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Newspaper publisher dies at age 84


Roger Allen

Roger Allen

Roger Allen, of Rockford, Michigan, and formerly of Cedar Springs, died Saturday, January 5 after a long battle with heart disease.

He was well known in both communities as publisher of the Rockford Squire newspaper and founder of The Cedar Springs Post. He wrote a weekly column for both papers, and many people appreciated Roger’s wit and humor. It was one of the most popular pages in the newspaper. If his column didn’t run for some reason, people called and wanted to know where it was.

Roger was the son of Elizabeth and Joseph Gilbert (Gib) Allen. He was born in Washington D.C. on June 20,1928.

He was a veteran of the United States Army and served in the aftermath of World War II, but before the Korean Conflict. The Post interviewed him in 2008 about his time in Korea.

“I joined shortly after my 18th birthday,” said Allen. He served for 18 months in the US Army field artillery from 1947-1948. “I was sent directly to Korea. I went there and stayed there. I couldn’t even get a weekend pass,” he said.

Allen said he didn’t see any action while in Korea. “We did a lot of guard duty,” he noted. He said that there was only one time he was close to shooting someone. “I was on guard duty at the hospital and it was dark. There was a Korean boy rummaging around in the trash. I couldn’t shoot him because I forgot the word for halt,” he said with a grin.

Allen said the most memorable events for him happened during World War II, before he went into the service. “During the war, clothes, meat and gas were rationed. The entire country was wrapped up in the war.”

He said everyone listened to news of the war on the radio and saw it on newsreels in the movie theatres. “The Battle of the Bulge, the landing at Salerno, fighting in North Africa, Japan landing in the Aleutian Islands, Germans sinking ships. It was a tough time,” he recalled.

Allen said that his mother was an air raid warden during that time in New Jersey. “We had to have the shades drawn, and lights out so that the bombers couldn’t see us. She walked the neighborhood making sure everyone did that,” he explained.

He noted that the war seemed quite close with German ships in the Atlantic. “I had an acquaintance, on a supply ship, who was sunk by a destroyer just off the coast of Atlantic City,” he noted.

Roger married Alice Vautier Fairweather September 7, 1950. The couple had four children, Kristan Elizabeth, Lois Jean, Mark Fairweather and Elizabeth Jean. Kristan preceded her father in death. Roger is also survived by his sister, Nancy of California.

-N-Roger-horse-n-buggyRoger was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He was a founding member of Homeland Security, and a long-time employee of the government, working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At the end of his career he was the media spokesman who gave interviews to television and press reporters following natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

Roger was a modern-day Renaissance man. For many years he raised his children on a farm in Cedar Springs, raising much of the family’s food and bartering for goods. Roger and Mark built the home and farm buildings themselves.
Many times he called being publisher of the Rockford Squire newspaper the best job he ever had. He bought the Squire when it was the Rockford Weekly Register and in bankruptcy in the early 1980s. He felt that it was important that the town’s oldest business and only newspaper stay in publication.

Roger posing with the Easter Bunny at the Post’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Roger posing with the Easter Bunny at the Post’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

He bought the Squire while living in Cedar Springs, and his neighbors complained and told him they wanted a newspaper in Cedar Springs, too. (The Clipper was no longer printing.) So he founded the Cedar Springs Post in 1988 and turned over the reins to his wife, Alice, and daughter, Lois. His daughter Beth runs the Squire.

Roger wrote his weekly columns without fail for over 30 years. When he traveled, he called the column Roger on the Road, and when he was in town he called the column Main Street. His column always featured jokes, anecdotes and his own wry commentary on world events. After a heart surgery several years ago he was no longer able to travel. He bought property in Rockford, built a house and lived out his last days there.

Family and friends will gather from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Pederson funeral home to reminisce about Roger and say their final farewell. But his clever wit will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him, and in the archives of the local newspaper.

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Main Street


Focus

I am surprised that our upcoming election may hinge on the candidates views on marriage. The briefest look at our national and world news shows and incredible variety of problems, troubles and serious issues. We have Syria, North Korea, immigration, climate change and economic distress. The marriage issue affects only a few. The major problems may affect everyone.

Judgement

A busload of politicians was driving down a country road, when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer’s barn.

The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate. Soon he dug a hole and buried the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The old farmer told him he had buried them.

The sheriff asked the old farmer, “Lordy, were they all dead?”

The old farmer said, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how them crooked politicians lie.”

Nutrition

Two alligators were sitting at the side of the swamp near Washington, DC.  The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, “I can’t understand how you kin be so much bigger ‘n me. We’re the same age, we was the same size as kids. I just don’t get it.”

“Well,” said the big ‘gator, “what you been eatin’, boy?”

“Politicians, same as you,” replied the small ‘gator.

“Hmm. Well, where do y’all catch ‘em?”

“Down ‘tother side of the swamp near the parkin’ lot by the capitol.”

“Same here. Hmm. How do you catch ‘em?”

“Well, I crawls up under one of them Lexus and wait fer one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab ‘em on the leg, shake the manure out of ‘em, and eat ‘em!”

“Ah!” says the big alligator, “I think I see your problem. You ain’t gettin’ any real nourishment. See, by the time you get done shakin’ the manure out of a politician, there ain’t nothin’ left but the hind quarters and a briefcase.”

The miracle

A woman takes her 16-year-old daughter to the doctor. The doctor says, “Okay, Mrs. Smith, what’s the problem?”

The mother says, “It’s my daughter, Lynda. She keeps getting these cravings, she’s putting on weight, and is sick most mornings.”

The doctor gives Lynda a good examination, then turns to the mother and says, “Well, I don’t know how to tell you this, but your Lynda is pregnant—about 4 months, would be my guess.”

The mother says, “Pregnant? She can’t be, she has never ever been left alone with a man! Have you, Lynda?”

Lynda says, “No mother! I’ve never even kissed a man!”

The doctor walks over to the window and just stares out. About five minutes pass and finally the mother says, “Is there something wrong out there, doctor?”

The doctor replies, “No, not really, it’s just that the last time anything like this happened, a star appeared in the east and three wise men came over the hill. I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss it this time!”

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Main Street


Truth

The side with the most arrows and the best horses wins the war. Nope, wrong century.

New truth: The side with the most guns wins the war.

Better truth: Being smart about resolving conflict can avoid the gun solution. The gun solution seems to feed on itself and, more often than not, leads to more unnecessary conflict.

Another new truth: The politician with the most money wins the election. We need to remember this when we vote for our representatives in Congress. Every poll shows they’re currently WAY down on Americans’ approval list.

Sad truth: We elected all of them.

Hopeful truth: In a democracy, voters must get informed and stay informed. Leaving the TV on one station all the time? Not enough. We need to expose ourselves to real information, and a variety of it.

Politicians lie to us and they pay others to lie to us. They want to warp our opinions. Let’s prove we aren’t pushovers.

More crooks

Thieves robbed a bank. The chief of police ordered his sergeant to cover all exit points so that none of the robbers could get away.

When the sergeant reported back that all the robbers had escaped, the chief went mad with anger. Pounding on the desk, he yelled, “Didn’t I tell you to cover all the exit points?”

“I did,” defended the sergeant, “but they managed to escape through the entrance.”

And another one

The bank manager was down to two final applicants, one of whom would get the job as cashier.

The first was from a small college in upstate New York. He was a nice young fellow but a bit timid. His interview went okay, but it was nothing special.

Then the bank manager called for the other man: “Jim Johnson!”

Up stepped a burley young man who seemed quite sure of himself. “He looks like he can take care of any situation,” thought the manager, and decided, there and then, to hire him.

Turning to the first applicant, the manager said he could leave and they would let him know.

Turning to Johnson, he said, “Now, Jim, I like the way you carry yourself. That’s an asset for the job as cashier. However, you must also be precise. I noticed you didn’t fill out the part on the application where we asked about your formal education.”

Jim looked a little confused so the manager said, “Where did you get your financial training?”

“Oh,” replied Jim, “Yale.”

“Excellent,” said the manager. “You’re hired! Now that you’re working for us, what do you prefer to be called?”

Jim replied, “I don’t care. Either Yim or Mr. Yonson.”

We found those blondes

Three blondes took a walk in the country and came upon a line of tracks. “Those must be deer tracks,” said the first one.

“No, stupid,” said the second. “Anyone can tell they’re rabbit tracks.”

The third blonde chimed in, “No, you idiots, those are horse tracks!”

They were still arguing ten minutes later when the train hit them.

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Main Street


North Korea, Syria and Iran represent a few more wars our country could stay out of.

If you’re in favor of war, skip down to the jokes.

My own low approval of war comes from a long life that goes back so far that for most people it’s only “history.” My military service was spent in Korea in 1946-1948, the handful of years between World War II and the full-blown Korean War.

None of America’s wars occurred on our soil in living memory. For that we should be thankful. But maybe it has made us, as a nation, more accepting of our going to war.

On the bright side, although America has many religions and sects, we seem to get along. That is a real blessing. Other countries have internal religious wars in which America should think long and hard before getting involved. Maybe we’re all agreed on that.

What I’m trying to say about war can be summed up in two words: Be skeptical.

 

Religious viewpoint

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her six- and seven-year- olds.

After explaining the commandment to “honor” their fathers and mothers, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

Without missing a beat, one boy, the eldest child in his family, answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”

 

Perfect viewpoint

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding to her friends on her idea of the perfect mate: “It’s very important that the man I marry be musical with a decent singing voice. I consider a sense of humor to be essential, as well as knowing how to tell jokes. In other words, the man I marry has to be a shining light among company. But he also must be the kind who will stay home with me at night.”

A male listener at a nearby table overheard and spoke up: “Lady, what you really want is a television set!”

A blonde went to her doctor and showed him that both her ears were red and painful. The doctor asked her what had happened. “I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang,” she told him, “but, instead of picking up the phone, I accidentally grabbed the iron and stuck it up to my ear.”

“Oh, dear!” said the doctor in sympathy. ”But what happened to your other ear?”

“The jerk called back!”

 

Artistic viewpoint

After his divorce, Joe asked his best friend, Hank, to fix him up with a blind date. Hank obliged. The next day Joe phoned Hank and shouted angrily, “What kind of guy do you think I am? That girl you fixed me up with was cross-eyed. She was almost bald. Her nose was long and crooked. She had hair growing on her face. She was flat-chested and her ankles were as thick as her thighs.”

“Well,” answered Hank, “either you like Picasso, or you don’t like Picasso.”

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Main Street


Watch out for weather

Weather is always on our mind. Cold winters, hot summers, storms. The really bad ones are rare, but we have had tornadoes, windstorms, floods and ice storms.

On the national level we are recovering from the recession and changes due to the global economy.

The moral; We live in a moderate climate, and compared to some parts of the world, we live pretty well. Enjoy life. It’s all we have.

Speedy

A tourist was being led through the swamps of Florida. “Is it true,” he asked, “that an alligator won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight?”

“That depends,” replied the guide, “on how fast you carry the flashlight.”

Cozy

An old woman says to her friend: “You know, last night I was shivering all over from cold.”

Her friend: “Do you remember if your teeth chattered?”

The old woman: “I don’t think so. We haven’t slept together for ages.

Access

There were two buddies—one with a Doberman Pinscher and the other with a Chihuahua. The guy with the Doberman Pinscher says to his friend, “Let’s go and get something to eat.”

The guy with the Chihuahua says, “We can’t go in there. We’ve got dogs with us.”   The buddy with the Doberman Pinscher says, “Just follow my lead.” They walk over to the restaurant, the guy with the Doberman Pinscher puts on a pair of dark glasses, and he starts to walk in.

The bouncer at the door says, “Sorry, mac, no pets allowed.”

The man with the Doberman Pinscher says, “You don’t understand. This is my seeing-eye dog.”

The bouncer says, “A Doberman Pinscher?” He says, “Yes, they’re using them now.”

The man at the door says, “Come on in.”

The buddy with the Chihuahua figures, “What the heck,” so he puts on a pair of dark glasses and starts to walk in.

Once again the bouncer says, “Sorry, pal, no pets allowed.”

The guy with the Chihuahua says, “You don’t understand. This is my seeing-eye dog.” The bouncer at the door says, “A Chihuahua?”

The man with the Chihuahua says, “A Chihuahua??? They gave me a Chihuahua?!”

Primary

John received a free ticket to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, John’s seat was in the last row in the corner of the stadium. He notices an empty seat 10 rows up from the 50-yard line. He decides to make his way to the empty seat. As he sits down he asks the man next to him if anyone is sitting there. The man told him no, it was empty. John is very excited to have a seat like this at a Super Bowl and asks why in the world no one is using it? The man replied that it was his wife’s seat but she passed away. He said this was the first Super Bowl that they have not attended together since they were married. John said that it was really sad and asked if he couldn’t find someone, a relative or a close friend to take the seat?

“No” replied the man. “They’re at her funeral!”

 

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Main Street


Go green!

St. Patrick’s Day: It’s not the kind of holiday that gives us the day off work, but Americans seem to love it. Even those with no trace of Irish in their veins like it. Maybe it’s just the green beer.

St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, stamping out the pagan practices of the natives. St. Patrick may be the one who first imported Christianity to Ireland or it may have been some other early priest, but Patrick is the one who caught on with the locals. This happened in the fifth century, so we’re not talking fleeting popularity.

The green flood

In the 19th century, America received a flood of Irish nationals fleeing poverty and the potato famine. Those immigrants are the forebears of a huge number of present-day Americans who tend to be proud of their ancestry. But during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Irish-Americans were regarded as lowlifes: pretty stupid and probably drunk. This led to a lot of Irish jokes.

Pretty stupid

1) Paddy was shaving when he knocked the mirror off the shelf and it fell to the floor where it cracked across the middle. Paddy gazed down in horror. “Bejabbers, I’ve cut me throat,” he gasped.

2) Paddy and Mick were nailing up the side of a wooden house. Mick noticed that Paddy was examining the nails and throwing away every other one.

“What’s wrong with the nails?” he asked.

“Sure and the heads are at the wrong end,” answered Paddy.

“You idiot,” said Mick. “Can’t you see they’re for the other side of the house?”

Probably drunk

1) Why did God invent whiskey? So the Irish would never rule the world.

2) An Irishman walks into a pub. “Give me three pints of Guinness, please.”

So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third, until they’re gone. He then orders three more.

The bartender says, “Sir, you probably like them cold. You don’t have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it, and when you get low I’ll bring you a fresh cold one.”

“You don’t understand,” said the customer. “I have two brothers, one in Australia and one back in the old country. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness, too, and we’re drinking together.

The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition.

Every week the man came in and ordered three beers. Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more.

The bartender said to him, “I know what your tradition is, and I’d just like to say that I’m sorry that one of your brothers died.”

The man said, “Oh, me brothers are fine, but I just quit drinking.”

Irish names

I’m one, are you? Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You can find a partial list of Irish last names at this website: http://www.st-patricks-day.com/irish-family-names.html

 

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Main Street


Our species

Although America has a massive war machine, there isn’t enough money for us to solve all the world’s problems. And even unlimited money couldn’t buy enough troops.

After ten-plus years in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have not bought the kind of peace or stability for those countries that we claimed we intended. In some ways they’re worse off (and WE are worse off) because of the destruction and side effects of those wars. In Afghanistan, the recent murderous conflict over the Koran-burning is sickening.

It is disturbing to hear some of the candidates for president talk about starting a war with Iran. One of them, however, Ron Paul, seemed to detect something amiss when he said, “I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.” (The Pentagon and the CIA, by the way, do not see Iran as the kind of threat that justifies war.)

What’s wrong with our species that candidates figure going to war is a selling point for election?

Back to the jokes

A woman went to a Florida lemon grove to apply for a job, but the foreman thought she seemed far too qualified for the position. “Do you even have any actual experience picking lemons?” he asked.

“Well, I think I do,” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times.”

Another joke

When Smith learned that he was being fired, he went to see the head of Human Resources. “Since I’ve been with the firm for so long,” he said, “I think I deserve at least a letter of recommendation.”

The Human Resources director agreed and said he’d have the letter ready the next day. The following morning, Smith found the letter on his desk. It read, “John Smith worked for our company for eleven years. When he left us, we were very satisfied.”

Love joke

A young man bought an expensive piece of jewelry as a present for his girlfriend. “Don’t you want her name engraved on it?” asked the clerk. The young man thought for a moment and then, ever the realist, replied, “No, just engrave it, To My One and Only Love. That way, when she gets mad and throws it at me, I can use it again.”

Marriage thoughts

Some men who speak with authority at work know enough to bow to a higher authority at home.

Marriage brings music to a man’s life. He learns to play second fiddle.

Good advice: Before criticizing your wife’s faults, remember that it may have been these very defects that kept her from getting a better husband than the one she married.

Last thought

Does the person who inventories sheep usually fall asleep on the job?

 

 

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Main Street with Roger Allen


Go green!

Peter Skyllberg was dug out of his car a few days ago. The car, in a seldom-traveled location, had become buried in deep snow. That occurred in December. His rescuers and doctors are surprised he’s alive. Apparently, warm clothes, melted snow, and “the hibernation effect” saved him.

This news item is out of Sweden. I mention it only because you may have noticed that WE aren’t having our normal winter. It’s February and that’s grass we see on the lawns. Global warming doesn’t distribute its effects evenly. I can manage, thank you, with our version of winter this year—no hibernation necessary!

Go away!

Are you tired of the deluge of election ads that misquote, fudge the truth, and paint opponents as a danger to America? Hang in there. Once the primaries move on to other states, we’ll get a temporary break from the political carnival.

Speaking of carnivals

A carnival truck and a revival preacher’s truck collide head-on, and everyone gets killed. The next thing anyone knows, Saint Peter is interrogating the revival preacher very thoroughly. Suddenly, the carnival crew arrives at the Pearly Gates, noisy and reeking of beer. Saint Peter waves them all through as he continues questioning the preacher. The Reverend splutters indignantly and asks, “How can you let those filthy, unrighteous hooligans into heaven while you give me the third degree?”

“Take it easy,” Saint Peter says. “They’re only going to be here a week.”

Speaking of computers

Well, we weren’t, but I’m writing this on one. So here’s a computer story.

New customer to Tech Support: It says hit any key, and when I do that nothing happens.

Tech Support: Can you try again and tell me what happens?

Customer: Tried, but nothing.

Tech Support: What key did you hit?

After a moment and some ching-aling sounds, the customer replies: Well, first I tried my car key and just now my office key.

Senior wisdom

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.

The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. (Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!)

I know what Victoria’s Secret is. The secret is that nobody older than 30 can fit into their stuff.

Time to retire

Three elderly airline pilots are walking on the ramp. First one says, “Windy, isn’t it?” Second says, “No, it’s Thursday.” Third one says, “So am I. Let’s go get a beer.”

Last words

The argument you just won with your wife isn’t over yet. “And lastly…”

 

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Main Street


My opinion

Recently a Supreme Court opinion reversed the conviction of a drug dealer because of how he’d been caught: law officials had planted a GPS on his car. His privacy was violated, said the Court.

Our Constitution has a clause that protects our privacy. The Supreme Court has the duty to observe our Constitution, but I think it has a higher duty. The Constitution was adopted to protect the citizens of these United States. Letting a drug dealer go free on a legal technicality does not seem to protect the public.

Employment department

Just out of high school, Darla applied for her first job. When she returned home her mother asked how the interview went.

“Pretty good, I think,” said Darla, “but if I go to work there I won’t get a vacation until after I’m married.”

Her mother had never heard of such a thing. “Is that what they told you?”

“I saw it right on the application,” replied Darla. “‘Vacation time may not be taken until you’ve had your first anniversary.’”

Marriage department

A man and his wife are vacationing in the Middle East. A local approaches the husband and says, “I’ll give you 100 camels for your woman.”

After a long silence, the husband says, “She’s not for sale.”

The indignant wife says, “What took you so long to answer?”

The husband replies, “I was trying to figure out how to get 100 camels back home.”

Sex department

A six-year-old girl asks, “Daddy, what is sex?” The father reckons that if she’s old enough to ask the question then she’s old enough for a straight answer. So he delivers the whole explanation about the birds and the bees. The girl is wide-eyed in disbelief.

“By the way, why do you ask?” says the dad.

The girl replies, “Mommy told me to tell you that dinner would be ready in just a couple of secs.”

Sex department, cont.

A little boy, returning home from his first day at school, says, “Mom, what’s sex?” His mother believed in modern educational theories, so she gives him a detailed explanation that covers all aspects of the subject.

When she finishes, the boy produces an enrollment form that he’d brought home from school and says, “Yes, but how am I going to get all that into this one little square?”

Computer department

Stephanie decided to introduce her elderly mother to the magic of the Internet. Her first move was to access Google and tell her mom it could answer any question she had. Stephanie’s mother was skeptical.

“It’s true, Mom. Think of something to ask it,” she said, with fingers poised over the keyboard.

Steph’s mother thought a minute, then responded, “How is Aunt Helen feeling?”

Employment department again

Today is Ground Hog Day but we’ll never know about his shadow. Word has it that the ground hog has been laid off. It’s not easy to find work even with experience. Hope to see him next year.

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Main Street


by Roger Allen

Good news
• Employment is up.
• Car buying is up.  So are retail sales.
• This recession (or depression), although deeper and more painful, is similar to many business cycles we have experienced. We’ll be out of this one soon.
• More people have become aware that we must have cleaner air and water. The same is true of global warming: it’s real. Most of the world is trying to deal with the reality because it’s our only planet.
• Only 10 months to go and the election will be over!
True Progress
Dave turns to his friend Kevin and asks for a cigarette.
“I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” says Kevin.
“I’m in the process of quitting,” says Dave. “Right now I’m in the middle of phase one.”
“Phase one?” says Kevin.
“Yeah,” replies Dave, “I’ve quit buying.”
True Solutions
Three Pastors in the South were having lunch in a diner. One said, “Since summer started, I’ve been having trouble with bats in the church loft. I’ve tried everything—noise, spray, cats—nothing seems to scare them away.”
Another said, “Me, too. Hundreds are living in my belfry and the attic. I’ve even had the place fumigated and they won’t go away.”
The third said, “I baptized all mine and made them members of the church. Haven’t seen one back since.”
True Romance
A husband and wife in their early 60s were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in a romantic little restaurant. Suddenly a tiny, beautiful fairy appeared on their table and announced, “For being such an exemplary married couple, I will grant each of you a wish.”
“Ooh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband,” said the wife. The fairy moved her magic wand, and two tickets for a deluxe cruise on a luxury liner appeared in her hand.
The husband thought for a moment and said, “Well, this is all very romantic. But an opportunity like this occurs once in a lifetime, so, I’m sorry, my love, but my wish is to have a wife thirty years younger than me.”
The wife and the fairy were both deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So once again the fairy moved her magic wand and the husband became 92 years old.
Moral: Men might be ungrateful idiots, but fairies are women.
True life
A business owner tells her friend that she is desperately searching for an accountant. Her friend asks, “Didn’t your company hire an accountant a year or so ago?” The business owner replies, “That’s the accountant I’ve been searching for.”
True last words
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway. And the good fortune to run into the ones that I do. And the eyesight to tell the difference.

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