Clydesdales Miss Big Game

IDLE AMERICAN
Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

Folks who regularly lump alcoholic beverages into the cauldron labeled “witches’ brew” may still be shaking their heads, wondering why Anheuser-Busch didn’t get their famous Clydesdales in harness for Super Bowl LV.

The brewery moguls say they’re skipping major SB ads for the first time in 37 years so funds can be diverted to further increase COVID-19 vaccine awareness. Could it be that cost-per-second won’t be measured in millions of dollars for the first time in a long time?

Dr. Don Newbury

Whatever, most fans–imbibers or not–will miss seeing the famous horses. If CBS augments ad sales by taking on “My Pillow Dot Com,” I’ll change channels, searching for a “Heidi” re-run. I’m weary of seeing ads hawking the greatest nights of sleep this side of Rip Van Winkle.

The annual sports spectacle is reason enough to resurrect a favorite story. With all due respect–and there is much respect due–to longtime Texas Congressman Charlie Stenholm, it is dusted off “one more time.”

Charlie claimed no authorship when he brought the joke home from D.C. a quarter-century ago, back when jokes were shared–even across the aisle–if they provided non-partisan laughter. One doesn’t hear much about anything “non-partisan” in Washington these days. (And I’m pretty sure jokes of any kind are in short supply.) Whatever, this one remains a favorite. I have repeated it many times at banquet lecterns, sometimes crediting Stenholm.

To “set up” the joke, a harried church youth minister decides to have snacks for youth to watch the big game in fellowship hall. Advance publicity urges members to bring their friends. They show up in great numbers, and the youth minister is sore afraid they’ll run out of food.

He slips aside, scrawling a “Magic Marker sign” for the sandwich table: “Please take just two sandwiches–Remember, God is watching you.”

He doesn’t notice a 12-year-old tag-along behind him. The lad has his own sign for the cookie table: “Take all the cookies you’d like—God is watching the sandwiches.”

Super Bowl thoughts bring renowned sportswriter Blackie Sherrod to mind. He offered abundant ridicule of the SB and baseball’s “World Serious.”

The late Dallas writer was well into his 90s when his typewriter keys went silent.

Emblazoned on his t-shirt worn on the first day of retirement were these words: “You Have Mistaken Me For Someone Who Cares.”

Speaking of ads, single mom Lori Ryan decided to look to the Internet for some “Christian singles” websites that provide lists of others in the same boat.  At first, it was idle curiosity, but now “fifty-something,” she decided to become an active participant. 

Sure enough, one online guy seemed promising. She agreed to meet him for coffee, thinking they had much in common.

They met up, sharing information, including her cell phone number. She made sure the “ringer” remained on 24/7, hopeful that such a call wouldn’t go straight to voicemail.

Alas, several days passed. She received a ton of spam calls–interspersed with a few important ones–but nothing from the guy she’d met for coffee.

Enter her 16-year-old daughter, Riley, who is “in the loop” concerning her mom’s desire to discretely reveal her, uh, availability.

Like most other 16-year-olds, Riley is concerned that since it has been a few decades since her mom last dated, perhaps she needs coaching from someone who is, uh, more current in such matters.

“Mom, I have an idea,” Riley beamed. “Let’s you and me go on a date for coffee, and I’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong if you want guys to follow up.”

Lori–Dr. Ryan with a doctorate in counseling–identifies with a Facebook post seen the other day.

The author is unknown, but she feels that whoever wrote it “got it right.”

It reads: “Dating is like riding a bike. Except the wheels are on fire and the bike is on fire, and you are in hell.”

   Dr. Newbury is a long-time public speaker and university president who writes weekly.  Email: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Facebook: Don Newbury. Twitter: @donnewbury.

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