Opinion: Jokes on you, brother

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

“Are you sitting down?” my sister asked, calling from New York.  “Our brother is about to do something a 66-year-old man seldom does at this point in his life.”

I called out to my wife, “Start packing, Mary Ellen. We’re going to New York for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah!”

“No,” Linda said, “it’s even a little stranger than that. He’s decided to get married.”


“You don’t seem very shocked.”

“Not shocked, yet. Now, let’s see if he can find a wife.”

The same day, I got this text from Peter, a lifelong bachelor and NYC cab driver:

“Dick, I want you to give the first toast at my wedding. Please don’t mention sex, politics, my drinking, my gambling, my bad temper or any of my former girlfriends. Other than that, anything goes. My fiancée’s name is Ana. She is from Peru. That’s pretty much all I know about her. Thanks, Peter”

Here are some of the jokes I plan to tell on June 24, pretty much ignoring those guidelines. Wish me luck.

JOKE 1:  When Peter decided to ask Ana to marry him, they took a long romantic drive to the seashore, where he proposed. At the end of the evening, he took her home, and when they got to her driveway, he turned to her in the back seat and said: “That’ll be $135.”

JOKE 2:  When I met Ana, I told Peter what a lovely woman she is. Then I said, “Funny, she doesn’t look Peru-ish.”

JOKE 3:  Peter asked me not to mention gambling because he said that once he tied the knot he was never going to make a wager again. “What are the chances you can keep that promise?” I asked.

“I’d say the odds are 20 to one. Should I call my bookie?”

JOKE 4:  My brother has had contentious relationships with women, always arguing with one, in particular. They both drank too much and sometimes went weeks without speaking. Unfortunately, that was our mother.

I won’t really tell these jokes. I want people to remember me as the caring brother who made a heartfelt congratulatory speech. And just to be sure I sound sincere, I’ll ask Mary Ellen to write it for me.