My Funny Brother-in-lawMy sister was 42 years old when she finally found the man she wanted to marry. He was 17 years older than her, so we wondered what the big attraction was. We came to the conclusion, it must be his sense of humor, or his new house. He made us all laugh, so that was all that mattered.
His friends sent him a black rose to offer their condolences, before his wedding. He had started a habit with his friends, to meet at 6 a.m. at a local restaurant for coffee. He said they had to meet every morning to make sure no one had died during the night.
Their town was ba
They also hosted an annual pig feed at their home. I don't know how he got away with roasting a whole pig over a spit, he had pine needles all over the place. They kept a hose nearby, just in case. People came from miles around just to hear Precious Pearls of Wisdom and Sarcasm.
Then my sister got cancer, and one of his heart valves was failing. He didn't want to outlive her so he decided against heart valve replacement. His friends didn't want him to give up. So one morning at the local restaurant, his friends gathered to discuss how they could help. Someone suggested that they call the local undertaker and send him down to the hospital to cheer him up. Well that may sound like a mean thing to do, but someone had to light a fire under him.
The undertaker walked into his room and found him sleeping. He took out a 12 foot tape measurer and pulled it out, and woke him up. He asked him, "What do you think you're doing?" - "I just heard from your friends that you're getting ready to check out, so they asked me to come down here for the final measuring." He told him to get out, but it put a fire under him, and he told the Dr. he would have the surgery.
We went to visit him about a week after the surgery. He was all fired up about something my sister had done while he was down and out. For years he had always rounded up the checks he wrote to the next dollar, so he called that his nest egg. My sister spent the money on new furniture, without his permission. He was far from broke. He mainly liked to give people a bad time, in a funny way. She gave him plenty of material to work with.
When he married her he found out she had been giving money to help poor people in Taiwan. If she wanted to give a child a gift, she had to send more than the promised monthly donation. I inherited a neat Oriental stamp collection from her. Since she was a school teacher, she decided to change her philanthropy to help her students who went to college.
One of his funny sayings was, "I always thought I married the mean sister." I told him, no you didn't, I'm the mean sister. Then he'd have to tread water, and say he didn't imply that.
My sister died in 2002, and he passed away in 2007. But I've tried to adopt his attitude of finding something funny in life, even when it tries to beat me down. Where are the clowns? There aren't any more Red Skeltons or Bill Cosby type of comediens. But I think about my funny brother-in-law, and how he made us all laugh.