Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Humor In The Real World

I find it wonderful how a situation can be a source of spontaneous humor and leave at least a few people with a smile that lasts a little while.

Two recent incidents and one from high school come to mind. I would like to share them with you.

The first happened this past Monday as I was doing the grocery shopping. I went to the deli counter to get some cold cuts and took a number from the dispenser. It was number 13. I chuckled to myself. Cursed bologna in my future?

There was another gentleman there who was about my age and he was joking with the clerk and teasing her about staying up late to watch the Red Sox lose another game to the Yankees. The clerk was not happy about her Red Sox. I just tossed in the comment - "Could be worse. You could be a Mets fan!" The three of us had a chuckle at that.

Then the clerk finished with the customer she had and looked up on the board to see what the next number was. 13. She turned to me and asked, "Are you 13?". I started to laugh and replied, "Not in quite a few years!" The other gentleman burst out laughing and said, "Wow! You get carded for buying cold cuts now!?" The three of us were laughing now and a few of the other customers who had heard the exchange joined in the laughter. I got my cold cuts and thanked the lady, shook hands with the gentleman and walked away to finish the shopping. There were 7 people who were still chuckling and had smiles on their faces that would last at least a little while longer. A good start to the day.

A few weeks ago Judy and I went out for an early supper. We went to Friendlies - a local ice cream and burger type restaurant. As we walked in we stopped at the front desk that held the sign that read "Please let us seat you". Promptly a young lady came up to us, looked at me and asked "How many of you are there today?".

I chuckled and said "Just one. And there is one of my wife with me."

The waitress looked puzzled and asked "So there are two of you?"

"Nope just one of me. And, of course, one of my wife."

Then it hit her and she laughed. "OK A table for two then?"

"Yep, that would be fine. Perfect for the two ones of each of us."

She led us to our table. "Your waitress will be here in a moment. Just one of her also," she said with a smile.

I heard her telling a friend of hers about our exchange and the two of them laughing. I have a feeling that story was retold a few times that day.

I just love when a situation blossoms with some spontaneous humor and the smiles and laughter linger for at least a little while in someone's day.

Last night these two little bits of life reminded me of something that happened in high school. We were in Mr. Todd's history class and one of the boys (let's call him John Doe) was acting up. Mr. Todd snapped his pointer down on the desk and glared at John. "Mr. Doe! Stop this nonsense immediately or I will send you to the office for insolence!"

It just blurted out of me. Really, it did. Just lept out before thought could happen. I spoke up and said, "I don't think they have any insolence down in the office." The whole class burst out in laughter. I looked sheepishly at Mr. Todd. He could not hide the smile blooming on his face and he could not contain a burst of laughter either.

A potentially ugly moment turned into laughter and smiles that lasted for the rest of that day and beyond. It was mentioned often for awhile where students (and, yes, teachers) gathered to shoot the breeze. Although Mr. Todd did pull me aside afterward.

"I have two things to say to you. Don't get in the habit of smart-mouthing in class!"

"And the second thing?" I asked.

"It really was a great line!"

A good day!

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