David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2 — Husbands and Wives

Husbands and Wives

• Early in their married life, horror writer Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, had little money. In fact, at their wedding, Mr. King walked down the aisle wearing a borrowed suit, tie, and shoes. (Since he took the morning off to get married, his pay at the Laundromat where he worked was docked.) Mr. King wrote a novel, but he was so disgusted at the low pay he was receiving for his writing that he threw away the manuscript. Fortunately, his wife retrieved it from the garbage and convinced him to send it to a friendly editor at Doubleday. In 1973, the book, titled Carrie, was published in hardback, and he received $2,500 for it. Later, the paperback rights to the successful novel were sold. Mr. King figured that he would get $5,000 for the paperback rights, and when he learned that the rights had sold for $400,000, he celebrated by buying his wife a hair dryer.

• Actor Van Heflin and his wife decided to play a practical joke on Al Horwits, a friend who was a public relations man. They knew that Mr. Horwits’ wife was returning home after a long trip, so while Mr. Horwits was at the airport to meet her, they went to the Horwitses’ apartment and scattered ladies underwear, hairpins, and other feminine objects throughout the apartment. However, Mrs. Horwits had the last laugh. The next time she saw the Van Heflins, she handed Mrs. Van Heflin a bag containing the ladies underwear and said, “Here are some things you forgot the last time you were up in Al’s apartment.”

• Comedian Tim Conway’s first wife, Marianne, loved to play bridge, and she insisted on taking him to some parties where everyone talked about bridge. This bored Mr. Conway, so at one party, he went to the bathroom and looked in the medicine chest, where he found some Vaseline and some Q-Tips. Wanting to have some fun, he smeared the Vaseline on his face, then he stuck the Q-Tips in the Vaseline, and finally he rejoined the party. Conversation stopped as everyone saw Mr. Conway. “Oh, this,” he said, pointing to his face. “The Q-Tips box exploded.” Shortly afterward, he and his first wife divorced.

• Bill Clinton was a student at Yale when he stared at a young woman studying in the Yale Law School Library. She noticed him, then walked up to him and said, “Look, if you’re going to keep staring at me, I think we should at least introduce ourselves. I’m Hillary Rodham. What’s your name?” Later, they were married. One of the reasons they were married is that Hillary is a strong woman whom many men find intimidating, and she says about Bill, “He wasn’t afraid of me.”

• The great jockey Tod Sloan married musical comedy star Julia Sanderson. One of Ms. Sanderson’s friends, a theatrical producer, was skeptical about the marriage and told her, “You won’t live with that guy for a year.” She replied, “I’ll bet you a kiss,” and the producer made the bet. A year later, the producer was standing on a street corner when a taxi pulled up. Ms. Sanderson got out of the taxi, gave the producer a kiss, said “There,” and got back into the taxi.

• If you’re a popular entertainer, you can quickly get used to applause. Country comedian Jerry Clower used to take a few weeks off during the holiday season to be with his family, but occasionally he missed the applause. Once, he told his family, “I’m going to go back out and make an entrance. I want y’all to jump up and applaud. It’s going to be the first part of January before people applaud me and I need this fix.” His wife told him, “Phftt.”

• Despite a happy engagement, John Custis and Fidelia Custis were not happy after they were married. To attempt a reconciliation, they took a carriage drive together along Chesapeake Bay. However, John grew angry when Fidelia stayed silent, and so he drove his team and carriage into the bay. This prompted Fidelia to ask, “Where are you going, Sir?” Her husband told her, “To hell, Ma’am.” Fidelia replied, “Drive on, then.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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