I’m following up on a previous post on the meaning of home and how laughter helps define it, and on another post on the science behind the benefits of laughing. Here’s an example, one of many, of how the weekly round table of six friends who meet at our local pub, drove, in less than a minute, a perfectly good conversational topic right over the cliffs of merriment:
Me, ending a story: “So there we were, everyone was trying to carry canoes and packs over the portage, we were slapping mosquitoes left and right, and they—the mosquitoes, not us—were dropping like flies, but…”
Jim H: “Has anyone ever actually seen a fly drop?”
Carol: “Sure, I find them laying on the windowsill all the time.”
Jim H: “Yeah, but they’ve already dropped by then. Did you see them drop?”
Everyone but Jim H: “Hmm.”
Carol: “You always find them laying on their backs.”
Oscar: “I wonder how they manage to flip over right at the end. It’s good of them to do that.”
Me: “Maybe on the way down one of them squeals to the others, ‘Tits up, everyone!’”
Jim H: “But you haven’t actually seen a fly drop, right?”
Jim T: “Well, has anyone ever seen a baby pigeon?”
Jim T: “You only see adult pigeons, right?”
Everyone: “Um, well…”
Jim T: “And do you know why pigeons are cement colored? Because they nest under bridges.”
Me: “What? You mean baby pigeons are made of cement?”
Jim T: “You’ve never seen a baby pigeon flying, have you?”
Oscar: “I heard pigeons are a cross between a budgerigar and a rat.”
Me: “Oh great, now they’ll be dropping like rats.”
Carol: “I’m getting my umbrella.”
One recent fine Saturday, some members of this august group failed to show up at the weekly meeting because they were *gasp* out sailing. Emails started flying like cement pigeons.
Bill: Sorry I couldn’t make it. I docked too late and couldn’t find a parking spot within reason.
Note to group for future discussion: Where is reason, and how does one park within it?
Jim T: Couldn’t make it either. Took a while to wrap up the boat.
Note to group for future discussion: Wrap up the boat? How long has Jim T been apprenticed to the artist Christo?
Me: You guys missed some truly fine cannibal jokes.
Jim T: That’s alright. I already have too much on my plate.
Bill: I would have given my right arm to have heard those jokes.
Me: It’s okay, neither of you are in hot water.
Oscar: Oh Karen, you’re just trying to stir up something.
Me: I’ve always stewed over stuff like this.
Jim T: They’re just pulling our leg, Bill.
Me: At least we’re not giving you the cold shoulder.
Bill: I can’t take a steady diet of this.
Jim T: Agreed. I can’t take much more of this half-baked ribbing either.
Me: Well I’m full. Can’t eat another mortal.
Jim H: If I ever hear that any of you are having friends over for dinner I’m going to have to think twice.
Note to group for future discussion: At our next potluck should cannibal jokes be banned?
Note to readers: Sometimes, just having a good time with your friends is reason enough to pull away from the dismal or dystopic, and just laugh for the sheer goofy pleasure of it.