David Bruce: The Funniest People in Relationships — Daughters, Death, Easter


• When Paul Krassner’s 16-year-old daughter lost her virginity, she let him know by calling him on the telephone and playing Carly Simon’s “Daddy, I’m Not a Virgin Anymore.” His emotions were conflicting. On the one hand, he was proud that she had found an original way of letting him know that she was entering into a new phase of her life. On the other hand, he was jealous because he was still a virgin at her age.

• Sometimes, opera singers carry on snatches of conversation during live performances. While they were performing in Aida, Zinka Milanov whispered to George London, “George, how’s the new baby? I understand she’s a darling.”


• While attending school at Exeter, Robert Benchley was required to write a paper on a practical subject—he choose to write on the topic of embalming and even did research, interviewing a local undertaker. Later, when humorist George Ade died, the adult Benchley got out of bed and went out and had a good time, telling stories about Mr. Ade and drinking. According to Mr. Benchley, “When a great humorist dies, everybody should go to a place where there is laughter, and drink to his memory until the lights go out.” When Mr. Benchley died, his will, in which he left everything to his wife, was exactly one sentence long: “Confident that she will adequately provide for our two sons, and any child hereafter born to us, I make no provision for them, but give all my property to Gertrude D. Benchley, absolutely, appointing her Executrix without security.”

• As English National Opera soprano Leslie Garrett’s grandfather lay dying in a hospital, one of his nurses discovered that Ms. Garrett was his granddaughter. The nurse exclaimed, “Gosh, Leslie Garrett’s the most famous opera singer in the country.” Her grandfather sat up and told the nurse with his last words, “The world, young lady — she’s the most famous in the world!”

• A tourist approached the driver of a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park and asked, “How many people can you take?” The driver answered, Five.” The tourist said, “But I have a family of six.” The driver replied, “What do you want me to do about it? Shoot one of them?”

• At the Russian funeral of her husband, Sergei Grinkov, Ekaterina Gordeeva carried a bouquet of wilted red and yellow flowers. They were the last thing he had given to her before dying unexpectedly of a heart attack on November 20, 1995, in Lake Placid, New York.

• For a while, Wilson Mizner worked in Hollywood, adding gags to comedy scripts. While working on the screenplay of The Merry Wives of Reno, Mr. Mizner learned that his brother Addison was dying, so he telegraphed him, “Stop dying. Am trying to write a comedy.”


• When children’s book illustrator Lisa Campbell Ernst was young, her family had a pet dog named Heidi. Heidi had a good appetite, but she often hid part of her food so she could eat it later. Because she was an indoor dog, she hid food in the family’s furniture — Lisa’s father once found a pancake hidden in his favorite chair. One Easter, Lisa and her siblings received three beautiful Easter baskets filled with candy and eggs. Of course, they left the baskets at home while they attended church, and when they returned, they found that Heidi had gotten into the Easter baskets, eaten a good deal of the edibles, and hidden the rest. The Easter hunt was decidedly non-traditional that year, as the family found candy and eggs hidden all over the house. Even though the children couldn’t eat the candy and eggs, they still felt that Heidi had made a wonderful Easter bunny.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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