Hi, guys. Some of you have been with me for a long time, so I thought I’d share with you that today my father, Norman John Shore, died. He was 86 years old. I’ve written a bit about him here on my blog, but of course never scraped the surface of who he was, and certainly not of who he was to me.
He was a good man who taught me to be a good man. That’s the bottom line. Also, for me, is this far from irrelevant fact: he was, hands down, the funniest person I’ve ever met. I talked to him about two weeks ago. He’d moved into an assisted care facility, the grounds of which he wasn’t allowed to leave on his own. By way of sharing how intolerable he found the place (“There’s nobody in here but old people!” he complained) he riffed into this extensive, discursive, spectacularly articulate and sublimely timed routine for me, about how his new mission in life was to badger and guilt the Social Director of the old folks’ home into realizing the depth of her professional obligation to accept his bribe of one million dollars, in exchange for allowing him to slip out the gate so that he might, if only for the day, recover for himself something resembling an actual social life—whereupon, the moment she had relented, he would hastily hobble to the Von’s store across the street, and buy himself a ham sandwich on rye.
“Hey,” he said. “I take my comfort where I can.”
Gotdang that guy was funny. I’m telling you, I laughed till I cried.