Are we having a masked ball yet?

Mann Overboard


-A comedian friend wisecracked the other day, “You know you’re getting ugly when people recognize you with your mask on.”

And who was the most famous masked man of all? Why, The Lone Ranger, of course.

If you want to hear a master storyteller relate a hilarious true story about an encounter with Clayton Moore, the masked TV hero, go to YouTube and type in “Jay Thomas Lone Ranger.”

Thomas, a regular on “Cheers,” was invited by David Letterman each Christmas to tell his peerless Lone Ranger story. Dave called it “The greatest talk-show story of all time.” I agree. It was rare for anyone to crack Letterman up, but Thomas’ story always did. Check it out today for a much-needed laugh. There are several yearly versions, and they’re all funny.

— Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called Trump “morbidly obese,” and comic Mike Dugan wants to see SCROTUS’ “girth certificate” and asks, “Know how to lose 270 pounds of ugly fat? The 25th Amendment.”

Author Stuart Stevens says Trump is moving into “the late Elvis” stage of his presidency — “Everyone around him is trying to make as much money as they can — fast — and doctors are giving him whatever he orders up.”

— OK, we know jigsaw puzzles have surged in popularity since the quarantine began. But ... competitive puzzling? Really? The Guardian had a recent piece on the World Jigsaw Puzzling championships, a two-day competition to complete a puzzle fastest, with four-person teams and a sub. So why doesn’t competition-starved ESPN carry it?

— Also hot the past few months: Home bread-baking, something my son Floyd up in Vancouver has been doing for years. Hits on his award-winning, widely respected home-baking website, The Fresh Loaf, are up 500 percent, he reports. And now, his creation of 15 years ago, Frog Bread (a cute amphibian loaf with buggy eyes) has taken off and has received wide exposure on Buzzfeed and TikTok. Right place, right time.

— My son lives on the campus of the University of British Columbia (college-campus private condos are allowed in Canada), and Jefferson Healthcare’s just-retired cardiologist, Dr. David Tinker, also has a son at UBC — in med school. And Tinker’s daughter-in-law, Anna Edgerton, can be seen on Bloomberg News, where she’s a political reporter. Quite the family. But neither Tinker nor I can visit our sons, since the U.S.-Canada border is closed until at least mid-June.

— Even if you don’t want music, download the Spotify app anyway. There you’ll find The New Abnormal, a new, twice-weekly podcast by political pundit/Trump uber-antagonist Rick Wilson. He’s arguably the President’s most effective, influential — and funniest — critic. Best-selling humorist Wilson’s recent show with Kellyanne Conway’s turncoat spouse George was hilarious. Conway and Wilson co-founded The Lincoln Project, whose pungent first video, Mourning in America, ran on Fox and enraged Trump, setting off a 1 a.m. White House Tweetstorm.

— If you’ve driven by the PT airport lately, you might have wondered about those large, illuminated Xs at each end of the runway. They warning pilots that a runway is closed; our new one is being reconstructed. Reason I know about big Xs? I was a pilot myself — that is, until I crashed a Cessna 172 down in Northern California. I’m still alive and would like to remain that way, so my pilot’s license is gathering dust in a desk drawer.

— Masks redux: A reader sends a cartoon of two women. One is holding a baby.

“Who’s the father?” the other asks. Mom: “I don’t know. He was wearing a mask.”

— Finally, a Leader reader sends along these reworked song titles for us Boomers:

Herman’s Hermits: “Mrs. Brown, You Have a Lovely Walker.”

Bee Gees: “How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?”

Ringo: “I’ll Get By With Some Help From Depends.”

Marvin Gaye: “Heard It From the Grape Nuts.”

The Rolling Stones : “Hey, You...Get Offa My Barcalounger.”

(PT humorist Bill Mann has been a columnist at four major daily newspapers — and one great local one).


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Ed S.

Informative and witty column on sidelights of the corona virus. A nice, calming piece. I also checked his son’s website— lots of good ideas. Made me hungry! As far as those competitive jigsaw puzzle contests that Bill mentions, I am perfectly content watching reruns of “Bowling for Dollars”!

Thursday, May 28