Annie Payne Column June 20, 2009

One last 'Anniegram’ to honor Father’s Day

I hope you’re not sick of anagrams, or “Anniegrams” as I like to call them.

What can I say? A holiday comes around and I feel the urge to annotate.

I first wrote a Christmas anagram, then Valentine’s. I skipped Easter, because a six letter anagram is lame. Then, I did Mother’s Day and now Father’s Day.

This will be the last one, I promise. “Independence Day” is too long. “July 4th” is too short, and by Halloween I hope to have a reality show on TLC titled “Living with Secret Agent Man.”

I won’t have time for anagrams any more.

Kate Gosselin, from “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” and I are going to become, as the kids say, “BFFs.” Translation: Best friends forever.


My husband, Secret Agent Man, was the best guy I ever dated.

That’s why I married him. He fit all the qualifications: tall, tall and tall.

We took a real leap of faith marrying each other. We were pen pals for two years, but only had been together in the same place — the same country, even — for two weeks before we were engaged.

Three short months later we started our life together in a small ranch-style home on a cul-de-sac backed up to the 10 Freeway in Covina, Calif.

Since then we have grown, matured and developed in our rolls/roles as husband and wife. But, he seems to have hogged all the good characteristics for himself.

He’s freaky smart, physically strong, good with money, and now he wants to add funny.

He tries really hard to be funny, almost too hard. If I want to see him fill to the brim with pride, all I have to do is laugh at one of his jokes.

I don’t want him to be funny, though. He got all the other good characteristics. Why can’t he leave good sense of humor for me?

He asks, “But, Honey, can’t we both be funny?”

See what I mean?! Freaky smart, that man is.

No, we can’t both be funny! I’m the funny one in this relationship, and I like it like that.

Don’t misunderstand me. The man has his faults, which I am more than willing to point out.

When he does something I don’t like, he hears:

“My next husband won’t forget to take out the garbage.”

“My next husband will notice when I am wearing something new.”

“My next husband won’t ask me to turn in receipts for a $2 burrito.”

And Secret Agent Man’s response is:

“I gotta meet this guy!”

OK, I give ... he is the funny one.


You have one more shopping day left before Father’s Day.

Still don’t know what to get your father or husband? I suggest food.

Any kind of food, it doesn’t matter. Take him out to dinner. Make him breakfast in bed. Give him a gift card for food. Buy him a deep freezer to hold more food. Get him a T-shirt with food on it.

It doesn’t matter. Men just love food.

I have yet to meet a man that doesn’t like to eat. You can’t go wrong with food.


My father and father-in-law share the same first and middle name.

We didn’t discover this until the day of our wedding.

As if the stars hadn’t already lined up perfectly to bring Secret Agent Man and I together, this was just one more indication that we were, as the kids say, “MFEO.” Translation: Made for each other.

In the beginning of our marriage, I didn’t think my father-in-law liked me very much. He would never look me directly in the eyes. Months later, I found out why.

During a family waterskiing trip to Lake Havasu, my father-in-law told me a story about when they were at the lake before with some friends, his buddy asked him to keep an eye on his water ski. My father-in-law agreed.

When his friend left, my father-in-law proceeded to take out his prosthetic eye and set it on his friend’s ski, like a cherry on top.

When his friend came back, my father-in-law said, “You told me to keep an eye on it, so I did.”

He likes being funny, too.

After he told me that story, I laughed and gave him a big hug, not because I felt sorry for him for being monocular, but because I realized that he never looked directly in my eyes, because he couldn’t, not because he didn’t want to!


Secret Agent Man has never been much for giving gifts. I accept this about him.

There are things that he accepts about me, too. But he’s never tried to kill me before.

Mother’s Day morning, Secret Agent Man lovingly prepared me an omelet.

The following conversation occurred a few minutes after finishing my meal.

Me (looking in the trash can): Why is this lunch meat in the trash?

Him: Because it’s old.

Me: Is that the same ham that was in my omelet?

Him: Maybe.

Me: Did you just give me diarrhea for Mother’s Day?!

Him: We’ll find out in a couple hours.


My dad gave us a real scare back in March.

My phone rang at 3:30 a.m. It was my mom. “Annie, I don’t want you to panic, but the ambulance just took your dad to the hospital.”

Mom was waiting at the door when I got to her house. On the way to hospital she told me that dad woke up with chest pains, numbness in his left arm, and shortness of breath, all the classic signs of a heart attack. He took an aspirin then he woke up my mom.

By 10 a.m., my mom, brother, sister, brother-in-law and I surrounded Dad’s hospital bed. I know it made him uncomfortable to have us all standing around staring at him, but true to form, my dad talked and joked with us to show us that he was going to be OK.

We had just a few minutes to talk to him before they came to take him down for what would be an hourlong procedure.

When the doctor came in the waiting room to tell my mom how the procedure went, she thanked him as if he had just given her 100 Christmas presents with 100 shiny red bows. Dad got a brand new stent in the front of his heart to keep his artery open. We got more time with our dad.

When he came home from the hospital, we all got together to celebrate Dad’s life. We had a “Not-a-Funeral Barbecue.”

Dad had chicken.


I can’t tell you how many times my dad has come to my rescue.

He comforted me when my parakeet died. He took me marathon shopping to five different malls to pick out the perfect prom dress.

He drove to Denver in the middle of the night to pick me up at the airport when I flew home from Puerto Rico having ended my cruise early because I was too pregnant and too seasick to stay on aboard.

Speaking of Denver, the next time you see my dad you’ll have to ask him to tell you the story about how he almost single-handedly saved The Mile High City back in the ’70s.

It will have you, as the kids say, “ROFL.” Translation: Rolling on the floor laughing.

For more on an unpredictable variety of other topics, visit Annie Payne’s “Anniethology” blog online at


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