Saturday, June 12, 2010
"YOU HAD A BED?"
You've all had this kind of person in your life--one who constantly brags--almost all of those usually just brag about material possessions, but the worst one of my acquaintances also had no discretion as he bragged about EVERYTHING! One time at work, The Braggart was telling that he and his wife were having problems in their marriage and I said, "I think the reason that Gerald and I get along so well is because we come from the same socio-economic background." The Braggart asked, "That's probably because you were both well-off?" I answered, deadpan, "No--we were both DIRT POOR!" He looked at me with astonishment and pity!
Two of my fellow workers, Doug and Carl, were listening to the exchange and congratulated me on my response; they invited me to join their "Poor-Mouth Club". Each time they would hear The Braggart start to tell one of his stories, they would say, "I was so poor that......" and come up with a different rejoinder. One time The Braggart was telling about his HENREDON bedroom suite and I said, "We were so poor that all of my brothers had to sleep in one bed!" Carl immediately asked, in a whimpering voice, "YOU HAD A BED?" This has become one of my family's favorite sayings and is used quite often.
Recently, I learned that our friends Bob and Connie knew Carl; I related that perfect story. At one of Gerald's birthday celebrations last week, during the dinner table conversation, I mentioned that kids today aren't required to read and write book reports as we were in school. All the dinner guests had stories to tell of when they were students; I told how a friend of mine was accused of plagiarism. Norman told how Mrs. Craig had written on his report, "If this is actually your work, then you should become a writer." Then my friend Judy told about the time she had typed forty pages and the teacher had asked from what magazine she had copied it. Bob immediately asked, "YOU HAD A TYPEWRITER?" Everyone there except Judy knew the "You had a bed?" story and erupted in laughter. Then Judy tried to tell how hers was a used typewriter which brought on more derision: "Was it electric", etc. Poor Judy! I had to call her later to tell her the story.
One time Doug and Carl insisted that I tell The Braggart that I raised Lhasa Apsos, because he was forever bragging about his damned dogs. When I told The Braggart about the fictitious dogs, he said that he'd like to buy one. As I tried to regain my composure, there was Doug to the rescue: "Sue, didn't you tell me that all of the litter was taken?" WHEW! SAVED! I told Doug and Carl that was it-- I wasn't going to lie any more--and they both answered that of course I would because it was so much fun! The problem was, I don't think The Braggart EVER GOT IT--that we were making fun of him!
Carl had the all-time topper: the Braggart was telling about his parents-in-law and their lavish spread of food at a dinner party and that they also served caviar. Doug answered that he was so poor that they had to eat rats. I said we were so poor we ate muskrats. Carl, who REALLY was born in a refugee center after WWII, said, "At the concentration camp, I was so hungry that I had TO CHEW ON ROCKS!" Doug and I agreed we could NEVER top that one!