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July 18, 2008



My credentials for being a comedian are as follows: I was born on April 1st. PM. Not sure what the big deal is, but when I mention my birthday it gets a laugh. I don’t notice this reaction for other birthday‘s, though Halloween and 29 Feb get some chuckles. (Actually, when people say “April Fool’s Day?!” I act surprised, like I never knew…this is always good for more laughs, an occasional guffaw, and sometimes milk thru the nose).

Being born on April Fool’s Day prepares you for the worst that comedy offers---practical jokes. Besides the birthday cake candles that re-light, and the birthday card that is printed upside down or backwards, and the big box neatly wrapped with a tiny box inside, there are many, many others that I have played along with, 99% of the time knowing full well something zany this way comes. (When I turned 30 my bride surprised me with a party of 50 people, including a belly dancer. It was the biggest surprise of my life. That video will be uploaded in the future.)

On the day I was born dad thought mom was kidding when she stated “It’s time to go to the hospital”. So at a very early age I became part of a comedy routine that appeared to be a practical joke on my dad, who only wanted to finish watching “77 Sunset Strip”, a 90-minute program on TV, on April Fool‘s Day.

The back-up plan to take my mom to the hospital was my Uncle Mick, who had stopped by earlier from work to count heads and see if I’d been born. He came by the house again to take my mom in case she couldn’t convince my dad it wasn’t a joke. When my uncle showed up at the house my dad agreed to “go for a ride” with them, chuckling all the way, and when my uncle pulled into the hospital parking lot my dad was very impressed at how elaborate this little April Fool’s prank had become. The rest is history.

Years later I did a different version of this “routine”. My dad was going to ride a train from Jefferson City, Missouri to home in St. Louis. A friend of mine was a pilot instructor, and we flew to Jefferson City to take my dad back to St. Louis by plane. This took place on the Friday before Father’s Day, so it was an early gift for my dad, who had rarely flown in an airplane. I took a cab to pick up my dad. He was certain I had driven to Jefferson City and was puzzled why I took a cab. When we pulled into the airport parking lot my dad started laughing. “You’re going thru a lot just to fool me”, he said. It wasn’t until we were out of the cab and the cab was driving away and we were ON THE RUNWAY before my dad said “I guess we really are flying, huh?“ The rest is history.

To me, THAT’S COMEDY. The whole thing, from my mom saying “time to go to the hospital”, 77 Sunset Strip, my uncle, the hospital, years later at the airport…it’s like one long drawn-out comedy routine.

You may not have laughed outus-loudus at the above, but “I guess you had to be there” is no excuse for not appreciating that LIFE IS COMEDY.