The April Fool’s Day Kid

Dear Michael,

Out it comes from your mouth, quicker than anyone could anticipate, taking the world by surprise.

A wisecrack.

No sooner does it happen than faces nearby break into smiles, stomachs are clutched and a sound is heard.

Laughter.

So it has gone with you over all these years.

“Did it just get fat in here?” you once asked as Caroline entered the living room.
Another time I bid you hello and you asked me to explain what I meant by that.
And on and on, wisecracks about me and figures in the news and the world at large, everything fair game, ready prey for your snake-flick of a tongue.

Exactly when your wisecracking prowess made its official debut is hard to say, but you definitely started young, a prodigy of the quip and the comeback.

It’s really something special, this miraculous ability to turn out funny remarks. It takes a certain view of the world as essentially absurd, a sense of the ridiculous, and you’re equipped with that mindset.

One time, many years ago, maybe 30 years or longer, I went to a party and, in the middle of conversations, reeled off one wisecrack after another. Whether any were funny I have no idea. But this guy turned to me at one point and said something like, “You really like to get in there with your little comments, eh?” He said it with a smile, and all I could say in reply was something like, “Yeah, now that you mention it, I guess I do.”

Same with you. You’re a conversational trespasser. You pick up on what others are saying and play off it, giving it your own twist, branding it with the Michael brand, zapping out your zingers.

P.S. – Part 2 will appear tomorrow.

P.S.S. – Are your kids funny? Funny, how? Like, clown funny?

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