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Published March 20, 2009, 01:11 AM

Wood Working: Friends’ good wishes tickle my funny bone

I have a friend who goes through a routine every time he and his wife are out shopping.

By: Dave Wood, columnist, River Falls Journal

I have a friend who goes through a routine every time he and his wife are out shopping.

Where ever they might be, Macy’s, Shopko, Freeman Drug or the Dollar Store, my friend maneuvers his wife toward the greeting card department.

Once there he says, “Oh, love of my life, look here at the cards for (choose one) wedding, anniversary, birthday, Mother’s Day! See this one dear heart. If I were the kind of person who wasted money on greeting cards, this is the one I’d buy you…so remember it well!”

I’ve always admired my friend’s chutzpah in that regard and avoid sending greeting cards whenever I’m reasonably certain I won’t be apprehended by the love of my life.

But after my protracted convalescence locked up here on Walnut Street, my attitude toward greetings has taken a new course. I like greeting cards, especially if they’re about disabled people and if they’re sent to 503 E. Walnut St. (zip code 54022).

Since my incarceration two months ago, I’ve received many, many cards from Journal readers, friends and even relatives.

So now that I’m out of stir, I want to thank those Journal readers who cared enough to send the very best and even those who sent 99-cent cheapos, like the sappy one from Ken, who actually penned a message of apology for sending such a “yucky” card.

I also received a homemade card from a famous fellow columnist, “Garrison K,” who encouraged me to write about my incarceration.

Garrison used to live in River Falls, but forsook it for Summit Avenue. Apparently he still reads the Journal because he made reference to my earlier columns in the following ditty:

“There was an old writer named Wood

“Who did his best to be good

“And not think bad thoughts

“And do good deeds (lots)

“And wound up in the Lutheran Convalescent Home in River Falls, which is not where he’d be if he could.”

Like Garrison’s, most of the cards tended toward the humorous, with the punch line on the inside, like the card from Phyllis and Wanda, which began “Get Well Soon” and ended “You’ll feel a lot better about it!”

My brother and sister-in-law sent two cards, one sentimental and the other which my brother insisted on: “Some People Get All The Breaks!”

Don, a college roommate, and his wife Nancy, sent a card that showed a dog chasing a Frisbee, catching it, after which it gets lodged in his hind quarters, with the following caption: “This Too Shall Pass.”

Mary and Tom sent a picture of a duck in tennis shoes with this caption: “You know what’s the worst part about being ill? Even dressin’ up, and stepin’ out, ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Our nonagenarian friend Florence creates her own cards on her computer and never lets you forget she’s as up to date linguistically as young whippersnappers like me: “WHAT A BUMMER!’’

From Golden Valley, Minn., came a note from someone named “Buzz,” who turned out to be Loyle Raymond, my longtime dentist, also signed by all four of his technicians.

Dan and Faith, writers from Minneapolis, sent me a photo of a Model T lacking one rear wheel, with the notation “Heard You Were in for Repairs.”

Society columnist Carol from St. Paul sent a beautiful card that explained that the designer Gayla Ellis used to be called Gayla Wadnizak, one of my favorite students from first year teaching at Augsburg College.

Two of our neighbors, Monte and Bob, sent cards that were lots more prickly. One showed a picture of five MDs clad in whites. Four of their heads were circled in red. The caption: “4 out of 5 doctors want you to GET WELL IMMEDIATELY!...That fifth one thinks you might still have a couple bucks somewhere.”

The other sent “The Interpreter’s Guide to DOCTORSPEAK:

“If the doctor says, ‘I’d like to run a few more tests,’ he really means, ‘I want the sunroof option for my new sports car.’

“If the doctor says, ‘I’d like you to see a specialist,’ he really means, ‘I have absolutely no idea what’s wrong with you.’

“If the doctor says, ‘Bend over,’ he means, ‘Bend over.’

“If the doctor says, “Please make a follow-up appointment,’ he means, ‘I’d also like the CD player with the five-disc changer.’

“If the doctor says, ‘The nurse will take over from here,’ he means, ‘I’m late for my tee-off time.’

“If the doctor says, ‘I have some good news and some bad news,’ he means, ‘I have some bad news.’

“If the doctor says, ‘You’ll feel some slight discomfort,’ he means, ‘This is going to hurt like hell.’

“If the doctor says, ‘Hmmm…that’s interesting,’ he means, ‘What in the hell is that thing?’”

Mike and Joey from Up North wrote, “To help you get well I wanted to make you some soup but I couldn’t get the silly chickens to lay noodles!!!”

And guess who didn’t send anything?

Bingo! The guy who doesn’t like to waste money.

Dave would like to hear from you. Phone him at 426-9554.