By Brent Davis
Finding humor in situations that aren’t necessarily meant to induce laughter often times will bring forth heartfelt chuckles. This is not a task easily mastered. An individual must first possess a sense of humor slightly off center.
It is a skill that can be nurtured, but is most effective when it is gifted by heredity.
I do my best to hone this skill, but it is a work in progress. There have been several instances lately where practice has resulted in at least a giggle for me.
I will recount several of the experiences now. Names and situations may or may not be altered via dramatic license in order to protect those who may otherwise be embarrassed by their unknowing participation.
I attended a gathering recently in which a silent auction was part of the festivities.
A wide array of items from a cake to paintings to gift certificates from local merchants was available for bidding. One item in particular caught my attention. On the table before me was a large rubber container normally used for storage. The lid was off the box and inside were items including a flashlight, small games, a blanket, bottled water and other necessities to use in the event of an extended power outage.
Given our county’s recent struggle with such an outage, I thought this would be a popular item for bidding. The bid sheet was laid out next to the bucket. Indeed, bidders were eager to claim the prize. At this moment, I noticed the sponsor of the item - a company that supplies electric power to areas of the county. I smiled and laughed right there on the spot. I’m not sure anyone else understood my actions. I explained the situation to my wife, Laura, later that evening when I came home from the event. I waited for the laughter.
Here is what she said. “That’s a great prize. You should have bid on it.” My mouth open, I struggled to understand her failure to find the irony of the situation. I responded, “Think of the message it sends. ‘Hi. We are your electricity provider. Your power will go out. Here are some things to do while you wait.’ Get it?”
Crickets chirped. Time stood still. I was alone in looney land. I see her point.
I will give her credit. She is the first to laugh at those moments when her words get jumbled and the message she intended bears no resemblance to those that she meant. Her infamous statement during a meeting at work when she said someone was “shooting from the rear” instead of “the hip” is legendary.
We were shopping for the weekly groceries and as we pushed the cart passed the health and beauty section, we both noticed a young woman who had positioned herself near the bottom shelf to compare items. Unfortunately for her, the bottom hem of her shirt was not of sufficient length to reach the waistline of her pants. With as much stealth as she could muster, Laura leaned over to me and with an attempt at ventriloquism, she said “I see China. I see Japan.”
I do not have the strength of self-control to hold at bay my laughter in such situations. I broke into laughter without conscious effort. Laura joined me in the chuckle, but not for the same reason. She thought I was laughing along with it, not at her.
“Bless your heart.” I said to her. “It’s ‘I see London. I see France.’” The moment presented her the opportunity to laugh at herself once again and, as expected, she did. What a great quality to have.
The world would be a better place if this were contagious.
Brent Davis is editor of the Saline Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .View more articles in: