A man with glasses smiling for the camera.


A man with glasses smiling for the camera. Jase Graves

In my last column, I admitted to some things I’ve never done in my 50-something-year-old-dude-type-person life. (I still haven’t been to Hooters.)

So, of course, that discussion brought to mind a few things I’ve actually accomplished – or committed – and deeply regret.

1. I’m not sure why I thought of this first (and probably don’t want to know), but I once tried one of those back shavers with the extra-long handle in order to try and look more like Ryan Gosling and less like a pregnant labradoodle with mange. Instead, when I came out of the shower after my first ‘shave,’ my back and shoulders looked like they had tangled with a rabid potato peeler. And I still had as much back hair as ever-if not more! I think the shaver just brought the rest of it out of the closet.

2. And speaking of shaving, several years ago, when our three semi-grown daughters were younger and less traumatized when I wandered around the house shirtless, they asked what I would look like if I shaved my chest – so I showed them. (We’re hoping the nightmares will eventually go away on their own.)

3. Turning from manscaping to spiritual matters, one of my most recent regrets was clicking on a text from my eldest and most expensive daughter during church. Because she rarely texts unless she needs something expensive, wants something expensive or has damaged something expensive, I couldn’t resist. (I also continue to labor under the delusion that setting my cell phone to ‘silent’ has any effect on the volume.) When I clicked on her text, it played an earsplitting clip from a SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon – right in the middle of ‘The Beatitudes.’ I naturally blamed it on my wife.

4. I actually have a long history of embarrassment in Baptist sanctuaries. When I was in the church youth group during junior high, I decided to join the puppet ministry. (Yes, church puppets were a thing then, and I may or may not have been wearing parachute pants at the time.)

During my first (and last) performance, I was experiencing tremendous pain in my adolescent noodle arm, which caused a serious hand-puppet-control problem. During the solemn portion of the show, my flabtastic arm started listing badly behind the curtain. Peals of laughter ensued because instead of sharing the Gospel, my puppet appeared to be making out vigorously with his stuffed brethren on stage. No one got saved that night, but at least there was joy in the house of the Lord.

5. This last regret has two parts that almost always go together – mowing the lawn in tennis shoes and spousal support during minor surgery. In the early years of my marriage, I learned that push mowing on a sharp incline while wearing Nikes will likely result in a visit to the ER and a humiliating story for your friends to bring up at parties.

To make a short story shorter, while the ER doctor was stitching up my big toe, my wife, who had joined me in the room for moral support (and probably to laugh at me), proceeded to pass out (probably from laughing). When the nurse came in, the doctor was performing a graceful second arabesque with my mangled toe in one hand and my comatose wife in the other. If only we had TikTok back then.

I could go on and on, but I need to pray, find my steel toe boots, and condition my back hair.

Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at susanjase@sbcglobal.net.

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