MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

FYI: playing possum

Roger Allen, publisher. “Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World”

We all know possums pretend to be dead to avoid being eaten by bigger animals.

Farm folks know that if you lay a chicken on the ground and draw a line in the dirt away from its beak, it will lie there for a while.

There has been scientific study of this phenomenon, known as tonic immobility. It’s a natural state of paralysis some animals enter, in most cases when presented with a threat.

Tonic immobility is a survival tactic that evolved long before human beings invented the automobile. So… what do you call a possum playing possum in the road? Right!


At the dramatic peak of a political corruption trial, the prosecuting attorney thundered, “Isn’t it true that you accepted ten thousand dollars to compromise this case?”

The witness stared out the window as though he hadn’t heard the question.

“Isn’t it true that you accepted ten thousand dollars to compromise this case?” the lawyer repeated.

Still the witness did not respond.

Finally the judge leaned over and said, “Sir, please answer the question.”

“Oh,” said the startled witness. “I thought he was talking to you.”

Help is on the way

Hank, an employee at a package-processing center, found himself trapped in a small restroom by a faulty lock. When Hank was finally discovered, two fellow employees, Dave and Jim, were able to open the door with some difficulty. The lock was still jammed, so they blocked the door open while a maintenance worker was called.

A bit later, Dave noticed the door was closed again. He jiggled the doorknob and a voice from inside called, “Get me out!”

“Don’t worry,” Dave replied. “Maintenance should be sending somebody.”

“They did,” said the voice.

Age appropriate joke

An elderly man went to his doctor and said, “Doc, I think I’m getting senile. Several times lately I’ve forgotten to zip up.”

“That’s not senility,” replied the doctor. “Senility is when you forget to zip down.”

Party time

photo by TOM SCOTT

This is a thank-you to the amazing neighbors, friends and newspaper staff who helped me celebrate my birthday last Saturday. They made me think being 84 isn’t so bad.

I was especially impressed by my neighbor Len Carpenter, who made it up the street and into my backyard in his wheelchair, thanks to his stepson Mike Bouwkamp. Len himself becomes a kid of 80 this week. My next-door neighbor Nancy Platt is another birthday girl this week. I think she’s 29 or something like that.

Anyway, I had a good time at my own party and happy birthday to everyone!

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.