Top ten reflections as I start my third month of life after heart surgery
by Torry Stiles
10. I used to think cigarettes were okay. Now I realize that only undertakers can truly appreciate their effect.
9. I remember when open- heart surgery was a major operation. Now it is so routine I picture the surgeon stopping halfway through for a beer break.
8. Climbing a flight of stairs isn’t a miracle but it does take my breath away.
7. I’m thinking of getting a picture of “Kilroy was here” tattooed on my chest as a nostalgia thing.
6. Losing weight would be easier if they made calorie-free bacon.
5. Little old ladies like to race me in the grocery aisle… and usually win.
4. Nothing says love like a wife who holds the door for you.
3. The folks at the “All-You-Can-Eat” buffet are a lot happier to see me now.
2. Physical Therapy employees get bored. Keep them alert by occasionally pretending to faint.
1. Acquaintances leave you messages on Facebook. Friends are there when you need them. …and leave when you need them to.
Top ten recent events that left me shaking my head
10. I can walk as slow as I like as long as I carry a cane. Without one people honk a lot.
9. I overheard someone talking about the all-natural “Caveman Diet” and all I could think of is, “What do cavemen taste like?”
8. The dog turns her nose up to bologna but will snack from the kitty litter box.
7. McDonald’s is trying to take over the fast food market in China. I wonder how their lawyers will handle the competition from China’s M’Donald’s and MacDonald’s chains that are sure to pop up?
6. Kobe Bryant sued his parents because they were going to auction off some of his old stuff from high school. I wonder what my folks could get for my old Mork from Ork t-shirt and the 8-track tape collection?
5. I received a prescription for nitroglycerin pills. At what point did someone put that in their mouth and proclaimed it stopped a heart attack?
4. Somebody at the Respiratory Clinic snuck into the “one holer” bathroom for a cigarette…. and claimed innocence to the folks waiting outside the door.
3. The people who tell us not to worry about the government spying on our phone calls are the ones listening in.
2. Doctor: “Let me know if it hurts when you breathe.”
Me: “Doc, it hurts when I breathe.”
Doctor: “That’s normal. Don’t worry about it.”
1. A school in California held a toy gun buyback program. If they ever do that here I’m gonna cash in my GI Joe’s for a house payment.
Top ten special holidays they need to add
by Torry Stiles
10. May Not Day: like May Day only without all the hullaballoo.
9. Roadside Sign-Free Day: At least one day out of the year when there will be NO cheap plastic signs on the side of the road advertising
never-ending “Going Out Of Business” sales.
8. Giant Tenderloin Day: An opportunity to recognize one of America’s greatest contributions to civilization.
7. “You Forgot Didn’t You?” Day: Celebrants greet their significant others with that phrase just to watch them squirm.
6. Otorhinolaryngologist Week: I couldn’t care less about the holiday I just want to watch all the folks on Facebook try to spell it.
5. National Kickball Month: The kids at St. Roch’s are so ready for this.
4. Torry Stiles Appreciation Day: Send me ten funny things… or cash. I’m easy to please.
3. Procrastination Day: They’ve put this one off long enough.
2. Long’s Donuts Free Delivery Day: I am so there.
1. National Nothing Special Here Day: Move along, folks. Just move along.
Top ten thoughts about my 52nd birthday
by Torry Stiles
10. I may never make my mother proud by becoming a doctor but at least I can say I hang out with a lot of them.
9. Nobody even bothers with candles on a cake. I barely have enough breath to blow out a match.
8. I prefer watching the sod grow BELOW me.
7. If I cut anything more out of my diet plan I’ll be better off eating the paper it’s printed on.
6. I find myself worrying if my choice of cane clashes with my shoes and belt.
5. My kids have learned to run as soon as I say, “I remember when…”
4. I’ve lived life less famously but longer than Michael Jackson.
3. Birthday presents are far less important than being present for another birthday.
2. The dogs, cats and pig are NOT happy with the lack of greasy left-overs.
1. I find myself watching those extreme sports shows just to laugh at people stupid enough to intentionally fall down a lot.
Top ten things to remember when making your stand-up comedy debut
by Torry Stiles
10. Don’t assume you’ll be paid: Chances are the place has funnier stuff on the jukebox and folks pay to play those.
9. Never follow the guy with the banjo. The crowd is usually done after that.
8. Check your audience: The more piercings you see the tougher it’s gonna be.
7. If it bombs be ready with “PlanB” – even Eddie Murphy has five minutes of jokes about passing gas, just in case.
6. Any joke that uses words with more than three syllables is going to struggle. That’s why Larry the Cable Guy is rolling in the dough.
5. Check the sign out front. If you’re at the Knights of Columbus you might not want to do any joke that starts out, “A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar…”
4. Pray you can get in on quarter beer night. Pray harder that it’s decent beer.
3. What cracked them up on the bus in sixth grade may not work with a roomful of realtors.
2. If there is chicken wire between you and the audience, it’s there because it was needed once and wasn’t there.
1. XYZ… Trust me on this. Double-check.
Top Ten ways to celebrate your kid’s first score of the sports season
by Torry Stiles
10. Have shoes bronzed. Take them off the kid’s feet first.
9. Who says a third-grader is too young to get a tattoo?
8. Do happy dance. Spend three months regretting loose-fitting shorts.
7. Post video on YouTube. Watch it go viral because kid on other team drops the “F” bomb.
6. Cut down net. Don’t get caught.
5. Cash pay-out from Grampa who said soccer was for sissies.
4. Collect on bet and watch goalie moon his brother on the next field.
3. Get an agent, order up the t-shirts, fire up the website: we’re goin’ pro, Mama!
2. Demand hugs from girls who had their pre-game cootie shots.
1. Ice cream sundaes at Hooters!
Top Ten reasons I’ve made it this far
by Torry Stiles
[Part 2 of my post-triple bypass life]
10. I have 14 more flavors of yogurt to try.
9. Couldn’t pass up my chance to be the Grand Marshall at Homecroft’s annual Mother’s Day parade.
8. Don’t want to miss the big ShamWow tribute show on QVC next week.
7. We just spent three house payments at the pharmacy… I’ll be darned if I’ll let these pills go to waste.
6. Editor at paper says I still owe them a piece for the week I was comatose….. Obviously not a union shop.
5. Got an “Open Mic Night” at the Moose Lodge next week. Gonna debut my new ventriloquist act with my new scar.
4. Wife says I’m not going anywhere until I finish cleaning the gutters.
3. Experimental procedure included use of “No Deposit. No Return.” parts and I’m such a cheapskate….
2. Announcement of Twinkies re-release granted new reason to live.
1. I owe more than the GDP of the average African nation and they ain’t gonna let me off the hook anytime soon.
Top ten lessons learned following emergency triple-bypass surgery
[Dear friends and readers: Over the years of doing these lists I have usually based them on events in my life. Long-time readers know of my pet pig, my daughter's engagement, my fondness for Long's Donuts, etc. On Wednesday, April 10 my daughter and her fiancé rushed me to St. Francis Heart Center at Stop 11 & South Emerson Ave. Twelve days later I'm back home with the family and a bright red scar running down my chest. Here are a few things I learned about myself and the world...]
10. I appreciate my friends and family who reached out to me and mine during this trial. Thousands of selfless acts, many uncounted at the time, have allowed us to make it this far. My wife truly appreciates that she has retaken the ability to take me out personally.
9. All things considered, a gentle warmth cloth from a total stranger means a lot when you can’t move your arms.
8. I don’t know what it takes to make a great RN but there are some truly great ones at St. Francis… I think it’s something in the water. … Great. Now I’ve started another miracle well rumor….
7. The doctors were somewhat concerned about my intake of pain-killers and other medications. I shared their concern but must admit my appreciation of the way they eased me through the trauma….the crazy dreams about monkeys stealing my pants was a bonus.
6. Thousands of billions of dollars’ worth of medical research have failed to find a replacement for a cool cloth and a spoonful of ice chips.
5. An amateur newspaper comedian on morphine is a hilarious sight. Apparently my best performance ever. … Without the morphine I sound a lot like Godzilla in mid-battle with Ghidrah.
4. The day this all started was spent at my real job hauling couches off a truck. Now I am ordered not to attempt to lift a single cushion off one of those couches. …. I can hoist a fuzzy pillow, though.
3. Somewhere out there is a respiratory technician named Jared who is owed a lot of apologies. I think I went back a few generations while cursing him.
2. Wendell Fowler may be a food Nazi but I think I’ll pay closer attention to his food advice. …. Just find me a way to fit more bacon in the recipe.
1. RN’s know how to apply tape to remind you to be nice.
Top Ten reasons North Korea is picking a fight
by Torry Stiles
10. They really have their sights set on a vacation in Paris… Paris, Illinois will do.
9. His father never hugged him. Gave him leadership of one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, but never hugged him. He’s just looking for a hug.
8. One of their pep rallies got out of hand and T-P-ing our football field wasn’t enough to satisfy the crowd.
7. Going for the big aids package: “We declare war on Monday, be vanquished Tuesday and rehabilitated beyond our wildest dreams by Friday night!”
6. Had all these shiny tank-y and bomb-y doodads and didn’t know what to do with them.
5. Has to talk mean and tough because the other leaders at the Presidents Club make fun of a guy named Kim.
4. Beyoncé turned down their invite and went to Cuba instead.
3. Their government blocks CNN and Fox so they missed the whole Iraq/Afghanistan thing.
2. That whole gun ban thing had them convinced we’d be vulnerable.
1. Conquering South Korea is the only way they can get ESPN and HBO.
Top ten things parents dread hearing from their children
by Torry Stiles
10. “How do you make this fire extinguisher work?”
9. “Guess what doesn’t flush all the way down?”
8. “I love him so I had his name tattooed on my neck.”
7. “I help you Mommy. I cut my hair. Do you like?”
6. “No. No. Um, it’s just incense.”
5. “I make wall pretty for you.”
4. “It’s okay Dad. My friend TJ took a semester of body shop last year. He can fix it.”
3. “I’m 13. I’m not a baby any more. The other kids’ dads are lots cooler than you.”
2. “The principal says you have to go to school with me tomorrow.”