Don't Shoot the Messenger 4/19/2017


Art Linkletter, was a  radio and television talk-show pioneer who was best known for eliciting hilarious remarks from the mouths of babes in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. He recognized the ability of youngsters to communicate unvarnished honesty to adults that have lost the simple childhood truths.

Ask any elementary school teacher and they will tell you that there are no family secrets left sacred, as far as children are concerned. 

It was a delicate process for me to explain to my children that some things are private without imparting the impression that everything is secret. 

But I will have to bow to the master, in relation of the childhood truths, to my husband.

When Bruce was little, he believed his dad was a God. He looked up to him and wanted to emulate his every characteristic, as most young sons do. Now Milton drove truck and to a young boy that was the best job in the world. 

One day Milton was running errands around town and his young son was in tow. Milton stopped by the Ranger Hotel to visit with an acquaintance. The gentleman spoke to Bruce and in the youngster’s excitement, Bruce blurted, “My dad’s a trucker”. Milton reacted swiftly by grabbing up his son, swatting him on the backside and sending his bewildered offspring to the vehicle. You see Bruce had a slight lisp and was unable to enunciate his “T’s” properly. But he was spot on pronouncing his “F’s”. Milton felt horrible when Dorothy informed him that his son was just proud of him and that the statement faux pas was not bad behavior, just a speech impediment.

Fast forward to when Bruce became a father with a house full of littles himself. He named the family cat Alfred T. Fudpucker. At show and tell, Samantha proudly announced to the class that her cat was named Alfred T. “*ucker Pucker”, which elicited an immediate phone call to her witty father with the question, “Why in heavens name would you name your cat that?”

Recently a story was shared with me about the youngest Himes son. Our next door neighbor has known Cody for most of his life. Marilyn’s granddaughter is a friend of Cody’s. 

Marilyn and her friend, Karen, are of a similar age and marital status. One day as they were walking down the street, Cody stopped them to visit. Now I don’t know exactly how the topic came up, but Cody inquired if the ladies were married. Both responded that they weren’t. “Well don’t you want a husband?” Evidently he was ready and willing to broker some relationship assistance. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but when I heard of the encounter, my first thought was, “Is he trying to line Bruce up for a new stepmother? My suspicion persisted when a few days later he asked me whether I wanted to be cremated or buried. To which I responded, “For right now, neither”. For the record if something happens to me, please use this column for evidence.

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