Off the top of my head (before I crash for the night) I don’t have much in the way of funny stories, but I may have some amusing anecdotes.
Like this: I’ve recently rediscovered my love of The Phantom Of The Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. And like all parents, I love to inflict my hobbies on my children (ages 3 and 5) so I made them watch it. The movie starts out in black and white and the kids were complaining that it was boring because it had no colors. However, when the Phantom’s overture began, their heads whipped around and they were transfixed for nearly the whole movie. More heartwarming than anything, but it makes me glad after having a rough day staring the worst of humanity in the face, to come home and realize that my kids love simple, beautiful things, like music.
If you ARE into the theater thing, especially POTO, then I can direct you to this site:
Also, this site is great. It has stories written by a guy who eventually published them in a compilation and these stories run the gamut from hilarious, thoughtful, insightful, and philosophical. I always drop by here when I need a pick-me-up.
Especially make sure you check out “The Cows! They talk!” and “The Walmart Story”
PTO is amazing! The actual play is even better though. Kids love musicals. I’ve managed to get my rambunctious nephew to sit and watch things like The Labyrinth and Krull. I’ve even taken him to watch the play of PTO. He sat through the whole four hour process and didn’t say a word.
So, this happened back when I was a preteen living out in the country with my mom and my two younger sisters. It was summer and the big, old uninsulated farmhouse was about 120 degrees and stifling in the Missouri heat, so we kids were sleeping on the screened in back porch while mom was stripped to the min and sleeping on top of her bed trying not to broil. Said porch was connected by way of a boardwalk-like breezeway to a rundown tool shed type of building, which was currently being used as a chicken coop, a fact that will shortly become important.
Middle sis was sick. Had a pretty good fever going on, lots of puking and stuff. Yanno, your average flu bug or maybe something she ate. Not serious, but miserable, and had been for a few days.
That night, around 4 am, we’re all bolted awake by the most gawd-awful screeching and walloping and banging around you can imagine. Sounded like Armageddon in a tin can, now with 30% more tortured souls and demons.
Keep in mind that none of us are “quick wakers” by any stretch of the imagination, and we had all been yoinked straight from heat-induced comas to a HOLYCRAPTHEWORLDISENDINGMAKEITSTOP!!! cacophony. To say that we were functionally impaired and disoriented is putting it nicely. It would be more accurate to say that it’s entirely possible that there were Jello molds with more focus and coordination than we were capable of pulling together.
Before I can get myself untangled from my sheet and figure out from which direction Satan and His minion hordes are descending, Mom runs goes bellowing past me and out the back door in all her glory – a good foot and a half of long knotted hair, no teeth, an old stained t-shirt and a pair of men’s tighty-whiteys that were, by this point in their life cycle, neither. (My mom has, shall we say, unorthodox preferences in underwear. She wears Y-fronts because, and I quote “they don’t ride up my ass and there’s a pocket for my snotrag right there in front.”)
As she thunders past, she yells at us kids to get up and help her. I’m still trying to get all my systems online (a process that can take a good hour with caffeine on a full night’s sleep), so I’m stumbling around and running into shit like, yanno, walls. And doors. I think I may have even hit myself in the face with a half-asleep arm. But eventually I managed to get out the door, down the step-off and out to the shed without killing myself. Where I’m promptly greeted by the vision of aforementioned Venus de MyGod backlit by a horrifically bright but randomly flickering flashlight that she’s got pointed up into the far corner of the ceilings. Staring back at me from this cone of electromagnetic fury are two flashing eyes.
Turns out, a raccoon had gotten into the chicken coop and was doing its best impression of a wood chipper with our flock who were, in turn, providing rather apt sound effects for this stunning performance.
So anyway, Mom’s screaming at us to grab the chickens and take them into the house. She’s got the coon cornered with the light, but the battery is going and we need to MOVE OUR ASSES RIGHT NOW SISTER BECAUSE THE MINUTE THIS FLASHLIGHT DIES, THIS THING IS GOING TO TEAR OUR FACES OFF TRYING TO GET BACK OUT THE DOOR. The door that we are all now completely blocking.
Motivation. It works, bitches.
I’d like to take a brief moment at this point to step back and ask if you’ve ever, in your entire life, tried to catch a chicken. On a good day, when the fowl are feeling safe and loved and happy and it’s a brightly lit day and you’ve got a full night’s rest and room to maneuver…IT’S DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH A CHICKEN THAT DOESN’T WANT TO BE CAUGHT. They used to make comic films of just this sort of thing, because the process is just that funny.
Therefore, to catch a predator-harassed chicken who’s just seen a few close kith and kin torn apart mere inches away from them, trapped in an enclosed space, while you’re operating at the functional level of Otis the town drunk on a payday bender, in the pitch dark except for that blindingly bright afterimage in the middle of your vision where you stared into the flashlight – well. I’ll let you fill in those dots, shall I? I’ll just say that we managed to make the Keystone Kops look like the Moscow Ballet on Donor Appreciation Night.
So, here we are, two half-dressed, half-conscious girls running frantically back and forth hurling ourselves after chickens who are now convinced that they’re being attacked by all sides, with Mom standing in the center like Sir George Wyrm-Slayer himself (had he been armed with a fast-failing block-body farm light instead of a lance and had his armorer/squire suffered a sudden and fatal stroke at an unfortunate stage of the dressing process). Every time we finally caught one of the terrorized hens, we’d quarterback them across the breezeway, BAND through the screen door, past my sick sister (thought I’d forgotten about her, didn’t you?), dump the chicken, turn around and BANG back out.
To put the final Boschian nail in the complete and utter surreality of this Dantean kerfluffle, said sick sister was now yelling and crying incoherently and clutching frantically at us as we went by in what appeared to be a total panic. We had no idea what was wrong, but we couldn’t stop until all the hens were rescued. So we just kept going, and she kept getting more and more frantic as we did.
Eventually we got them all safely in the house, just as the flashlight gave out and Mom scarpered her Hanes-clad butt out of the way of the by-now furious coon’s escape path. As we sat panting and decompressing on the porch beds, we were finally able to make out what my poor sister was upset about.
The poor thing was babbling, over and over, “I’m not dead…I’m not dead…please talk to me…I’m not dead…”
Turns out, in her feverish state, she thought we’d all woken up and thought she had died of her sickness in the night, and we were all running around and carrying on in horror and grief over her passing. Only she wasn’t dead, but none of us seemed to hear her or see her reaching out as we went by, no matter how hard she tried to get our attention. Poor thing. Unfortunately, our relief-fueled adrenaline-released laughing spell at her mistake certainly didn’t help.
And thus concludes the true saga of the Feverish Girl and The Killer Coon.
I don’t know if this is funny, but it’s kind of pitiful, and surely that’s the next best thing?
A few months ago, Janine (my partner, girlfriend, enamorata, beloved, etc.) and my 14-year-old son Ethan and I went to Camel’s Hump to hike to the top. As is usual, we had a mess of things going on an didn’t get there until late in the afternoon.
As we started the hike, it was trafficky. There were adults and children alone and in groups, with and without walking sticks, often followed or chased by dogs sniffing happily among the dramatically exposed tree roots along the trail.
As we ascended, the people thinned out. It was getting later, and we stopped overtaking (and being overtook by) people hiking up: everybody was hiking down. Janine’s estimate of a 45-minute push to the top of the mountain wasn’t materializing, probably because we had a Reluctant Hiker with us who wasn’t used to climbing up for some much time at once.
We considered turning around, but we were sure the peak couldn’t be far ahead, and anyway, there was probably plenty of time.
At long last, after seeing just a few hikers trudging swiftly down toward the parking lot, we reached a cloudy area, and in this thick mist we made the final push to the top of the mountain. There we sat and drank water and munched on power bars and enjoyed the view of swirling mists a few yards from our faces.
Finally, we started heading down. We emerged from the clouds to see the sun getting ready to set and stepped up our pace. Through a tunnel of tall pine trees we walked more and more carefully, tripping occasionally on jutting rocks or roots. By the time we came out of the pine trees, still far, far above the parking lot, it was dark. Not silvery moonlight dark, or even pale gray dark, but pitch-black-can’t see-a-damn-thing-dark.
“You know what would have been good to bring?” I said. “A flashlight.”
For about forty minutes we stumbled forward through the dark, holding hands, feeling with our feet, and sliding down off the larger rocks on our butts. We were curious whether we would a) fall down and kill ourselves descending, b) have to call someone and be rescued (and humiliated), or perhaps c) spend the night on the mountain in the cold. None of these options was particularly attractive to us, so we kept creeping forward carefully.
It was Janine, I think, who finally thought of the solution: my cell phone. Hers had been left at home, and at the time Ethan didn’t have one. Mine has a 1.25″x1.75″ screen that lights up for 10 seconds at a time when you push a button, then considerately goes dark to save power. When I held it up with the screen facing out, it served as a weak, inconvenient, uncomfortable flashlight.
We were deliriously happy.
Progress from there was faster. I went in front, lighting the ground at my feet by pushing the down button on my phone every 10 seconds, then turning and lighting the ground for Janine and Ethan to follow. Along the way I, and sometimes Janine or Ethan, would call out “step up right! root! slippery left!” We verbally mapped out thousands of tiny obstacles on that trail that night. I doubt so thorough a treatment of the trail has ever been devised before.
Later, as we got more and more exhausted, we instead tried clumping together and moving forward continuously, with me still pressing the down button every 10 seconds. Throughout the evening there was a lot of swearing. Emerging into the parking lot at long last, we stood swaying in exhaustion and stupefaction at the level ground, the brilliance of a nearby streetlight, and the car sitting there patiently, alone in the lot.
My family was watching a TV show from back in the day – Flash Gordon (which I think would be right up your alley). The episode was when Emperor Ming the Merciless had “The Purple Deathray From Mars”. Every time Ming the Merciless would use his Deathray, my sister would eerily get nauseous. Weird how that worked.
My husband and I were visiting Scotland some years ago, and the ancestral isle of my mother’s family was on our list. Barra is the westernmost of the Outer Hebrides; it’s 8 miles by 6 when the tide’s out.
That’s also when it has air service, by the way. The plane lands on the beach. We chose to take the ferry out from Oban.
Many ferry lines run through Oban. At about the right time for our ferry, one pulled up to the right dock. In a broad Scots accent, a man’s voice said something about “Boat a Barra”.
We got on and paid. Hmm, that was an awful lot of change returned for two tickets for a trip that would take 6 hours.
Ah. That announcement had been telling people that this was *not* the boat to Barra.
We got off at Mull, where the kindly harbor master drove us across the island to a very small dock where we could catch another, smaller ferry. It took us across a short stretch of water and left us at a wide place in a narrow road.
Towing our luggage behind us (the photo of Robert with small, overloaded cart has mysteriously vanished) we trudged up the road to another pier. The boat we should have caught would stop there if-and-only-if someone raised the flag to tell it to do so.
Oops. The piermaster was out on his own wee boatie fishing. He had the only key to the cupboard in which the signal flag was kept.
The boat we should have caught was in sight, proceeding straight along its route with no sign of veering over to our little pier.
Robert is an innovative man, a physicist and a thinker. Obviously, what we needed was a signal.
He took my large umbrella (never visit Britain without one) unfurled it to show its bright red, blue, green and yellow panels (don’t want to get run into when walking in the fog)went out to the end of the pier and waved the umbrella in wide swoops.
The boat made an abrupt turn. The piermaster did show up, just as the boat stopped for us. He raised the flag.
The person we’ve had living in our guest room for the past four months is moving on. She’s found a place of her own that’s better suited to her needs, and we’re very happy for her, just as we were happy to be able to help her out when she needed it.
The reason this is good news is that it means our guest room will likely be free and available when you’ve a convergence of time and need and want to bop down this way and decompress.