David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2 — Profanity, Problem-Solving, Rosh Hashanah, Sex, Siblings

Profanity

• When Nikki Giovanni was a young child, her older sister helped her get ready for school by teaching her such things as numbers and letters—and a couple of dirty words.

Problem-Solving

• Edmund Hillary was one of the first two people to successfully climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. When he was a child, he liked to stay awake at night and read books. However, his father checked on his children to make sure their lights were out and they were asleep. Therefore, Edmund and his sister arranged a signal. They ran a long string between her bedroom and his bedroom, with the string running along a dark hallway. When his sister heard their father walking in the hallway and checking on the children, she would pull on the string, alerting Edmund, who had the other end of the string tied to a big toe. He then shut out the light and pretended to be asleep until his father finished the bed check.

• As a child, Nicole developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which reduced her ability to carry around heavy books. However, she developed ways to solve that problem. For example, one of her classes used a very heavy book, so she received two copies of the book—one to keep at home, and one to keep at school. That way, she didn’t need to carry the book back and forth between home and school.

Rosh Hashanah

• At the Jewish New Year—Rosh Hashanah—the sounding of the ram’s horn, or shofar, takes place. One year a rabbi interviewed several men who were candidates to blow the shofar. He asked each of the candidates the question, “What will you be thinking about when you sound the shofar on the holy day?” One man replied that he would be thinking about the glory of God. A second man replied that he would be thinking about the enormity of sin. A third man said that he would be thinking about the money he would earn, because it would feed his children, who would otherwise be hungry. The man chosen to sound the shofar was the man who would bring the most sincerity, urgency, and passion to the sounding of the shofar—and that was the man who needed the job to feed his children.

Sex

• Syndicated columnist Connie Schultz remembers when she was in the 5th grade and her mother told her how babies are made. Connie, of course, was a baby once, and she had parents like other babies, and she shrieked at her mother, “With dad?” When her father arrived home later, he noticed that Connie was behaving strangely, and so he asked, “What’s wrong with Connie?” Connie mother whispered to him, and he chuckled. Connie says, “[T]hat was the only time I got away with not speaking to my father at the dinner table.”

• Columnist Ann Landers once asked her female heterosexual readers whether they preferred cuddling to the act of lovemaking. A majority preferred cuddling. Curious, writer Gail Sausser asked a lesbian friend whether she preferred cuddling to the act of lovemaking. The friend was shocked by the question: “What do you mean? Cuddling is part of the act—sex is affectionate!”

• When Edward VII died, his wife, Queen Alexandra, sent to his mistress, Lily Langtry, a box of handkerchiefs monogrammed with Lily’s initials. The handkerchiefs had been collected one by one from the Royal bedroom as Lily had carelessly left them behind. Not only were the handkerchiefs carefully laundered, but the Queen enclosed a letter of sympathy about her and Lily’s mutual loss.

Siblings

• Practical joker Hugh Troy had an aunt whom he considered officious. Once, she arrived for a visit while his parents were out of town, so he and his sister prepared for her visit by bringing down several pieces of furniture from the attic to the living room. After eating supper, the officious aunt was sitting in the living room when Hugh and his sister arrived carrying hatchets and loudly discussing the furniture, saying that there was way too much and that it was always getting in their way. They then started chopping up the furniture and carrying it out of the house. The aunt returned to her home the next morning.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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