Take off those blinders!

Previously, I have mentioned how important it is to laugh and how easily this can happen if you pay attention to what’s around you. No other effort required. Doing so can transport you from a lousy mood into a buoyant one in no time flat, I promise. You don’t even need to catch the entire conversation—it’s actually more fun if you don’t, because then you can fill in the blanks.


A few Fridays ago, I was sitting at the bar of a local restaurant we’ve fondly re-named The Cheap and Cheerful, waiting out my father’s 55th high school reunion dinner which was taking place back at home. Positioning myself at the end of the bar, against the wall, allowed me to survey as many different groups of people as possible. After ordering a glass of wine, I sat back, watched and listened.


There was the old man sitting next to me, sipping Johnny Walker Black Label and wearing a red t-shirt which loudly proclaimed, “Poop Deck 2011.”  Apparently a regular, he insisted that both flat screens be tuned to the Golf Channel since it was too much effort to turn his head to the right. Then, there was the young, preppy couple who (regrettably for them) recognized me and waved me over. I had the lack of diplomacy to exchange greetings and then spontaneously share an amusing yet shocking story about the wife’s mother. That will, undoubtedly, be a short lived friendship. And then, my most favorite of activities, is to eavesdrop on a long, intense conversation about which I have no context. The following is a verbatim transcription of pieces of conversation between two local hospital employees while noshing on wine and fried cheese sticks —entertain yourself with the following:


The phone rings. “Hi, Mom! I’m still at work with a colleague but can talk for a sec. I’ll call you as soon as I leave my mtg. Luv you!”

–“I didn’t adapt well.”

–“Number 1. I would never have an inappropriate conversation and Number 2. It wasn’t inappropriate.”

–“You are so far past that, give it up.”

–“Is this before you committed the mortal sin?”

–“Here’s the dif: next year is all about self-preservation.”

–“I understand, I understand!”


Any one of these lines is amusing enough, but taken together in this animated and supportive exchange, well, don’t you wonder just what the inappropriate conversation was? And what about that mortal sin? Good to know that next year is all about self-preservation—forewarned is forearmed, my friends.


This stuff is all around us all the time, 24/7, you just have to watch for it. People are hilarious. Truth is so much stranger than fiction and it’s right outside your doorstep, just waiting for you to recognize it! My assignment to you is this: I want you to go out, put on your metaphorical binoculars, and look. After you look, figure out what’s amusing about what you’re seeing/hearing. Fill in the blanks. If you’re really stuck to find something funny, ask yourself: how would Saturday Night Live present this in a skit? Repeat as necessary. Report back. (I grade on a curve.)


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