We humans can be pretty serious about life. And, let’s face it, there are many things about which to be serious.
But I think most people will agree that no matter how serious life gets, a good laugh will make you remember there is definitely a lighter side of life that needs to be kept at the surface as much as possible.
So for today’s Week-Ender, I thought it might be fun for PRB readers to share some of the funniest moments in their lives. These are the knee-slapping, side-splitting, laugh-until-you-cry times; those times when you laugh so hard your abs feel like you’ve done 1,000 crunches.
I thought maybe if we could share some laughter right here in PRB Week-Ender, we could help lighten each other’s load, take our nose off the collective grindstone for a minute, and remember that laughter is indeed the best medicine.
So, the doctor is in; in fact, the doctor will start the ball rolling.
I remember one time watching a scene that could have been in a slapstick, sitcom TV show; it still makes me chuckle even though it happened more than…well, let’s just say it happened a few years ago.
I was about 21, living in North Carolina, and working in the carpet industry. A friend and I were at our favorite seafood restaurant, where they had an all-you-could-eat buffet and adult beverages by the pitcher.
We were on our third or fourth helping. I happened to be glancing far across the large restaurant at a hefty young man who was leaning back in one of the restaurant’s wicker-style chairs that featured thin legs and flimsy construction.
He was in an animated but jovial conversation with his buddy and, as he leaned back, he clutched one of those enormous, hard plastic, red water glasses–the ones that hold about a gallon of water or other beverage. I’m not sure exactly what he had in his–I don’t think it was water.
As his discussion got more animated, he began not just leaning back in the chair, but actually rocking back and forth on the back legs, his ginormous water glass clutched in his hand like it was anchoring him to the table.
Behind him, at the next table, just a foot or two away, was a middle-aged woman having an uneventful meal and a quiet discussion with her husband. By contrast to the lively discourse going on at her young neighbor’s table, she was having a nice, peaceful evening out.
Little did she realize her evening was soon to change.
As I watched the young man rocking back and forth in his chair, I still distinctly remember saying to myself, “He’s going to fall over.”
It was as though my thought caused what happened next.
The words were barely out of my mind when I saw the scene unfolding.
The young man was making an exceptionally hilarious remark to his buddy that caused them both to guffaw and him to give just a little harder push back on the chair.
As he felt himself rocking too far back, his balance already shifted too far, he appeared–at least from my clear vantage point across the room–to actually try to grab the super-sized glass as if it were going to keep him from the inevitable fall.
I can still see it. It was so pre-ordained that I actually had time to say to my buddy as I pointed across the room, “Aw, man, check this out” and he cast his eyes in that direction and saw the same thing I did.
As chair-rocking man rocked too far backward and he pulled at the large, red wheelbarrow-sized cup for ballast, two things happened.
First, he actually did keep himself from falling. Maybe it was the cup, maybe it was his youth, but he was able to stop his backward motion.
However, the hand clutching the cup was already airborne and there was no stopping it.
The scene then seemed to go into slow motion. As his body rocked back toward a sitting position, the cup hand continued like a spring in a backward arc.
As the cup reached the top of the arc, he was able to stop it with a jolt as his chair hit the ground.
But the amber liquid in the cup continued on a perfect, high arc. In Olympic terms, it was a perfect 10 arc, high and graceful with perfect foamy form that sparkled in the reflection of the restaurant lights.
At the apex of the arc, the nose of the perfect, tubular, liquid arc started to turn downward–in the direction of the still unsuspecting lady.
My buddy and I could see where this was going–that’s when we started laughing.
It all happened so fast, but now it seems like it took a minute or more.
Red cup man’s chair legs hit the floor, the amber arc reached into the sky, the nose of the arc tipped downward and descended squarely upon the head of the poor, unsuspecting lady in a dazzling display of splashing and screaming.
That’s when my buddy and I lost it. We started laughing and we couldn’t stop–we were apparently the only ones in the restaurant who had actually seen the whole thing go down. People in our immediate vicinity thought we were crazy because they had no idea what had just happened on the other side of the restaurant.
Suffice it to say, we didn’t make any more trips to the buffet that night.
So, I hope this brought at least a smile to your face, if not a chuckle or an all-out belly laugh.
Or, did it bring to mind a funny thing that happened to you? If so, make someone laugh, share it here on Week-Ender!
Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine who also served for 15 years in municipal parks and recreation, is now a full-time photojournalist who lives in Peachtree City, Ga.; he can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.