Corsicana — For many years, in a previous life, I had somewhat of a reputation as a master-of- ceremonies and I stayed relatively busy at that avocation. I never met a microphone I didn’t like and I did a lot of guest speaker gigs and overseeing graduations, farewells, and retirements. My schtick was to roast certain audience members and each person I was to introduce before I called them up to speak.
In this regard, I worked hard at collecting “one-liners” that applied to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whenever I heard a one-liner that got some audience yuks, I would jot it down and then enter it into my prospective joke book by subject or category — e.g., “Bachelors,” “Couples,” “Physiques,” “Politics,” “Retirement,” etc. The fact is, I fantasized about publishing a joke book entitled, “2001 One-Liners for Any Occasion — I Steal from Anyone and Nothing Is Sacred!”
I always tried to be humorous in my remarks without being cruel or too risque and I pretty much succeeded. I did give one after-luncheon speech for the Postal Service that resulted in a complaint letter that stated some of my remarks could be construed as borderline sexual harassment. That kind of hurt me even though I thought the complaint was bull-hockey. One year, I went all the way from Denver back to my 25th high school reunion in Connecticut where I was the M.C. for all the goofy awards and classmate updates they have at those things. The write-up in the Winsted Citizen the next day referred to me as the “Rocky Mountain’s Don Rickles.” I liked that.
I recently got an e-mail from an old boss of mine that had a bunch of one-liners by “Maxine.” Maxine is that little-old cartoon lady you see on greeting cards and other publications who has something grumpy to say about every subject in the world. My boss lady, Sheila, said, “Hi Dick — always think of you when I get these one liners...” It’s true, she thinks so much of my one-liners, she asked me to fly back from Corsicana to Denver to retire her from Civil Service. She knew she was going to be abused, along with all the other VIPs and muckety-mucks I had to introduce. One of my favorite lines about Sheila is that for years she used to wear 501 Jeans from the Gap — now she wears 1002s. Ta-dum-dum!