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GUEST COLUMN: That line is always good for a laugh

I have several comedians whom I really like, but Gallagher is a real favorite. Remember him? He is the guy who comes down with a sledge hammer on watermelons — making a big mess. Fans who get front row seats to his shows know to bring a rain coat with them and to wear it when Gallagher employs that infamous sledge hammer.

Gallagher graduated from the University of South Florida in 1970 with a degree in chemical engineering, and a minor in English literature. Much of his comedy comes from skits in which he mocks the language. One year he did a show, the theme of which was education. He explained that, when he was child, he was excited about learning to read. However, he soon became exasperated with the whole experience. The teacher wrote the word to, too, and two on the board. He said that’s when he knew learning to read was going to be hard. Like Gallagher, my brother got a little frustrated while learning the semantics of the English language. Why isn’t hice the plural of house? One mouse. Two mice. One house. Two hice. My brother reasoned that two hice made sense. We laughed about it, but he did have a point.

One day Gallagher was in Atlanta for a show in Gainesville. He was being interviewed on radio station 96 rock. Katie Kylie was taking calls from listeners. I called the radio station. Katie answered my call and said, “What is your name and where are you calling from?” I said, “Pam, and I’m calling from Atlanta.” She said, “Please hold. You are the last caller and you will be on with Gallagher when I get back with you.” My heart was racing! It was Friday afternoon during Atlanta rush hour and I was about to be on the air with Gallagher! About a minute or so later, she said, “Pam, you are on 96 Rock with Gallagher.” I said, “Hey, Gallagher.” Gallagher said, “Hey, Pam.”

I paused for a moment and said, “Welcome to Atlanta! I’m a big fan!” Gallagher responded by saying, “Well, thank you. Do you always go around welcoming celebrities to Atlanta?” My response was, “Just a minute. I’ll go see.” Right away Gallagher laughed and laughed and laughed. And still he laughed. I could not believe it. I made Gallagher, a famous professional comedian, laugh! At the time my son and daughter went to North Atlanta High School. They and a zillion of their friends heard me on the air with Gallagher. They scored cool points with everybody at school that week. “Paul and Christy Clark’s mom made Gallagher laugh on 96 Rock!” Yep. “Just a minute I’ll go see.” That line is always good for a laugh.

Pam Walker is a paralegal in Calhoun, and an avid cyclist. She enjoys a good laugh, and is always reading a good novel of southern fiction. You may email her at pamtwalker@gmail.com.