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March 19, 2010


My credentials for being a comedian:

I was born on April 1st.

When I mention my birthday it gets a laugh;

not sure what the deal is, never notice this reaction for other birthdays,
though Halloween, and 29 February get some chuckles.

(Actually, when people say “April Fool’s Day?!”
I act surprised, like I never knew it was April Fool's Day, like NOBODY ever
tried to pull a prank on me that day…
this is always good for more laughs, an occasional guffaw,
and sometimes

Being born on April Fool’s Day

prepares you

for the worst that comedy offers...

===>practical jokes.

Besides cake candles that re-light,

and the birthday card 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


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 to count heads and see if I was born.  He came by the house AGAIN, this time 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.  Indeed, the rest is history.

(The Marx Brothers "crowded room" bit, which is in most if not all their movies.)

Years later I did a different version of this “routine”.  My dad was riding a train from Jefferson City, Missouri to home in St. Louis.  A friend of mine, a pilot instructor, and I flew to Jefferson City to take my dad back 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, much less a twin-engine mammajamma.)  I took a cab to pick up my dad. He was certain I had driven to Jefferson City and was puzzled... 

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 in the plane ON THE RUNWAY before my dad said “I guess we really are flying, huh?“  Again, indeed, 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 will probably not laugh outus-loudus at the above, but “I guess you had to be there” is no excuse for not appreciating that LIFE IS COMEDY.   No foolin'.