FUNNY STORIES, Dear to My Heart

An anecdote is a funny little story; an antidote counteracts poison, you can decide about these!  [In no particular order].


John’s Mom, his son and two of his sisters came south for a visit, particularly so his Mom could visit where we had moved. Living in a bus for two, we rented a nice woodsy cabin that would accommodate all, for the duration of their visit. John was a tour guide in a previous lifetime. He can spiel with the best of them and he wanted to show off the woods and waterfalls that abound, so he was running the ‘tour’ while I organized the food brigade.  John’s Mom was using a walker by that time and our forest paths were out of the question, but one really great waterfall was visible from the blacktop road with lots of easy parking. It was in Tellico Plains, TN. It might have been an hour ride by major roads, but taking the ‘scenic’ drive was every bit of two hours.  No one was antsy, but we had seen most of the Appalachian trees of the south by the time we were within a couple miles of Tellico Plains.  Seeing what looked like smoke ahead, we rounded a rural corner to find a vehicle in flames in the road.  Stopping was our only option.  We could see that no one was hurt, one other car was pulled off and assisting and so we waited. And waited. And waited.  Finally emergency personnel began to arrive, donning gear from their trunks and mostly watching the vehicle become engulfed.  After what seemed an extreme amount of time, a fire truck came to save the day.  We commented that the firetruck seemed to take far longer than expected to arrive, when John’s sister quipped, “well, look how long it took us!”


When I heard that Donald was in the nursing home for rehab, I talked with him on the phone to see ‘what happened’.  At first he said he was having trouble with words. He couldn’t remember words and was a bit confused. In reality, he had mixed up his medications and fallen and now they were getting him back on track.   [A note for any oldster or care giver, too many meds, are ridiculously confusing. Find a pharmacy that will do “pill packs”.  For an extra $10. or so, they will package prescriptions into packs for AM<NOON>PM.  No more endless and hard-to-open bottles that lead to confusion. We loved Axline Pharmacy in Bloomington for this service.] Back to my story, I told Donald I would leave for Illinois the next day.  Wanting to take some sort of gift to him, I went to the local DG and bought a package of recipe cards and a pretty gold gift box to hold them. At home, I cut the cards in half and using black marker, wrote a word on the back of each card.  Any word that came to mind – random, uncomfortable, interview, Sinorak, dishtowel, artificial, masterful etc. etc. etc.  When I got to the nursing home the next day, I gave Donald his gift box. He wanted to know what it was. I said I brought you a box of words. When you have trouble with a word or forget, you can just reach in and pick a word.  He had a great sense of humor and showed off his ‘words’ to the staff.  When he was released a few days later, he left the box for the therapy department.


Another time I got a call in Georgia that Donald was back in the hospital. They had installed a pacemaker.  [This set the example to follow, a couple years later, when my John also had one installed – if Donald can do this, so can you].  Not wanting to visit the hospital with no gift and knowing full well there isn’t a damn thing Donald ‘needs’,  I went again to DG and found a lantern battery, the big square 6 inch long battery and a card.  When I gave it to Donald at the hospital, I told him if his pacemaker battery failed, he would need to have a replacement at home and handy!  [For John, I just reminded him that I could provide if he needed.]


Many, Many years ago, when games were becoming popular to play on the computer, I got a Disney game for Baby Hannah to play on our computer. She was maybe 2, so just a few minutes of play was always enough.  John’s oldest son, had a youngster and he was a kid at heart, himself, so he had told John about some game or other that he had for his computer.  John decided he needed a game, too. He found a “big-game-hunting” DVD at Walmart. I don’t remember all you could hunt on this game, but he was pretty excited and got right to it at home. The setup was much more lengthy than he expected. He had to choose everything you would need to go on a full scale hunt; Weapons, camping gear, ammo [kind and how many], travel gear, clothing and of course, your intended game species; bear, elk, Dahl sheep, buffalo etc.  As a tour guide, John feels confident, as a mechanic, he excels, on the computer – not good, not good, NOT good.  After spending far too long on the setup, he then has to master which keys trigger [pardon the pun] what responses during the game play.  Finally, the hunt commences and he hits a few keys, there are some noises and a gun fires and the game responds “you are not supposed to shoot your horse!”  Through peals of laughter on my part, John boxed up the game and it was returned to Walmart.


Years ago, when Travis was a baby younger than one, and showers instead of baths hadn’t come into vogue, his Dad filled the tub for a bath one evening and suggested I bring Travis in for a bath with him.  I was in the kitchen on supper detail when I heard loudly “son-of-a-b…..”, then Travis crying.  Running in  I met with this picture – Travis’ Dad was standing in the tub looking mad, with a crying Travis held out in front of him, water dripping off both of them.  Travis had pooped in the tub. There it floated as they stood.  Taking it all in, I could hardly breath for the gails of laughter I couldn’t suppress. No more sharing baths ever again…..but so worth my idea of GREAT humor!


When my daughter was about 6 or 7, at supper one evening we were talking about my Dad.  He had died when she was just 14 months old and she wanted to know if he “knew her”.  We assured her that he DID know her and Travis.  Then she wanted to know how old he was when he died.  I said he was 47 and her Dad said “No, remember he was 46 when he died, because we buried him on his 47th birthday.”  Misty’s reply to that, “You mean you kept him that long”.  Gales of laughter from everyone, but her!


I  had a hair appointment one summer day and took Misty with me to the salon in Armington.  All the time that Bonnie was trimming my hair, Misty was critiquing that she didn’t like my hair, as only a probably 9 or 10 yr old can do.  On the way home, though, she seemed to change her mind.  “I do like your hair”, she said, “It makes you look like that girl on TV”.  [One of my favorite beauty shop lines when asked how I want my hair cut is just to say, “Make me look like a movie star, I’ll be happy”.]  So now, I‘ve gone from not so good to looking like a movie star. Woo Hoo!  “Which star, Misty”?  She says, “That girl on Facts of Life, Blair’s cousin”.  At that time, a young girl with cerebral palsy is playing Blair’s cousin with cerebral palsy.  So, I have gone from not looking good to looking like a girl with cerebral palsy and I am hysterical with laughter – the tears-running-down-my-face laughter.  Then Misty is crying because I am laughing so hard [at her, she thinks – true]  Needless to say, arriving home, both of us in tears, was priceless!


When my two farm youngsters were about 10/11 and 13/14, public TV previewed an upcoming show on human childbirth.  I thought it would be something they needed to watch – educational, a tad bit different than rabbits, pigs, cows  – you know, good for them!  They resisted and I insisted.  I was thinking …. Well, I wasn’t thinking, really!  I didn’t expect the program to begin with discussion of birth control options.  Things were terribly quiet as we watched together. Things covered in this first segment included among other things, mention of a diaphragm.   After several minutes had passed, Misty casually asked if “a diet plan will really keep you from getting pregnant”.     Parental FAIL AND FUNNY!!!!


Travis was maybe in 7th grade and he had a crush on a leggy, long haired blond a year ahead. She belonged to a neighborhood, long-time farm family. They may have thought of our family as farmer wannabies [we were] or maybe I just felt a little inferior to their community standing. Travis informed me he wanted to get his “friend” a birthday card and that evening was awards night at the school, so he could give it to her then.  I gave it no thought and waited in our car while he went in the store to get his card. Later that evening, at the awards event, Trav presented her with his card. She opened it and shared with her folks. Just not sure what they thought of my son and his sense of humor.  The card read: When I realized I’d forgotten your birthday, [and inside ] a guy balancing a stack of desk drawers, it continued: I almost dropped my drawers. Travis.  They were certainly a bit surprised and I knew where his humor gene came from!



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