David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2 — Fathers, Food

Fathers

• Theatrical producer Jed Harris and his daughter once hopped together down a sidewalk. A friend saw them from across the street and later asked Mr. Harris what they had been doing. Mr. Harris replied, “We were rabbits.”

Food

• Early in his married life, L. Frank Baum, who later wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, brought home a dozen filled doughnuts. This made his wife unhappy, and she asked him if he disliked the kind of food she bought. Mr. Baum said that he liked her cooking, but that doughnuts were good to eat, too. He ate two doughnuts the first day, and two the second day, but on the third day he said that they were stale and so he didn’t eat any. Nevertheless, his wife served them to him again on day four, so he took the doughnuts, wrapped them up, and hid them in a cupboard. His wife, however, found them and served them to him the next day, so this time he dug a hole and buried the doughnuts. His wife still had a point to make, so she dug up the doughnuts, brushed the dirt off them, and served the rock-hard doughnuts to him again. Eventually, they made a truce. Mr. Baum did not have to eat the doughnuts, but he did have to leave the grocery shopping to his wife.

• Opera singer Leo Slezak was forced to diet for most of each year because, being a huge man (he was 6-foot-7), he had a large appetite and gained weight easily. (One of the few days of the year that he didn’t diet was his birthday.) When he was dieting, his wife carefully measured out portions of food on a scale and those portions were all he had to eat. Of course, Mr. Slezak ate the food quickly and then muttered that the food scale had to be wrong. Once, for a few meals in a row, Mr. Slezak didn’t complain about the portions of food he was doled out. His wife praised his will power and suspected nothing until she walked into her husband’s den and discovered that the family dog was very interested in the middle drawer of her husband’s desk. Opening the drawer, she found a large salami.

• Malcolm Glenn Wyer once worked as a librarian in Iowa City, the location of the State University of Iowa. Later, while working at another library Mr. Wyer met an exchange professor from Austria who had taught for a while at the State University of Iowa. The professor asked Mr. Wyer to clear up a puzzle for him—he had dined at the homes of several Iowa professors, and he wondered why the servants always looked alike. Mr. Wyer was able to clear up the puzzle. The professors did not have any servants—when they entertained, they hired the Kasper sisters to cater the affair.

• Comedian Flash Rosenberg’s mother brought her up to be analytical. For example, if she refused to eat her peas, her mother wouldn’t just let her say that she didn’t like peas. She had to have a reason why she didn’t like peas. So she would say, “I don’t like the way the skin is kind of tough and the inside is kind of mushy. I just don’t know how to get my teeth ready.” And her mother would reply, “That’s a good reason,” and so young Flash didn’t have to eat her peas.

• Wavy Gravy (aka Hugh Romney) met his wife when he ordered a hamburger. Her name was Bonnie Jean Beechie, aka Country Pie, and she ran a restaurant named the Fred C. Dobbs on Sunset Boulevard. Her beauty was definitely noticeable, but the other thing that got her noticed by Wavy Gravy was that when he ordered the hamburger, she put a few peanuts in the center of the patty before cooking it.

• One evening at the dinner table, Amy, Charles M. Schultz’ daughter, was making a lot of noise, so he asked her, “Amy, couldn’t you be quiet for just a little while?” Amy stopped making noise, and she started buttering a piece of bread. She then looked up and asked, “Am I buttering too loud for you?” This situation made its way into a Peanuts comic strip starring Linus.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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