The Thunker - Sarah Donohoe

Our favorite sweet old guy, Bob Brunson (may he rest in peace) sent me an email in April 2014 with the subject line, “Clever Gems. ” I hung onto it all this time, knowing at some point we would all be in need a few Clever Gems to add some sparkle to our homebound days.

Now is the time. Moods are swinging like tires on a rope, our social lives have been reduced to something akin to an eighth grade dance: nobody looks at each other, talks to each other or gets too close lest we catch cooties. There is way too much space and time between us, which makes extroverts grumpy and introverts—well, we’ll never know how they’re feeling.

In Spain, where my brother lives, nobody is allowed on the streets except to walk the dog. The dog-rental business is booming! Only one person is allowed in a car, so my sister-in-law is now driving alone to work an hour away, as are each of the other two people she carpooled with until a few days ago. Nothing about COVID-19, nor the world’s reaction to it, makes any sense.

Having never gone through a pandemic of this proportion before, we don’t know what to do. We’re muddling along, trying to keep angst at least six feet away. Next time (and something like this will happen again) we’ll be better prepared.

Meantime, here are those Clever Gems by comedian Steven Wright to bring some twinkle and a wink to these tentative times:

1. Borrow money from pessimists—they don't expect it back.

2. Half the people you know are below average.

3. 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

4. 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

5. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

6. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

7. If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.

8. All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.

9. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

10. I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met.

11. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

12. How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

13. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

14. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

15. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

16. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

17. I intend to live forever. So far, so good.

18. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

19. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

20. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

21. My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

22. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

23. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

24. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

25. The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

26. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

27. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

28. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

29. The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

30. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.

31. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

32. If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

Our beloved planet seems to be slowing to a stop. It will be much easier to stay upright if we can find the balance between the prudent and the playful.

You may let The Thunker know what you think at her e-mail address,

© 2020 Sarah Donohoe

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