David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families — Death, Easter


• Ann Weeks of Lexington, Kentucky, suffered the loss of her husband. Unfortunately, for weeks following the funeral, people kept telephoning and asking for her husband because they were unaware that he had died. One day, a salesman called and asked for him. Ms. Weeks replied, “I’m sorry, Paul is deceased. I’m his wife. May I help you?” The salesman didn’t say anything about her husband’s death, but he did tell Ms. Weeks that he was with the Appliance Warranty Center and was calling to remind her that a warranty on an appliance had run out and she needed to renew it. Ms. Weeks replied that she had decided not to renew that warranty. The salesman, annoyed, said, “Well, I’m sure your dead husband would want you to renew.” Not liking to be manipulated, Ms. Weeks replied, “Funny you should mention it, but just hours before Paul died he said, ‘Honey, whatever you do, don’t renew the appliance warranty!’” The salesman hung up.

• Near the end of his life, Al Capp, creator of Li’l Abner, was confined to a wheelchair. One day he asked his wife if she had any silver candlesticks and plain white candles in the house. She did, so he asked, “Would you light those candles and put them on the mantelpiece. Tonight, I mean. This is Friday, isn’t it, Catherine?” It was Friday, and Catherine did as her husband requested. Later, Elliott Caplin, Al’s brother, explained the significance of the candles. In their family, the person who most revered the Sabbath and lit the candles and said the prayers had been their mother. As Al Capp sat in his apartment, knowing that he was dying, he was thinking about his mother.

• Comedian Beatrice Lillie once visited her mother’s grave and saw that a small, freshly dug grave was nearby. Filled with pity at the death of an infant, she spent a few weeks tending the grave and planting flowers — originally intended for her own mother’s grave — all around it. Later, a friend asked her if she was still tending the grave. She replied that she had discovered that it was the grave of an 85-year-old man, so “I dug up every god*mn plant and put them back on my mother’s grave.”

• Philosopher Richard Watson’s father knew that he was dying of cancer. He told his son, “I’m dying. Don’t give me any of that crap I’m not.” His son replied, “OK, so you’re dying. Now what?” In reply, he just grinned. Just before he died, one of his favorite nieces and her husband visited him. At the end of their visit, the husband said, “I want you to be sitting up in a chair next time I see you.” He replied, “You don’t see too many people buried sitting up.”

• A man once drew up a will in which he left everything to his wife and three sons. He then asked the Chafetz Chaim to look over the will and criticize it. After looking over the will, the Chafetz Chaim pointed out that the man had overlooked an important beneficiary: his soul. The will made no provision for charity, and the man’s soul deserved to be considered in the will.

• At a funeral, brightly colored clothing is regarded as inappropriate, but not even family members are required to wear black, although many do. Etiquette expert Grace Fox knows a woman who wore a lovely blue dress at the funeral of her husband and touchingly explained that it was her husband’s favorite dress.

• After her grandmother died, track superstar Mary Decker ran a race on an indoor track in Los Angeles, California. She cried the entire distance and finished last.

• In his will, comedian Jack Benny made the provision that his wife, Mary Livingstone, be given a perfect red rose every day for the rest of her life.


• As a teenager, Connie, the daughter of the Rev. Frederick L. Haynes, liked sunrise Easter services even more than Christmas. Now a mother with three sons, each Easter she drags her sons out of bed before sunrise to get ready for the sunrise service. Sometimes they ask her, “Why, Mom?” She replies, “We are Easter people.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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