Good News, Bad News jokes. Some of them are corny, but I still like them: .
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
“The bad news: nothing lasts forever. The good news: nothing lasts forever.”
“The good news is that you will win the election because your opponent has had a scandalous affair. The bad news is that the affair is with your wife.”
See? Corny. But kind of meaningful too.
Then there is this one from the classic comedian, Bob Hope: “The good news is the Jesus is coming back. The bad news is that he’s really pissed off.”
Mr. Hope sets up the table for thinking about the Second Coming but I’m not hungry for that today.
Two days ago, Monday, May 8, two statements were made to me that fit the “good news, bad news” literary device.
The first comment was made by a 2nd grade girl at a local elementary school. I’m a Big Brother Lunch Buddy. That means once a week, I eat lunch with a kid at his school. He’s in the second grade. We’ve been buddies since kindergarten.
My lunch time with him moves into recess on the playground. On this day, I was leading the kids in a classic game of “drop the hanky.” One girl asked if she could be “it” first. “Sure!” I said. But a girl standing beside me grabbed my hand and with a disappointed look on her face and tone in her voice, she said, “But I asked first.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I responded. “I didn’t you hear you.”
Here’s the bad news: “That’s because,” she explained, “you’re a grandpa.”
“Ouch,” I said to myself. I’m not a grandpa but I’m old enough to be, and my looks obviously qualify me to be.
Well, I proved the kids I still had it in me. When the flag was dropped behind me, I caught and tagged the kid who dropped it before he got back to my place in the circle.
I felt pretty good for a guy who looks like a grandpa.
That was the bad news. It’s still hard to believe I’m as old as I am.
The good news came that night, on a date with Denise. Monday nights are typically and usually “date night” for Denise and me – it’s been that way for 37 years of marriage. This week, we went to one of our favorite local restaurants.
We really had fun.
Good food. Good wine.
Lots of laughs.
A little flirting – with each other.
Good conversation (We usually talk more when we go out than when we stay in).
And there was church talk. There always is. And interior design talk (that’s her line of work).
She rocked her outfit. I tried with mine.
We weren’t new to the restaurant but we were new to the server and he to us. When he stopped by at the close of our dinner, he asked, “Will this be on one check?”I don’t know if I looked as surprised as I felt.
“Pardon, me?” I asked. Did I hear that right? I am old enough to be a grandpa, you know. It had already been established that my hearing is not that great. He repeated himself, “Will that be on one or two checks?”
I had heard correctly.
Denise looked at me, smiled, and asked, “What do you think?”
“Oh, I’ll take it tonight,” I told the server.
He left. We laughed. And we wondered, “Why?”
Why, after 37 years of marriage, 37 years of putting it on one check, were we asked something different? I don’t know. Maybe that’s what servers are taught to ask, unless they know you?
I’d like to think it was because we didn’t act like an old married couple. You know the line, “You bicker (argue, fight) just like an old married couple.” Maybe we didn’t look like an old married couple. Maybe we weren’t suffering form “Old married couple syndrome.”
Remember this line from Lucy Ricardo in “I Love Lucy” when she was doing a TV ad for a health drink – Vitameatavegamin?
“Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpoopular?”
Are you bored, stuck in a routine, thoughtless, can’t think of anything to talk about, completely out of shape and you don’t give a rip? Well, you might have old married couple syndrome.
No, I don’t know why the server asked what he did about the check. But it did make me want to stock up on some Vitameatavegamin for my marriage. Keep it young. Keep it healthy. Never take it for granted. Always be dating, the same girl.
“Spoon your way to health.”