On this the 23rd of October in the year of our Lord 1952, Joseph Victor Jobes was born in the small town of Ocean Falls in British Columbia. For 39 of his 56 years, Joseph Jobes has lived with me. In celebration of Joe's birthday today, I give you, 10 facts about Joe that you probably don't know.
1) Beyond having somewhat bad knees, Joe's primary diagnosis is that he has a disability in the understanding of pop culture. If he could organize life his own way, he'd only ever listen to classical music - he doesn't understand the difference between pop, rock or alternative. It's all just noise to him.
2) Joe has a disability antenna that's just as finely tuned as my own. If someone says the 'r' word in a television show or movie he let's out an audible harrumph and looks at me like I'm supposed to personally seek out and bitch slap the actor or actress who used the offensive language.
3) Scenes really bother Joe. He usually just wants me to stay calm and be polite in the face of circumstances that I plan to be anything but calm and polite. However, when someone sets him off, he sees me like a personal pit bull and he'll give me 'the nod' which means - 'go get'm'.
4) Joe's difficulty with being culturally out of step goes far beyond his thinking that Coldplay is tossing snowballs in winter. He also thinks that slapstick is a genius form of comedy. He can be reduced to tears by a pratfall. Poor dear.
5) When Joe gets tipsy, his sense of humour becomes incredibly ideosyncratic. He tells jokes that only he gets. Then when everyone looks at him with confusion, he gets the Jobes family, 'what's wrong with the rest of you' look on his face.
6) He won't admit it, and you'd never guess it if you met the two of us, but Joe has a quicker temper than I do. His eyes flash and his tone changes, it's lightening quick. He's got everyone fooled though. His quick laugh and gentle manner, which is his public face, leads people to think that he's the long suffering partner of a curmudgeon like me. Not so, people, not so.
7) When I give my lectures, I tell at least one story a day that has a private joke in it, meant only for Joe's ears and that I know only Joe will get. It's my way of acknowleging him, personally, during a day when we are surrounded by other people.
8) Joe likes to think he is handy. He owns an electric drill. When he gets to use it, he struts around like a lesbian on a construction site. But in fact, like me, he is pretty inept with home repair. He's getting better at assembling things that come in kits, however.
9) Most people who know us are surprised to learn that Joe's last name is Jobes - not 'and Dave'. We've been together for so long that he's Joe 'and Dave' and I'm Dave 'and Joe'. I like that.
10) After 39 years of living together, Joe can still surprise me with an insight, delight me with a joke, inspire me with courage. I'm a truly lucky man.
So please, Fatters all, join me in wishing Joe the best birthday that it's possible for a dignified man of 56 (a year older than me) to have.