Not for Nuthin! Here’s a classic column

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NFN is on a well-needed vacation, here is a re-print of the winner of the New York Press Association’s Best Humor Column in its 2006 Better Newspaper Contest. It ran on ran around June 6 of that year under the headline “Trying hard to get the better of ‘the Beast.’

Trying Hard to Get the Better of ‘the Beast’ on 6/6/06.

Men make plans. The Fates decide…

I wasn’t taking any chances; 6/6/06 was not an auspicious date. I hedged my bets, stayed home from work and didn’t plan anything remotely dangerous. I thought I was safe. Ha!

The day dawned with no frogs, pestilence or horsemen in sight. We all got out of bed. My daughter made it to the bus on time without any yelling (I should have known better right then) and all was right with the world so far.

My daughter came home early from school, allowing us to get to the orthodontist before our 2:30 appointment. Quick in and Quick out. Great I began to feel confident that whatever calamities could prevail would pass us by. How wrong I was.

It was 3 pm and the bricks started to fall.

I received a call from my niece. She said her mom was leaving work early to take her to the doctor: unfortunately, while she was running out of the office, she tripped on the last step and flew into the air landing on her face, thereby losing a tooth and bruising her nose and hand. She was now on the way to the emergency room. Calamity number one had arrived.

My husband was scheduled to pick up my other niece at school and had forgotten in all the confusion. She was now stranded in front of the school with her friend and no ride home. Calamity number two. This too was soon remedied. I left the house went to pick her up and drove her friend home.

I knew my sister-in-law would be a the hospital for quite some time, so I cooked dinner for my two nieces. Sure enough, my sister-in-law returned from the hospital at about 7 pm my nieces returned home and Mary was grateful that she only sustained a loose tooth and no broken bones. She said her nose saved her face.

I cleaned up the dishes and sat down to enjoy a peaceful evening at last, but it wasn’t over yet.

It was about 8:30 pm and the phone rang, it was Aunt Sophia. She had a fever of 104 and her leg was in severe pain. Could I take her to the hospital? Calamity number three roared in.

I got my keys, yelled over my soldier where I was going and said I would keep in touch. Out the door, I flew to Aunt Sophia’s house only a few blocks away, picked her up and took her to the hospital. They took her in right away, apparently, it was a slow night and I was told to sit in the waiting room. I sat down and looked around at the rest of the people in the room. Some were laughing, some were somber, but most of all, we were all worried about loved ones.

Time passed. Finally, the doctor called me and told me that they would admit her I could go home. At this point I was terrified to get in the car, afraid that calamity number four would hit me, or my car. So I stiffened my upper lip, clenched my jaw, grabbed my Saint Christopher medal and made the short journey home, getting into the house just a little past midnight.

Never before was I so grateful for 12:01.

It was now 6/7/06 and the number of the beast had gone to sleep. It had been a very busy day.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on E-mail her at
Posted 12:00 am, August 9, 2017
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Reader feedback

Frankie from Bensonhurst says:
Hey Jo -

Funny how this 'classic column' preceded the worst opinion piece of your life. It took 11 years but you got your calamity number 4. And boy was it a friggin doozy!!!
Aug. 19, 2017, 2:08 pm
JF from Marine Park says:
"Well needed vacation"? So does that mean that this racist —— has been fired?
Aug. 22, 2017, 2:38 pm
good judy from Mill Basin says:
The superstition of this column is an insight into the mindset of JDB.
Is this a reference to being 'in the belly of the beast'? Being in a critical, difficult situation? I can see it, we all can. Ms DelBuono, seems you've met your Waterloo. We've all seen your true face and it is repugnant. Shame on you. I feel sorry for your daughter who probably shares your sentiments fostered in an echo chamber in your home. I would say some self-reflection is in order but I'm not sure you're salvageable.
Aug. 27, 2017, 1:35 am
Julie from Brooklyn says:
To"good judy" from Mill Basin:
what is your problem? Calling Ms. DelBuono names/ seeing her "true face", etc. ?
Why don't you look in the mirror once in a while, and see who is REPUGNANT! So, SHAME ON YOU!!!
I would say some self-reflection is in order but I'm not sure you're salvageable!
Sept. 1, 2017, 10:41 pm

Comments closed.

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