Divorcing My Friends

My family has always loved going to the zoo. When the kids were young, we would break up long drives by leaving early, routing to a zoo somewhere in the midpoint of the trip, and then wearing them out watching animals so they would sleep for the remainder of the drive. It always seemed to work. The only problem with this practice was that our trips were usually in the summer and the afternoon car always had a rather pungent odor after we toddled around in the sun.

There were trips when we took more pictures and videos at the amusement stops than we actually did when we arrived at our destination because the kids love animals so much. One often sees odd behavior and sometimes a dalliance or two that must be explained to an inquisitive child. Of course, I relished these opportunities and gave it my creative best. From me they learned the finer points of turtle wrestling and why an elephant can have two trunks.

Once in a while, a golden moment happens and you notice that your child is sitting in front of something that is fairly comical. SNAP – picture that!

I have several photos that I am enormously proud of. I keep them on my computer in a little file I have labelled, “Freak Zoo”. Some I have shared and some I haven’t. I waited for the right moment to share one such picture. And it finally came.

I recall the trip to the St. Louis Zoo. My little wild child was sitting in front of an exhibit and I noticed the signage just behind her. I giggled. Then I remembered that I had the camera. Unbeknownst to my lovely bride and wifefilter, I took the picture. Actually, I took several to make sure I got it exactly as I wanted it and I giggle every time I see it and sometimes when I just think about it.

Here is the fruit of my labor.



I’ve been saving this picture for a decade. After all, timing is everything in comedy and something like this deserves its proper fanfare. I finally decided to post it recently on Facebook for her 16th birthday. I used the caption: “Happy Sweet 16 to my little ball of hair and sass”. (I considered adding “the s is sometimes silent”, but knew my wifefilter would vehemently object.)

I sat and waited for the comments to pour in. Oh the hilarity. I laughed out loud at the prospect of the fun my friends would have with this momentous picture. Imagine my disappointment when the only comments it got were happy birthdays.

How can this happen? How is it possible that either no one noticed, had too much decorum to comment, or worse yet, didn’t think it was funny? Don’t any of my friends get me?

This is the very height of comedy and EPIC photo. I decided right there that it was time to divorce my friends and start over with an advertisement. Something like:

Self-styled funny old man seeking friendship with people of like humor. Inappropriate laughter a must, keen eye and sharp wit a bonus, reliable transportation optional.

Then it finally happened! It took almost a day before one astute friend asked if we had noticed the sign. Thank you KT! You win the internet and saved me from a period of lonely isolation.



Actually, I’ve been blessed with some  pretty good friends. Maybe they can be coached.



29 thoughts on “Divorcing My Friends

  1. Brilliant!

    My older brother had a reputation for laughing at his own jokes so much he could never get to the punchline. He was always the only in the room rolling around in laughter!

    Love this post Mark, thank you! The picture is perfect! 🙂

  2. Because my adult sons claim that I have a bizarre sense of humor, and a minuscule filter….I saw the sign before your daughter. There’s a website that’s devoted to “perfectly timed photos”. This one might be an entry.
    Loved it! Keep on smiling. 😄😄😄😄

  3. Well, if you think they are coachable??? But, if I were you, I would mull over that list one more time to cull the impossibles. Knowing you as I do (which is limited I realize) I could not have stopped myself from commenting to you about the picture and it would have been a really good response. It may not have been wifefilter approved but you only get one chance to respond to that picture. If nothing else, in today’s vernacular ROTFL BFF;
    RUOK? WHNKU? (Wife Has Not Killed You?); IMO FFBPE (Funniest Facebook Post Ever). You would never be able to slip that one by me or my family ~ we’re aficionados of “offset humor.”

  4. I noticed it right away – we are destined to be friends!

    And oh my goodness, I am laughing out loud at “sometimes the s is silent.” We with wifefilters have a big job somedays – after 25 years of marriage, I finally put mine up on the shelf. My husband is too funny to censor. So are you!
    Thank you for sharing – I loved this!!
    (happy birthday to your sweet ball of sass!)

      1. lol!! Don’t give up yet! They have won 9 out of the last 11 games and get back to .500. All with an injury ridden team.
        Don’t stop believin’ !!

  5. I’ve had this happen too… I think I’ve said the funniest thing, only to receive crickets. You realize people are so rushed when they scroll through FB, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. 😉

  6. The cute photo & story got a fair amount of attention here on WordPress, where people actually want to read for sake of reading. (Maybe the Critically Endangered part in red letters turned some people off?)

    Anyway, thanks for the brief trip down memory lane, and the Wild Ass giggles. 🙂

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