What’s So Funny?

Posted on October 28, 2010


This is a picture I drew  from a photo of two of my kids and their cousin laughing it up in Grandma’s back yard. It was taken about 15 yrs. ago.

I don’t just like to laugh. I want be stopped dead in my tracks laughing so hard I can’t stand up. So hard that I can’t retell what got me there because I’m crying out words with tears streaming down my face. I was just thinking that I must be either very stressed or very simple-minded. I love when something someone says or does just doesn’t fit with what you expect to be happening or  to hear. You can’t predict when it’ll happen. That’s the other fun part. My husband said he and his brothers had an episode at a relative’s funeral once!  Anyways, I thank God, literally, for laughter. For me it’s the best medicine.

One of my favorite laugh attacks happened outside a restaurant, in the parking lot. There were three of us, me, my sister Kathy, and our mutual best friend Lisa. Lisa had picked us up from work and we were going out to dinner together as we often did. Kathy and I sat in the back seat. Lisa drove. We got to Tony Roma’s and got out,  tired and hungry. But, boy! Did I wake up fast. I stopped suddenly and tried to breath. Lisa said,”Betsy! What? What’s wrong?!” When the words wouldn’t come out I knew I was in trouble. “What Betsy?” she begged again. “Guys! Come on! What’s the matter?” Kathy demanded. All I could do was point. Then Lisa saw it. Kathy didn’t. She just wanted to get inside, sit down and order some dinner. But I’ll never forget the sight walking in front of me. Kathy had sat on one of her high-heeled shoes when she’d changed in the car. And it was bumming a ride in her back pocket. It just didn’t look right. It looked like the shoe was alive. If you know what I mean? Kathy kept walking inside. As far as she was concerned we were being ridiculous. She felt left out of some stupid joke that we weren’t going to let her in on. Lisa and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t stop her to tell her what was wrong. I think she finally looked down and took the shoe out, returning it either to the car or her purse. I wasn’t paying attention. I was a mess. So was Lisa. The rest of the night was a blur. The waitress and Kathy weren’t amused. But the madder she got the funnier it was. I tried to refocus on something, anything. But then the image of the shoe in her pocket with her walking so nonchalantly in the parking lot, the shoe swinging this way and that,  kept popping up without warning. She never laughed about it. Never forgave me for laughing all through dinner. Thank you Lisa for sharing in that moment so that I’ll always have someone else to relive it with.  And, sorry Kathy! But, thank you. too!

Then there’s the time my mother-in-law and sister-in-law went shopping. I was told this story only once so I hope I get it right. It was nightime. It was probably winter because I know that chapstick was involved. As they prepared to leave the car my mother-in-law applied some chapstick around and around and around her lips. As they were headed to the store, walking past other shoppers in the parking lot they did a little small talk as people do to fill empty space. After one comment my sister-in-law looked quickly at her mother to acknowledge her. She abruptly stopped, grabbed her by the arm and said quietly, but firmly, “Mum. Stop. Don’t look at anyone. Just get back to the car. Now!” I can imagine the shock on my mother-in-law’s face and the nervous looks she must’ve given, eyebrows raised, obediently putting her head down, wondering what could be the matter.” Turns out she had mistakenly grabbed her red lipstick instead of her chapstick and had done a very good job creating a red clown’s mouth as she applied the lipstick thinking it was invisible!”

It’s 4:45 am and I can’t write anymore! But if you have a funny story to tell me please share it if you have the time. I know how busy we all are. But I thrive on the laughter produced from these small unexpected events. I know there is laughter in heaven, and God tells the best jokes. I also know that He wants us to laugh at ourselves and the crazy things that happen. He knows how good it is for us, and that sometimes there’s nothing more you can do but laugh…or cry. But the two mixed together are good, too!

Thanks for listening!


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