This one is a bit off color but it remains one of my favorite moments with Maureen.
Someone had told me this joke. It was a great joke:
There’s this guy who walks into a bar and sits down, putting his large satchel on the bar. He orders a martini, and begins a discussion with the bartender.
“Say, pal,” asked the bartender, “What have you got in that satchel?”
Silently, the guy reaches into the satchel and pulls out a tiny piano and equally small piano bench and sets them on the bar. Then, he reaches in the satchel again, and pulls out this very small, very alive man about a foot high. The man sits down at the piano and begins to play exquisite music, so beautiful the bartender was incredulous.
“Wow,” exclaims the amazed bartender, “How did you find this guy? This is incredible!”
The guy says, “Well, I was walking on the beach, and i found this old brass lamp sticking out of the sand. Having heard of such stories, I rubbed the lamp and made a wish. Voila, this is what i got.”
“That’s absolutely amazing,” the bartender exclaimed, and then asked, “Do you still have the lamp?’
“Yeh, sure,” the guy replied, “It’s right here,” reaching into the satchel again and pulling out the lamp.”
The bartender takes the lamp, goes into the corner, and rubs the lamp. The guy knows he’s making a wish. When he finishes, the bartender gives the lamp back to the guy, and then goes outside. In a few minutes, he returns, shaking his head.
“What’s wrong?” asked the guy.
“i just don’t understand,” the bartender exclaims dejectedly, “i walked outside and the sky is full of ducks, millions of ducks.
“When i rubbed the lamp, i wished for a million bucks. Then i go outside. There’s no money but all of these ducks.”
The guy shakes his head knowingly and explains, “Do you think i wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”
Good joke, right? Well, Maureen loved it. Now, i don’t know if you have heard Maureen laugh uncontrollably, but that laugh is so good i have friends who plot to tell Maureen jokes to elicit her laugh. When i told her this joke, she hit that laugh for about five minutes. It was delightful, fun, and made me laugh as well.
She liked the joke so well when we were going out to dinner with our friends Sharon and Jim Hileman, Maureen had me repeat it so she could tell the Hileman’s. i complied.
After ordering our meals, Maureen began telling the joke. She was laughing, thinking of the ending. Jim and Sharon were leaning forward. They knew this was going to be good.
Then Maureen got to the punch line. She was excited. The Hileman’s were waiting in anticipation. i was already chuckling. So instead of saying, “Do you think i wished for a twelve-inch pianist?” Maureen blurts out:
“Do you think i wished for a twelve-inch piano player?”
The Hileman’s were beyond perplexed. They looked a Maureen completely puzzled. i was already on the floor laughing. Maureen is confused as to why the Hileman’s weren’t into hysterics.
i explained, “Twelve-inch pianist.”
Maureen realized her mistake and began her laugh. The four of us laughed through the entire meal, and even now, about ten years later, we still laugh at the mention of THE JOKE.