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David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families — Food, Gays and Lesbians, Gifts


• Comedian Eddie Cantor’s daughter, Marilyn, grew up to become a good cook — and a good wit. Once she had several people over for dinner; as she was carrying the entree to the table, she dropped it, and suddenly the floor was awash with shrimps swimming in chili sauce. The guests fell silent, but Marilyn said, “Don’t just stand there — dig in!”

• Rolf E. Aaseng was once asked by his wife to make some biscuits. He looked in the open cookbook, found that the recipe was for 48 biscuits, so he made 48 biscuits out of the dough. However, his wife had forgotten to tell him that when she made biscuits she halved the recipe. Fortunately, the family dog enjoyed the extra biscuits.

• As pioneers traveled from east to west across North America in covered wagons, often they had very little change in their diets. One pioneer woman with a sense of humor wrote that about the only change in the diet of her and her family consisted of eating bacon and bread instead of bread and bacon.

• Lydia Parker White, a Quaker, was known for her homemade cookies, and her grandchildren frequently asked her for cookies, something that sometimes upset their parents. Once, her granddaughter visited her and after greeting her, said, “Mama told me not to ask thee for cookies today.”

Gays and Lesbians

• When financial writer Andrew Tobias finally came out to his parents, he called his mother on the telephone and told her — many of his gay friends regard this way of coming out as lacking grace. Her first words to him were, “Don’t tell your father — promise me.” After nearly two years, she gave her son permission to tell his father. When he did come out to his father — who wasn’t surprised — he also gave him an autobiography about being gay that he had published under a pseudonym. His father stayed up all night and read The Best Little Boy in the World twice, and he cried because he hadn’t realized that his son was a homosexual and was going through so much pain and so he hadn’t been there for Andrew. Both parents accepted their son’s homosexuality. At a Thanksgiving dinner, his father met Andrew’s significant other, Charles Nolan, and told Andrew that Charles “seems like a very fine young man.” His mother joked that she wishes Andrew’s older, straight brother could have found someone like Charles to settle down with.

• Edythe Eyde watched some new neighbors move in — two men, no women. Her suspicions aroused, she went over and said, “Hi. Welcome. I’m your neighbor across the street. I see you have a couple of cats.” She played with the cats, then said, “You’re gay, aren’t you?” The two men were stunned, but she put them at ease by saying, “Well, so am I! Hi, neighbor!” They became good friends and traded jobs as needed. When the gay men went away on business trips, she took care of their cats, and when she needed a difficult-to-replace light bulb changed, they did it for her.

• When comedian Kate Clinton came out to her family as a lesbian, Bill, her brother, decided to tell his children the news. Over dinner, he told them, and Angela, his eleven-year-old daughter, replied, “Well, duh, Dad. I have only known this my entire life.”

• Lesbian comedian Judy Carter says that a good way to come out to your friends is to ask, “Are you friends with any gay people?” If they say that they aren’t, reply, “Well, you are now.”


• Quakers are concerned about social justice and about the just distribution of the good things of this world. Long ago, John Cox, Sr., gave hospitality to people travelling west. One guest took a liking to Mr. Cox’ son and made him a boat. John Cox, Jr., had only one other toy — a wagon. However, Mr. Cox told his son that he had to give away either the boat or the wagon because as long as there was one child in the world who did not have a toy, he didn’t want his son to have two toys.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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