Read Bob's bio and previous columns
July 3, 2009
Think You’ve Got It Tough?
many times have you heard someone say “Boy, the world’s sure a mess these
days?” Plenty of times, I’ll bet.
Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself – or the planet in general – I
take a little slip of paper from my wallet and read it aloud.
paper, which I always carry, says “A single pair of houseflies, starting in
April, could produce 191,010,000,000,000,000 offspring by August. In the
theoretical possibility that all of those newborn houseflies lived, the
entire earth would be blanketed under a layer of flies 47 feet deep.”
let’s face it. That could be a bad scene. I mean, a 47-foot-deep layer of
houseflies covering the entire earth could cause some problems.
the uplifting thing is the chances of it actually happening are slim. It
won’t happen simply because very few houseflies live to anything that even
faintly resembles a ripe old age.
a fact of nature that makes man very happy, even if it does tend to tick off
houseflies more than a little bit.
we have problems in America, but at least we don’t have wall-to-wall
houseflies. Whenever I’m down – you know, depressed and feeling sorry for
myself – I think of someone who is, or was, less fortunate than myself. Then
I end up feeling thankful for what I have instead of lamenting what I don’t
my wife Sally’s Uncle Herbert. When he was 53 years old, Herbert fell out of
the 45th story window of a New York City hotel. Miraculously, he
suffered only a bruised arm as a result of the fall. Elated by his good
fortune, a smiling Herbert arose from the sidewalk . . . brushed himself
off . . . and was immediately run over by a bus.
there’s the time I was lamenting the fact that the engine on my brand new
car conked out in a discount store parking lot and my first wife Sally
reminded me about what happened to her friend Norman 30 years before while
he was sitting in his car in a grocery store parking lot. Norman’s car
didn’t explode that day – but Norman did.
seems Norman had a live grenade in his left shoulder as the result of an old
war injury. Doctors had refused the remove the grenade because they said it
would never cause him any problems.
They were wrong.
said, I’m thankful for being able to survive life’s many pitfalls.
Sally’s Uncle Earl wasn’t quite that fortunate.
several months, Earl had been on a streak of bum luck. Everything he tried
one afternoon while having lunch at a Chinese restaurant, Earl opened a
fortune cookie and found a note that said, ”You will become rich and famous
within 24 hours.”
Needless to say, Earl was pleased as punch. At long last, his luck was about
to change. But then the joyful Earl opened another fortune cookie.
It contained a note with the message: “Please disregard previous cookie.”
Contact Bob at
© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.
This is Column # BB166. Request permission to publish here.