Seven (Possibly Inappropriate) Stories That Still Make Me Laugh
Updated: May 22
All my life punchlines have jumped out of unexpected places with predictable results: uncontrollable laughter. Sometimes involving wet pants.
A small sampling:
1. I was supposed to be guiding my temporarily blinded husband to the ophthalmology* clinic post-surgery and got distracted tucking the parking lot ticket into my overcrowded purse. I walked him into a tree.
'You, uh, busy?' Keith asked from between the branches.
I had to take a knee, then wear my purse around my waist like a Victorian bustle as we made our way through the hospital where he was a patient. And is also employed.
2. There was the time when, to the consternation of one of my daughters, I used a long scarf as an afghan, carefully draping the umber material over the sofa for its cozy autumn aesthetic.
'That's just weird,' Maggie remarked right before the Thanksgiving guests arrived.
'No, it's not,' I retorted.
After dinner a nephew tried to use the faux blanket for warmth, growing perplexed at the narrow width. My daughter gave me an arch look and the whole extended family knew why I had to crabwalk up the stairs.
3. In college a seat-mate leaned over and drew a line through the middle of my open notebook, listing the boys in the class on the left, then sketching a cascade of diverse penises down the other. 'Your assignment', she whispered, 'is to match Column A to Column B.' I had to abandon my belongings. Also, I didn't even know her that well.
4. In the same juvenile vein, I was with my daughter at a doctor's appointment when the earnest specialist began counseling her about osteo-pee-nia, a bone weakening side effect from a medication. It was obviously concerning but the way the straight laced physician pronounced it sounded X-ra(y)ted. I studied my shoes. Emily noticed. 'Osteo-what?' she kept asking.
5. I was visiting my mom after her TIA (which is somehow short for Minor Stroke) when a stopwatch-carrying speech pathologist marched in to perform some cognitive test. 'You have one minute to come up with as many words that start with the letter F as you can. Go!'
I knew exactly where that was heading and charged into the bathroom, turning on both the fan and the faucet
-- but still heard my mother conjugate 'fuck' like the English professor she was. I'm pretty sure if I had emerged from the lavatory the medical professional would have insisted on examining me too. (Apparently there's an actual medical term for too hard laughter.)
(I refuse to go there.)
6. Another time I was at Barnes and Noble with a friend. She handed me a book by David Sedaris open to Big Boy to read. The essay described his panicky-discovery in the powder room at a holiday brunch. I so sympathized with the heinous predicament caused by not wanting to be blamed for the unflushable souvenir-- that tears skied down my face and I knocked into a shelf while trying to cross my legs.
7. More recently, I was regaling the grandchildren (which is one of the great things about having them -- a fresh audience) about my college days. It was a very exciting story but rather than hanging on my every word they were regarding Keith, who was making fun of me, swishing his arms, pantomiming the (familiar to him) narrative about being escorted to class by ski patrol. I don't know whether or not the shocking betrayal within the grandparental-unit had anything to with the aforementioned mishap at the ophthalmologist's. But it doesn't matter.
I still wet the couch.
*What's with the spelling?