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Monday, May 23, 2011

Going Through Puberty at Age 23


I was born with a testosterone deficiency, but I didn't find this out until I was in my second year of law school at the University of Texas (the spring of 1967). There's quite a story here, one I have rarely told, but it occurred to me that writing about it might help others in the same predicament figure out what's going on and seek the needed aid.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone that's the primary cause of the changes in the male body occurring at puberty, turning boys into adult males/ It typically happens from age 10 upward through the teens. When I hit this period, nothing changed. My voice didn't get lower, I grew only peach fuzz on my face, my muscle mass didn't increase, nor did I develop acne, go crazy over sexual possibilities, etc. My upward growth was normal, reaching just under 5' 10" by age 19 (alas, due to age, I've since shrunken some). My reaction to all this was to ignore and hide the problem, even from myself. Whaleys are famous for ignoring major symptoms that lead to later trouble.

Doug in High School
When everyone else my age began flirting and dating, I shrank from such contacts. I didn't want sexual favors from anyone, male or female, so I let myself become overweight. Mind you, I'm not and never was shy, and my personality and sense of humor made me popular, but when it came to dating, it was hands off. There was much embarrassment in this. At one high school party a game of spin-the-bottle suddenly developed and I overheard one of the girls tell another she wouldn't play if I was involved. I excused myself and left shortly thereafter.


What sexual thoughts I did have were all homosexual in nature, but except for a few pitiful attempts, nothing came of that. When I joined the Navy right following high school, my physical state caused further humiliation (though I was good at covering it, usually with humor, and, due to all that military exercise, now became thin). On guard duty, if a sergeant or officer entered the premises, I'd snap to attention and call out "Officer on deck!" One particular officer was a mean son-of-a-bitch, and he'd loudly mimic my high-pitched voice by repeating these words in a mocking falsetto. My troubles at boot camp with the obstacle course (which I never got through due to lack of muscle strength) made me hate the days when we had to work our way through it. In the part where you had to go hand-over-hand across a rope strung over a swamp, I invariably made it halfway and then fell in, muddying my uniform. One time, tired of trying to clean these uniforms or having to buy new ones, I tried swinging sideways so I would land on dry land, only to hurt my lower half when it hit the solid ground as the upper half fell into the swamp with a splash that spread swamp grime all over me. Crowds would gather excitedly to watch this debacle ("Guys, Whaley's getting to the swamp—come see!").

Doug in the Navy, far right and thin
Looking back on this period, I'm amazed and pleased that it didn't seem to affect me much. As I said above, I was quite popular, made splendid grades, had lots of good friends, was a good sailor (promoted to lead seaman on the forecastle of the U.S.S. Rockbridge), and if anyone noticed something was wrong with me physically, it was only mentioned by brutes and then shrugged off by me. I was busy planning my life, determined to succeed, and even dreaming about someday finding someone who would love me.

Then came that second year of law school mentioned above, and life changed dramatically. While at my parents home in San Antonio, Dad casually commented that when I was born a doctor told him that my testosterone level was sub-normal, but a subsequent doctor told him not to worry about it, that it would likely be fine. I was astounded. My parents, who were loving and always supportive of their two children, had watched me grow up and never thought about my peculiar physical lack of development even though they had been warned. As I said, , Whaleys are great optimists and thus constitutionally ignored important signs. When the truth was revealed in 1967, Dad wondered aloud why the Navy hadn't caught this problem when I first enlisted. I bit my lip to keep from asking why he and Mom hadn't caught it long before that. On some level, I've never forgiven them for this one misstep.

On hearing Dad's information, I went immediately to a doctor friend in Austin, told him this, and, without replying, he picked up a phone and called a endocrinologist, telling him that he wanted to schedule an immediate appointment for a friend with "arrested sexual development." I was both astounded and pleased, and soon was under this new doctor's care. He was very good at his specialty, but was otherwise a jerk, making snide comments like "so you want to be a man!" This doctor said my case was unique and he wanted to do a biopsy for an article he would soon write, but I was done with this cretin and refused (though, looking back, I probably should have said yes, just to help others). He began injecting me with testosterone twice a week, and puberty began at last. These injections continued after I moved to Chicago to practice law, until a doctor there said I was through puberty and my body had taken over.

Could Have Used This in 1960
Almost immediately life changed dramatically. All the usual things happened: my voice lowered to bass-baritone, I grew facial hair, my body mass increased as I worked out and lost weight, I developed a major case of acne (which made this new attorney look strange, but the difficulty eventually passed), etc. The most startling change was an increased libido. I wanted to have sex with every person who passed by (women, men, old, young, handsome, ugly—availability being the only criterion), but I concentrated on women (and didn't have a sexual encounter with a man for years). I'd read that most boys go through a homosexual phase before puberty, and I convinced myself that I'd unfortunately been stuck in such a phase for the past ten years. I initially thought that lack of testosterone was the cause of my homosexuality, but subsequent research proved that wrong—the two things have nothing to do with each other. I was much attracted to the female body, and, trying hard to ignore my primary interest in males, I went to bed with a number of women, enjoying the experience thoroughly (well, there was Rosemary, but let that pass). When I fell in love with Charleyne and we married, that was wonderful and I thought my life perfection. As I've explained before on this blog, that house of cards was doomed to collapse, and marijuana finally made me face the truth about my sexual orientation. But I'm not making this up: I had a great sexual time with the women I slept with (including the aforementioned Rosemary), and to this day can appreciate looking at a sexy woman, even if I have no desire to hop into bed with one (and I've had offers). I did have a low sperm count, and when Charleyne and I decided to have a baby we went to a doctor and told him about my history. He said we would probably need for medical help in conceiving, but we should try it on our own for awhile (we'd been using birth control) and see what happened. Low count or no, my sperm came through, and Charleyne became pregnant almost immediately with our son Clayton. A loving mother, she nonetheless hated childbirth, and had her tubes tied while still in the maternity hospital.

So that's my painful story, and I'm glad I finally got it off my moderately-hairy chest.
________________________________________
Related Posts:
"My Inadvertent Tattoo," March 6, 2010
"I Married a Hippy," April 14, 2010
“The Boot Camp Fiasco,” April 21, 2010
“Homosexuality: The Iceberg Theory,” April 25, 2010
“Marijuana and Me,” July 11, 2010
“How To Tell if You’re Gay,” August 31, 2010
"Charleyne and the Giant Cookie," September 16, 2010
"Douglas Whaley, Deckhand," December 22, 2010
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Atheist Interviews God



Atheist: Let me start by asking if there's really such a thing as a hell where sinners writhe in eternal damnation?

God: (Laughs) Oh, my heavens, no! Pastor Rob Bell had that right when he pointed out that no fair deity would send Gandhi to hell just because he wasn't a Christian. What sort of creator would condemn human beings to eternal torment because they belonged to the wrong faith or made some misstep? Who on earth hasn't done something that in, the eyes of one religion or another, would have them flaming forever? The idea of hell is something earthlings thought up all by themselves. They think it helps keep people in line.

Atheist: Do you pay a lot of attention to what is going on in human civilization?

God: Hmm. Well, only from time to time. Sometimes I do amuse myself by watching the complicated mess down there, but then centuries will pass and I don't visit at all. What humans do can be fascinating, but it also can be downright boring or too sad to watch. Often, of course, it's funny.

Atheist: Many people believe God always monitors their activities, or sends angels or such to check on them.

God: They get that notion from the various ancient books they wrote, but it's used for the same purpose as hell. Omnipresent surveillance makes people behave better, or at least that's the theory.  (Scoffs) Angels!

Atheist: So you didn't dictate those ancient books?

God: (Laughs) They contradict each other! And, really, have you read them? Take the Christian bible which clearly was written by many hands, each with different styles and ranging from typical myth stories (which can be entertaining though improbable) to lists of kings or begats which can put the most attentive reader into a coma. The New Testament can't even agree on the details of the opening of Jesus's tomb! If I'd authored the bible the whole work would be much shorter and would certainly have a consistent viewpoint no matter its size.

Atheist: What would it say?

God: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Atheist: That's it?

God: That's plenty! If people concentrated on the Golden Rule the earth would be a much better place. Men wouldn't subject women to rape or mutilation or hide their identities in massive clothing, nor would young children be sexually assaulted by men of the cloth, or thousands of other atrocities—from war to unthinking bigotry—hidden or even promoted by religions. It sickens me.

Atheist: Why don't you stop these things? Why is there such misery in the world? That's always been the big question people ask about God?

God: I don't micromanage, though many humans think I do. When people are disappointed, others try to console them with meaningless slogans like "God works in mysterious ways"—as if that helped. Look, the people who promote religion have an idea of God which is incapable of "falsification"—there's no way to prove it wrong. That should make them suspicious, but it doesn't. If good things happen, they thank God. If they pray and their wish comes true, they truly believe God answered their prayer. But if the opposite occurs and a tsunami wipes out half a million people or if a prayer doesn't work, do they ever condemn me? No, that would be "blasphemy." I get the credit, but never the blame—a cushy reputation! So bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad ones, but either way, I come out on top. It's both stupid and wonderful at the same time. They don't seem to notice that the world goes on exactly as it would if all their religions were completely wrong.

Atheist: That's how it seems to me. Why don't they notice?

God: Humans are so afraid of dying—of their existence being stuffed out with no more significance than that of an ant—that they'll believe impossible things and especially about some sort of hazy afterlife. They spend a lot of time thinking about something that won't occur: a destination that doesn't exist. In the meantime they don't concentrate on the journey they take along the way, wasting precious life.


Atheist: But aren't we somehow different from the ants?

God: It's true that homo sapiens are the only creatures with a clear idea they're going to die someday (which is what leads to religion and all these afterlife speculations), but from the ant's point of view, no.

Atheist: Atheists have no expectation of an afterlife. What do you think of them?

God: Well, at least they're thinking.

Atheist: Why don't you just appear and make us all believers?

God: Believers in what? The universe clearly exists. That should be enough. Beyond that, you're all strictly on your own. Some day they'll wake up and stop concentrating on needless ritual and religious books that frequently give bad advice. The astounding hatred of others that has been done in my name should shame everyone on earth. It's mindless.

Atheist: So you don't interfere. The universe just is what it is.

God: Yes.

Atheist: Then do you exist at all?


God: [No answer]

________________________________________
Related Posts:
“Catholicism and Me (Part One),” March 13, 2010
“Superstitions,”March 21, 2010
“Catholicism and Me (Part Two),” April 18, 2010
“How To Become an Atheist,” May 16, 2010
“Imaginary Friend,” June 22, 2010
“I Don’t Do Science,” July 2, 2010
“Explosion at Ohio Stadium,” October 9, 2010 (Chapter 1 of my novel)
“When Atheists Die,” October 17, 2010
"Escape From Ohio Stadium," November 2, 2010 (Chapter 2)
"Open Mouth, Insert Foot," November 21, 2010 (Chapter 3)
"Rock Around the Sun," December 31, 2010
"Muslim Atheist," March 16, 2011
"A Mormon Loses His Faith," June 13, 2011
"Is Evolution True?" July 13, 2011
"Atheists, Christmas, and Public Prayers," December 9, 2011
" Urban Meyer and the Christian Buckeye Football Team," February 19, 2012
"Intelligent Design, Unintelligent Designer?", May 12, 2012
"My Atheist Thriller: Another Book Reading," May 17, 2012
"'The God Particle' and the Vanishing Role of God," July 5, 2012
“Update: Urban Meyer and the NON-Christian Buckeye Football Team,” August 24, 2012
“Atheists Visit the Creation Museum,” October 4, 2012
“Mitt Romney: A Mormon President?” October 17, 2012
“The End of the World: Mayans, Jesus, and Others,” December 17, 2012
"The Great Lakes Atheist Conference, Tornado Survivor Rebecca Vitsmun, and the Wonderful Barbara Williams," August 27, 2013
"Why Even Believers Should Read My Atheist Thriller ‘Imaginary Friend,’" October 29, 2013
"An Atheist at a Believer’s Funeral," January 13, 2014
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Parents and Dummy

Dummy

Robert and LeNore Whaley
I've mentioned before that after my father, Robert Whaley, retired from the Air Force in1968, he enrolled in the University of Texas Law School (from which I had just graduated), which meant that he and my mother, LeNore, moved to Austin, Texas, renting an apartment there. I was having so much fun with my parakeet Fred (who I acquired that same year when I moved to Chicago to begin practicing law) that I decided to buy a parakeet for them as a housewarming gift. On a visit back to Austin I scouted around and located a breeder just outside the city. A visit to his house was astounding. This old man loved birds, and had them in large cages outside his home, but he also allowed flocks of parakeets to fly loose from room to room inside where he lived, which resulted in a blizzard of colorful birds and their mess, as well as being hard on the ears. He and I had to go outside to talk. I asked if there was any particular very young bird who seemed to have lots of personality, and his eyes lit up. He returned to the house and came back carrying a small blue parakeet, saying he thought this one was very friendly. I said I'd take the bird, so he put it in a small ventilated box, sat it in the car, and the bird promptly proved he was resourceful by escaping. My seller managed to snag the bird before he could fly off, and then, with the box securely taped, I drove back to my parents apartment.

What happened there amazed me. First of all, I was worried they'd be bothered by the unexpected gift, but they had no current pets, and happily welcomed the idea (I also brought them a cage and basic parakeet things). When the little blue bird was let free, and—I'm not making this up—once he perched on the curtain rod, Mom, ever composed, put out her hand with only the index finger extended, and the bird, after a brief pause to think it over, flew down and landed on it! It had taken me months to get Fred to do that, but my mother had a sort of magic in her I still don't understand.

Well, after that, my parents fell in love with that bird, which, characteristically, given her sense of humor, my mother named "Dummy." He was anything but that—the smartest parakeet I've ever seen (and I've had many parakeets in my life). He quickly learned to speak and before he died developed a 200+ phrase repertoire (my bird Fred could only say about thirty words, most of them—taught him by evil friends—being foul language (pun intended). When visiting them once with Fred (with whom Dummy bonded immediately, though Fred was less thrilled), I taught Dummy to say "I've got big feet" (which he did) in one day. Of course, Dummy's extensive vocabulary was improved by Mom being home with him most days, and both parents played with that little bird constantly. They were a family of three. At one point Dad and Mom became worried that Dummy seemed to have developed a severe cough. They were about to take him to a vet when they realized that Dummy had two different coughs: one that was Dad's smoker's hack and the other that was Mom's (both heavy smokers). He was imitating their coughs!

Mom in particular was very clever in the things she taught Dummy to say, and they delighted in showing him off to guests. My favorite story, which Dad would relate with a pretended frown, had them coming back to their apartment one evening with another couple who wanted to hear Dummy talk. Everyone sat in the living room, Dummy perched on Dad's shoulder, but—like pets and children in such a situation—went mute. Dad and Mom tried various tricks to get him into his usual verbosity, and there was only silence. Just as they were about to give up, Dummy said loudly, "Bobby is a bastard!" That led to some explaining about my mother's bizarre sense of humor.

Dad, Oblivious to Dummy and Fred
When Dad graduated from law school, he accepted a position as an Assistant District Attorney for Dallas County, and when that occurred Dummy went with them. They moved into a 25 story apartment building in downtown Dallas, close to the courthouse so Dad could walk to work. They lived on the 24th floor, with a lovely view. If you have a parakeet, you get used to having the bird sit on your shoulder, and, like wearing a hat, it's easy to forget he's there. Once Dad, going to work, stepped into the elevator and as it filled up people kept looking at him strangely. Finally one of the passengers said, "Do you know you have a bird on your shoulder?" Dad looked startled, then laughed and got off at the next stop. Dummy loved the elevator and more than once the desk clerk in the lobby called to say Dummy was flying around down there.

On Friday, October 28, 1977, my parents' building caught on fire due to an electrical problem. Dad was at work but Mom was home when alarms started sounding. She would have left immediately, but first she had to corner Dummy, never easy to capture. She wouldn't leave without him. In spite of loud banging at her door, she kept after the bird, finally trapping him in a bathroom, throwing a towel over him, and then, with him caged, she headed for the stairs. This made the Dallas Morning News, in which Mom was quoted as saying, "I had to walk down 24 floors, and everything was covered in smoke. I was the last one out because of the bird." Both the firemen (and, later, Dad) were upset that she didn't just run when she heard there was fire, but—by golly—she saved Dummy.

After Dad died in 1980, Mom and Dummy moved to Florida to live near my sister Mary Beth. Dummy died at age ten, probably of complications from smoke exposure through the years (parakeets can live as long as dogs do). Mary Beth was the one who removed him from the cage as Mom was too distraught for that doleful task. We all love our pets, and Dummy was a very special one. Do you know the Rudyard Kipling poem about these awful moments when they leave us? Kipling's thoughts center on the death of his favorite dog, but it applies equally to any beloved animal. Here it is:

                    "The Power of the Dog"

                        by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your affair—
But . . . you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent,
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ‘em, the more we do grieve:

For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as long—
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Kipling and Photoshopped Friend

______________________________________
Related Posts:
“My Competitive Parents,” January 20, 2010
“Bears,” February 23, 2010
"Goodbye to St. Paddy's Day," March 2, 2010
“Bob Whaley, Boy Lawyer,” March 28, 2010
"My Mother's Sense of Humor," April 4, 2010
“The Sayings of Robert Whaley,” May 13, 2010
"Mama, Biopsies, and My iPad," May 19, 2010
“Bob Whaley and the Best Evidence Rule,” June 26, 2010
“Bob and Kink Get Married,” June 2, 2010
“Dad and the Cop Killer,” July 19, 2010
“No Pennies In My Pocket,” July 30, 2010
"Teaching English to Cats," August 6, 2010
“Doug, Please Get My Clubs From the Trunk,” August 20, 2010
“The Death of Robert Whaley,” September 7, 2010
"The Purring Heart," November 23, 2010
"My Missing Grandmother," December 26, 2010
"Bob Whaley Trapped in Panama," January 21, 2011
"The Death of My Mother," March 31, 2011
"Parakeets and Me," February 5, 2010
"The Dogs In My Life," April 18, 2011
"Two Cat Stories: Mama and Barney in the Wild," July 9, 2011
"Zoo Stories," August 30, 2011
"Mama Cat Saves My Life." October 23, 2011
"Stepping on Cats," February 8, 2012
“Snowbirding, My iPhone 5, and the Coming Crazy Cat Trip,” December 5, 2012"Barney Cat and the Big Mammal Nightmare," January 7, 2013

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Control Freak Turns 50 and Throws His Own Party



Turning 50, which I did in September of 1993, is always a shock, but since such big birthdays are going to happen, I decided the choice was between crying in my beer or throwing a party.  And no—not just any party would do.  Control freak I have to confess I am, I planned a very structured festivity and then set back to see what would happen.

I decided on an evening of entertainment where, ahead of time, friends could decide things with no direction or help from me.  I would ask my friends to perform songs, skits, or read poetry that they didn't know at all.  And by this I meant everyone at the party was to perform.  Most people could do this by just singing the opening number as a chorus, but others would be assigned more specific challenges.  50 year-old Doug would be just a member of the audience, seeing it all for the first time.  It all worked beautifully.

Ted and Wayne as the Wise Men
I'm a Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado  (see below for "A Fanatic's Tale—This Isn't Pretty"), so the opening number was the entrance of the Wise Men from G&S's operetta "Utopia, Limited," which has a short choral introduction, a duet by the two advisors to the King, and then a short choral finish.  I sent everyone an invitation with and explanation of how the party was structured, along with a CD of the song and sheet music.  I had gone to college at the University of Maryland with another G&S fan, Wayne Pawlowski, and we've remained close friends ever since.  He and his partner Ted Heath were asked to play the Wise Men (Ted had never sang a Gilbert and Sullivan song before, though Wayne has dragged him to many of their shows in the last 30 years).  They live in D.C., but to my great pleasure agreed to drive all the way to Columbus and do this incredible thing.  I left all details of how they'd stage it (performance space was one side of my living room, with my then partner Jerry Bunge doing all the stage management, sound, lights, etc., as well as performing himself at the end).  When the evening itself arrived, the opening chorus was enthusiastic if not ready to go professional, and then Wayne and Ted entered in black tie and tails and zipped through the duet with great elan.  At one point the song has them singing about "minding your p's and q's," so they pulled out a bag of frozen peas and two pool cues and solemnly presented them to me.

Clayton on Sentry Duty
My son Clayton, then 21, was not able to attend the party, but, at my request, he made a video that we next showed of him singing "The Sentry's Song" from G&S's "Iolanthe," with piano accompaniment by Dorit Samuel (wife of Sheldon Halpern, who performed later).  Clayton, who has a lovely bass voice, added an extra lyric at the end: "On Douglas Whaley's 50th birthday, everyone gave a loud fa-la!"  I love him very much.

My cousin Jane Birge and her longtime partner Nancy Lawrence, both now transplanted to Texas, had agreed to drive from there to my party to recreate the Angel Skit from the Off-Broadway hit "The Kathy and Mo Show," though they'd never heard of it before.  I sent them a video of that show (still available on the internet, and I recommend it to you), and they went to work.  I could write twelve blog entries about Cousin Jane (and so could anyone who knows her) and a number on Nancy as well—two of the great characters of our time.  Both are very funny, not shy, and, indeed, Nancy was once a professional actress (appearing once on the Andy Griffith Show).  The skit is a hoot.  It's about two angels in heaven planning how people on earth will behave once created.  "Who should have the babies," one asks the other, "the men, the women?"  They haphazardly pick the women for this task, but then worry men will be jealous, so they try to think of things to make childbirth less attractive!  When the skit was performed Nancy and Jane nailed it, in full-length angel costumes complete with haloes, and wonderful timing in their comic delivery.  They threw in some Doug jokes too.  The audience went nuts.  I've posted the video of this Angel Skit on YouTube; go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSriBOHqpw8.

With My Angels, Nancy and Jane, After the Show
Mary Bush is the friend in Columbus I've known longest (we met in 1976 shortly after I moved here to start teaching law at Ohio State).  She too started as a professional actress, but now has a business selling antique dolls and also teaching nutrition in a culinary school.  One night years ago, during the Strange Songs period, there was lots of singing around the piano with—alas—a microphone on.  At one point, was Mary was coaxed into singing the "tits and ass" song ("Dance Ten, Looks Three") from "A Chorus Line,"  and she was most unpleased when I played the recording for her a day or so later, claiming it was nowhere near her performing standards.  So now, for the party, I asked her to redo the number anyway she liked, and the audience was wowed by her very sexy rendition, complete with straw hat and leotard.  You could take her right back to Broadway and tickets would explode out the box office window.

Sheldon Reluctantly Does Gilbert
Sheldon Halpern, also a law professor at Ohio State, then recited William Gilbert's comic poem "Etiquette." This is the story of two Victorian men stranded on an island who feel they cannot talk to each other because they've not been introduced.  Beforehand Sheldon warned me that he is no fan of Gilbert's, but his recital was so good that I told him he could sell a recording of Gilbert's comic poems with that wonderful voice he brought to the party that night.

The finale was assigned to my partner Jerry, who I paired with Lorri Latek and her husband Arthur Greenbaum (another law prof), our very good friends.  Indeed, though the decades, they have become close family.  The number they were to perform is "Triplets," which Fred Astaire two others sang in the movie "The Band Wagon."  It concerns triplets who hate being triplets, and is a fast-paced affair that includes dancing.  How, I wondered ahead of time, would they manage to look like triplets, but, as the photo below shows, the ever-resourceful Lorri had no problem putting it all together.  Since Jerry and Art both  have beards, she simply gave herself one.  These identically dressed triplets, carrying oversize baby bottles, brought down the house in diapers, bibs, and bonnets.  It was a terrific ending to my 50th birthday party, and I was overwhelmed by the love all these great friends showed me as I notched up a half century on Planet Earth.
Jerry, Lorri, and Art as Warring Triplets
 In some future post I'll tell you about my 60th Birthday Party, which involved me performing with some of these same people.  They were all willing to do this madness again.  May you have friends who are so wonderful!
________________________________________

Related Posts:
"Escape From Hospital Hell," January 17, 2010
"A Fanatic's Tale—This Isn't Pretty," April 11, 2010
"Recidivist: A Criminal Who Does It Again," September 10, 2010
"Strange Songs, Inc.," September 29, 2010
"The Evil Big Birthday Song," November 5, 2010
"Gephyrophobia: My Phobia of Crossing Bridges," September 28, 2011
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013