I’m one of those men who really enjoys a good challenge. I once took four naps in one day, breaking an old family record. I’ve watched football for 13 straight hours on TV and I once went a week (this was in college, I swear) wearing the same underwear. I am no stranger to competition.

Last week my friend Bob said to me over lunch, "Can you write a humor column about anything?"

"Of course," I bragged. "A good humorist does not require an offbeat topic. I can take any common, everyday event and successfully write something funny."

I don’t know what made me say something so incredibly stupid, but when the waitress brought me my sixth Bud Light, Bob took the opportunity to put me to the test.

"I know you listen to books on tape. Write something funny about that. I dare you."

I tried to wiggle out of it, but after downing a few beers, I knew I couldn’t win a debate with a man sipping club soda.

Okay, here goes. Just remember, this wasn’t my idea.

Auto Erotic

I’m not a very good driver. I once swerved to avoid hitting an evergreen tree and it was my car’s air freshener hanging on the rearview mirror.

That’s why my wife is a little concerned when I listen to books on tape in the car. She thinks that if I’m driving and someone is talking I may not pay attention to what I am doing. The theory has a few holes in it because in 25 years of taxiing my wife to all our social obligations, I have successfully screened out just about every household chore Mary Ellen has reminded me to do while she was sitting in the passenger seat yakking away. Don’t tell me I can’t focus on driving.

On the other hand, I am sometimes too easily lost in thought, which can be dangerous. The other day I was listening to a tape on the history of Old English from Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, a classic example of the type of intellectual stimulation that I prefer while motoring around the Midwest. I was on my way from Indy to Kokomo and long about the 15th century I started thinking about Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct” and the next thing I knew I was in a Detroit suburb.

My wife thinks my obsession with "reading" in the car has gone too far.

"It’s one thing listening to tapes during the day, but now you’re listening to them at night. I’m having trouble sleeping."

"You can hear the tape?"

"No, but I worry about you in the car with the motor on and the garage door closed."

Recently, I convinced my wife to get a few of her favorite novels on tape so she could listen in the car, also.

"I must admit, Dick, this is very entertaining, very engrossing. But, unlike you, I am able to do two things at once. By the way, you need to make a left at the next stop sign."

"I would, Mary Ellen, but you’re the one who’s driving."

(This is a cheap ending, I know, but at least I won the bet when I said I could write a funny article about anything.)

I did win, didn’t I?

Watch for Dick Wolfsie Wednesdays in the Rushville Republican. Add a comment at www.rushvillerepublican.com.

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