son of the woman who came over during the crusades) to come look at the house.  As they carefully climbed the sagging front steps, with clouds of swarming termites rising around them, the real-estate-savvy friend said, "Really, the best thing you can do for this house is tear it down."

His friend said "I can't do that!  My dad just put a new roof on the house!"

And he replied, " If you had used that logic when your mother died, you wouldn't have buried her, because she had a new set of dentures."

He tore down the house.  And yes, he had buried his mother.

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