Let me set the scene. Seventh grade. Twelve years old. Just rode home from school—a five-mile ride… up an overpass. Both ways. Okay, not that last part. Just one way, but the rest…
So, overheated but not perspiring (because that part of my body didn’t work very well… still doesn’t), I dragged myself up the first half dozen steps, my backpack bouncing on each step behind me. Right flank rudder. Turn again.
The moment my foot touched the next step on the two-tiered flight of stairs to my room, I heard Mom call out. “Chautona…”
Did I sag in frustration? Probably. But only because Mom couldn’t see it. Look, I was tired and grumpy, but I wasn’t stupid. So, hanging over the railing, I peered down to find Mom seated in her corner of the couch. A cigarette sent wispy tendrils of smoke beside her. She took a puff before picking up her crocheting. It was a doily, I think—probably the one with a hook that, a month or so later, wound up embedded in my foot as I tried to oil the phonograph.
I digress. Wrong story.
I did what any respectful, has-the-fear-of-God-Mom-Dad-the-Medes-and-the-Persians-in-her daughter would do. I said, “Yeah?”
She didn’t even look up from her crocheting. Chain two—double crochet. Double-treble. That should have been a warning right there. I tried again. “Mom?”
“Did you know that prostitutes are undercover agents?”
I blinked. I’ll admit it right here and right now. I didn’t really know what a prostitute was. She was a woman of loose morals—a criminal in our state, actually. I couldn’t figure out what Mom meant. Then I saw it. The faintest twitch in the corner of her deadpan, not-even-looking-up-at-me expression. So, I laughed.
I was twelve, remember.
A decade or so later, I remembered that day. Finally got the joke. Couldn’t stop laughing.
And that’s how Mom’s humor works. It’s always a play on words, and it is always subtle. Much like my son’s humor. I guess that’s where he got it. And when my dad gets involved… Watch out!
Don’t believe me?
I’ll set the scene again. SW Missouri. An abandoned graveyard. To the left, a grove of trees, and nestled in it is a crumbling, battered, old, one-room schoolhouse.
After peering in the broken, half-boarded windows and such, they headed back to the car—right past the graveyard.
Mom sighs. It’s one of those, “Life is just amazing, isn’t it?” sighs. Dad sends her a questioning glance. In this, Mom and I are a lot alike. Her inner Anne Shirley emerges.
Look, it doesn’t happen often. She’s not really much of a romantic—even less than me. But she shakes her head and says, “I bet there’s a lot of history in there…”
Without blinking, without hesitation, cool as a cucumber in December, Dad quips, “Carole, they’re all history in there.”
As you can see, I come by it honestly. So… here we are:
3 sure fire things that always make me laugh.
Plays on words—particularly my mom’s. Ya gotta love them. Which is pretty good, because my husband is a pun-making machine!
*note: links in this post may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. They will not, however, contain puny jokes or any further references to the “world’s oldest profession.” I’ve endured about enough of those in my life. Yes. All one of them. Ahem.
Of course, not all things that make me laugh amuse others—like my husband. He doesn’t usually like the next item up for chuckles. But a comedy of errors—even if I’m the only one who finds it funny—love those.
The Havig kitchen. A chaotic place at mealtimes. I chop zucchini, some kid dashes through on her way to “the annex.” (Our sometimes-term for the detached garage-turned-bedroom.) She bumps the corner of the cutting board.
Zucchini confetti rains down on an already dirty floor.
Okay, I’ll admit it. Inwardly, I snarl. Outwardly, I grab a colander and start picking them up. The kid apologizes. But, to keep my spirit sweet, or at least no snarly, I wave her on.
A bestekid ambles through the room with a cupful of apple juice. She stumbles. I get an organic, all-natural hair rinse, and our zucchini enjoys a nice desert sand and apple juice marinade. But before I can even respond… that first daughter who caused the shower of zucchini? She dashes in, whacking my head with the door.
I crack up. Sorry, but that’s just funny right there. It’s an advertisement for Murphy’s Law or something.
Ever see this commercial?
But, since Mom doesn’t live nearby (so I have to content myself with memories of the glory days of life at home), and because a steady supply of one disaster after another would send my husband into irreparable mental illness, I have to content myself with the third thing that gives me my favorite kind of workout—inner jogging.
My grandsons’ belly laughs. Both of them have laughter that’ll take you from ready to rip out your hair to a six-pack in thirty-five point six seconds. Inner jogging may never make it as a workout craze, but that’s only because there’s no money in it. But ain’t they cute?
Oh, wait. Those are called comedy houses. They already exist. Drat.
What do you think? Can I create “Inner Jogging” rooms and become the next millionaire? Think Shark Tank’ll back me? Maybe Kickstarter?