Blog: Did I Ever Tell You?

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Burt Ross

The other day, I was enjoying breakfast with my daughter Kate when I asked rhetorically, “Did I ever tell you…,” but before I even got to finish the sentence, she responded, “Yes.” I was a bit confused.

“How do you know what I was about to tell you?” I inquired incredulously. 

She explained that I had told her every story in my repertoire several times, and in case I did not believe her, I could tell her the beginning of a story, and she would finish it for me. I was up for the challenge, and decided I would tell her one of my favorite stories, which I was fairly sure I had never told her before. 

The story was about a date I had in my early 20s with a girl who ordered the most expensive items on the menu and ate them with relish as if it were her last meal.

“Yes,” my daughter interrupted, “and then she ordered two desserts.” Damn it! I obviously had told her this one before. 

I unfortunately don’t give up easily.

“Okay, little girl. I bet you haven’t heard about the time I had dinner with a young lady who was Sioux Indian.”

There wasn’t even a pause. “And you told her she didn’t look ‘Sewish’ and that was the end of the date,” my daughter finished the story for me. 

I could only conclude from this exchange that I was either spending far too much time with my daughter or was suffering from the onset of dementia.

I decided I would call my son Isaac, who lives in New York City, and since I don’t see him as frequently, I was confident I had not shared all my favorite stories with him. “Son, Grandpa and Grandma used to hide their candy from one another…,” I began.

Isaac continued, “and Grandma found Grandpa’s stash of candy on the top shelf and hit it with a cane like it was a piñata.” Apparently the Continental Divide was not causing a different result. 

I decided to give it one more try.

“Okay, son, I bet you never heard the story of how I flunked my first test at Harvard,” but no sooner had I begun my tale than my son finished it, “because you never saw the second page of questions.”

“Hmm,” I reflected. It appears that I have not had an original thought for the past 40 years or so. My poor bride of 35 years. She has heard and suffered through all these same stories many times and has never once complained. 

I obviously have a compulsion to tell stories, but I need to exclude my family members who have endured my repetition far too long. I have found another outlet for my true and tried stories—The Malibu Times. Thank you my readers for not commenting, “Heard that one before.”