It's time for a laugh or two, that is, for those of you who still have a sense of humor during these times of endless media bombardment.
Last summer I had occasion to go to church in C'oeur D'Alene, Idaho where the pastor is an old school "Orish" priest, and at the conclusion of Mass he always tells a joke. I've got a couple of them for you. You politically correct types shouldn't waste your time reading on. You won't catch the punch lines anyway.
One day, after considerable thought, a Catholic man overcomes his fear and decides to visit the confessional to confess his sins. He says to the priest, "Bless me father for I have sinned."
The priest replies, "Yes, my son, how may I help you?"
"Well, father, I committed a very bad sin against the seventh commandment 'Thou shalt not steal.'"
And the priest replies, "That sounds serious, what did you steal?"
The man relied, "I stole some lumber."
"Well, how much lumber did you steal?" asked the priest, and the man said, "I built a dog house."
"A dog house?" exclaimed the priest, "is that all?" "Well no, father, I also built a four car garage."
"A four car garage and a dog house with stolen lumber?" cried the priest. "Now that is really serious. I'm going to have to think long and hard about the penance I'm going to assign you for your contrition."
"Well, father," the man said, "I'm afraid it gets worse. I also built a five- bedroom house."
At this point, the priest lost it and exclaimed, "Good grief, man, how could you do such a thing? What in the world were you thinking about? How can anybody who's been raised in a religious environment and been trained to know the difference between right and wrong commit such a terrible sin?"
"I don't know, father, I guess I just lost my head," said the man.
"My son, I'm going to give you a very tough penance. As a matter of fact, I'm going to require you to make a novena."
"Well, father," the man said, "That's OK with me. I don't know what a novena is, but if you've got the plans, I've got the lumber!"
The next story concerns a man who lives in the San Francisco area and who has led an exemplary life, always doing as much good as possible for his fellow human beings, as well as being a model Christian.
Anyway, one night God appears to him in a dream and says, "Rodney, because you've been such a good, selfless person for most of your life, I want to reward you by giving you one special wish which I will make come true. What would you like?"
Rodney thought for a minute and then said to God, "Well, Lord, I really don't want for anything. I have all of the material blessings I could ever need. Perhaps you'd better consider giving that wish to someone else."
And God said, "Rodney! When I say you're going to get a wish you're going to get a wish! Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Oh Lord, you've made yourself abundantly clear," said Rodney.
"As you know, Lord, I have a condo in Hawaii which I love to visit but I'm scared to death of flying, and there are no regularly scheduled ships going back and forth, and ships are too expensive anyway. So I'd be ever so grateful if you would build a bridge between San Francisco and Hawaii so I and many others like me could drive our cars."
And God said, "Rodney! Are you out of your mind? Do you have any idea of the construction problems associated with such a project? I'd need millions of cables 5,000 feet long in order to anchor and float the bridge for 2,400 miles, keeping it stable. I'd need at least six gas stations along the way and a means of replenishing their fuel supplies. No, Rodney, a bridge from San Francisco to Hawaii is almost impossible, even for me. What else would you like?"
Rodney thought a minute and said, "Well, Lord, could you make it possible for me to understand women? As you know, I've had four marriages and four divorces, and when women say "no" they often seem to mean "yes" and vice versa. I've been a disaster with them all of my life and I'm really a loving guy. I'd really be most grateful if you would make it possible for me to understand women."
And God said, "Two lanes or four?"
On a serious note, I haven't forgotten that today is the 59th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. May all of the souls of those who perished there be in God's care.
Bob Thomas is a Carson City businessman, local curmudgeon and former member of the Carson City School Board and Nevada State Assembly.