Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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June 20, 2014

I joke with people; then I hide for safety’s sake

Athens — It’s not always fun getting older after you pass about 35.  For that reason, it’s been a while since giving the big number on my birthday was really what I believed was time for a party.

I reached another age last month.  Yes, it was the number I just mentioned – plus 30.

I don’t really mind it.  But, what good would it do if I did?  I’m going to be that age, regardless of my wishes, my strength or my athleticism. Of these, my wish is that it will be all there is to work with.

Age has always been something I’ve enjoyed hearing from others.  From the time I was a little boy, I have always liked to see the expression on a face, particularly a woman’s face when the age question just pops up.

I have kept those enjoyable moments alive.  Yes, I still act like a gentleman (usually), but in my imagination, I am always asking a woman her age, knowing she doesn’t want to discuss it.  That’s the fun part.  I remember asking my mother that, and after she told me, I laughed.  And, I continued asking her that day-after-day.  It was just good-clean-fun.

I would follow suit with my wife, Jean, but I need to work.  And, I want to be able to work the next day.  And walk.  And drive.  And talk.

I do joke with Jean about it, though. We watch FOX4 News every morning, and at 7 a.m., they give birthday wishes for three celebrities. It’s so much fun to find out the ages of all the women –– I mean ­­–– all the people.

And, when we are guessing the ages of those celebrities before it is revealed, I always try to guess high.

There’s just more fun in doing it that way.

In our jokings, I once told my wife that when I was on the job as editor for the Wagoner (Oklahoma)  Tribune, a woman came in, and I interviewed her for a story.  I don’t remember what the story was about, but right now, I just don’t think that is very important.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I told my wife that the woman had given me certain autobiographical material, and I said, as I scribbled the information, “I need to get that age, please.”

She said, “I’d really rather not give that.”

Then I said, “It’s a state law.  When you speak with the media, you must give your age.  That’s only for women, so don’t worry about your husband.”

I told my wife that woman got up, shoved my computer off its stand, and beat my desk with her purse, destroying everything on it.

After telling my story to my wife, she said, “This is your imagination working again, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” I said quietly while looking down at the floor, like there was no hope for my mental affliction.

I find that as I get older, laughing about things is always a pleasure.  That’s the reason I tend to play on people’s sensitivities.

Hopefully, when I do that, we can all laugh. If we can’t laugh, I will stop immediately.

Laughing or smiling is the final goal for doing it in the first place.

So, today, you should share something funny.  Don’t make it the things I do.  That tends to be hazardous to my health.

Jeff Riggs is Associate Editor of the Athens Daily Review.


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