This week, columnist’s husband gets his say


Amy and Jeff Brown.
Credit – Video Gate Studio

Jeff Brown, Special To The Jewish Light

Hi there, I’m Amy’s husband, Jeff. You know me from Amy’s columns, especially the ones where she includes crazy pictures of me. 

In her last column, Amy told a story of something funny I did, so she handed over the reins of this column for me to take my own crack at it. Keep in mind I’m not a writer. My talents are based on the other side of my brain. I’m a mathematician. 

You guys must think our house is a laugh a minute, like a comedy club, with joke after joke cracking us up. That’s not quite true all the time, but when there are laughs they come from my jokes half the time.  And I laugh at my own jokes all of the time. In math terms, that means 50% of the total house laughs are a direct result of my jokes, and I laugh at those in particular 100% of the time.

When it comes to who is in charge in this house, I’ll surprise you.  It’s me. I get 51% of the votes here. I’m the boss of this house… and I have my wife’s permission to say that. 

My intentions are good, but sometimes my delivery is off. The best example is from years ago when the kids’ school bus was about 30 minutes late bringing them home. It happened every day for two solid weeks. I grabbed a paper the school gave us in case of any bus issues. It was from Parkway Schools’ Transportation Director Will Rosa. So I was looking at the paper while calling, and also very frustrated with the situation, and when the receptionist answered I said “I want to talk to Rosa Parks.” There was some silence, followed by “Excuse me?” I said “Yes, I want to talk to Rosa Parks, I have a problem with the bus.”  I guess I jumbled Rosa, Parkway and bus in my brain, and what came out wasn’t anything close to what I meant to say. Oops. 

Watching sports and attending games is my biggest passion whether the teams are pro, college or high school (my kids’ games, I’m not just going around to high schools watching random games.) While I’m not exactly an athlete, I make a great athletic supporter (see, I’m funny.) However, I did have a moment to shine in college. 

My friends and I attended a Miami (of Ohio) University hockey game. One lucky fan had a paper in their program inviting them onto the ice at halftime to make a shot and win a prize. That lucky fan was my friend, who didn’t want to do it, so I grabbed the paper and went for it. 

There was a slab of wood over the net with a small cutout at the bottom for the puck to go through. The organizers made it really difficult by setting me pretty far back from the goal. The chances were slim. 

Somehow I was able to smack the puck and it sailed through the little open slice of wood straight into the net! I won the cash prize and, possibly more impressive, the prize of having pizzas delivered to one of my classes the next day. I was the hero of my Differential Equations class. Top that!

I love being a dad, though sometimes I have to lower the boom when the boys are acting up. The hardest part is keeping my composure when their questionable choices are funny. For example, last week Davis woke up earlier than normal and was ready for school before Leo was even out of bed. So Davis sneaked into Leo’s room, hid a Bluetooth speaker, and left. Then he blasted the Burger King theme song at top volume for a musical wake up call. We heard lots of colorful words before the sun was up. 

Years later I was picking up the boys from summer camp at the Jewish Community Center, wearing my Miami Ohio Hockey T-shirt. The camp counselor saw it and said “I go to Miami Ohio. Were you on the hockey team?”  I replied, “No, I tutored the hockey team.” I bet he’d heard the legend of my halftime shot and pizza prize but tried to play it cool and not be too eager of a fan when he approached me. I’ll never know. 

It doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally I like to play a little prank. Sometimes just as Amy is falling asleep, I’ll say something like, “What if they accidentally swapped our kids with another baby at the hospital and we’ve been living a lie all these years?” That leads to her having weird dreams and talking in her sleep. Once she literally said “I have a question. Did we get a dog?” 

Speaking of sleep, your good friend Amy tends to fall asleep mid-task, like reading magazines or watching a video on her phone, surrounded by many pillows. The lights will still be on, so she usually has her hands over her eyes or a pillow on her head, because why would she actually get up to turn off the light when I could do it for her? I’ve included actual photographic evidence for proof including one super fun selfie photo op. Turnabout is fair play.