Older Than Dirt: Comedy of Heirs

Some people just have no sense of humor. When you grow up in a home where the family loves to laugh, maybe you just find more things to be funny.

My Dad had an unusual sense of humor, I think. He seemed to enjoy teasing. There was a time when sister and I were kids that our Dad actually took two pieces of bread and headed for the bird cage! He said there was nothing in the house to eat, so he was going to make a sandwich with our parakeet! Of course sister and I were screaming, but our Dad just thought the whole thing was very FUNNY!

Teasing was just a big part of our Dad's humor. He always enjoyed telling jokes, and often would make up things just to get a reaction out of us. At least he didn't jump out of closets and scare us! Our mother would have probably drawn the line there.

Our parents were actually very bright, considering they had very little education. My Dad was a whiz with crossword puzzles, and the ONLY person I ever knew that could finish the one in the newspaper, every day.

Sarcasm was also something we were raised on. We learned how to dish out sarcasm with the utmost tact. We could cut you to ribbons, without one single curse word. We were all very quick-witted, and it was passed on through generations. We always got a joke, no matter who told it or how badly they screwed up the telling.

Laughter was a very large part of our every day lives. It seemed as though we could all find something funny even in the worst of situations.

I recall when the door handle to our refrigerator broke. My brother and I had often used the handle as a pretend dance partner while learning to dance. Eventually the old thing just snapped off. Being that we were not in a position to fix it or buy a new one, we had to learn to live with it! My mother simply took a kitchen chair and propped it against the refrigerator to keep the door closed.

Since there were the six of us at home, we already were short on chairs. It seemed quite normal for one of us to be sitting in the chair and have to keep getting up so someone could get inside the refrigerator. It was certainly an inconvenience but made for funny story conversation when people came over. If someone said "So, why the chair in front of the refrigerator like that?" We would just say, "We thought everyone kept an extra chair in front of their refrigerator." Then we would all laugh.

I am often reminded of a time many years ago when my oldest brother and I went to a singles beach party in San Diego. We both happened to be single at the time and thought it might be a way to meet other singles. Anyway, there was a man playing a guitar and telling jokes. He was doing a lot of one-liners that had everyone in stitches. Everyone except my brother and I. We just didn't find them to be funny.

This went on for maybe 15 minutes. All of a sudden he hit on one that my brother and I thought was quite a zinger! We burst out laughing, and could not stop. As we looked around at the others, we were the only ones laughing. That, of course, made us laugh even more. The young man playing the guitar said, "I finally got you two, huh?"

When my Dad was going to paint our kitchen, one of our neighbors gave him some yellow paint. Daddy did not realize there was not quite enough to finish the job. The ceiling ended up only partially painted.

A week or two later, someone gave him paint in another color! Daddy thought maybe he would paint just the ceiling with the new color. Well, my mother hated it and said not to do anymore! As it turned out, our kitchen ceiling was painted in three different colors! It stayed that way for at least a couple of years.

Now SOME people might not find humor in this situation. However, we all thought it was funny. Relatives would often come to visit and remark about the ceiling.

"I see you guys are still working on that ceiling, huh?" We just cracked up about it.

The point of these little stories is just to show that not everyone finds the SAME things to be funny. Sadly, some people find NOTHING to be funny. I never kept friends for very long that had no sense of humor. If you can't laugh at yourself and sometimes your friends, who needs it?

When you can connect with a person or group of people who share your sense of humor, life is just funnier for all of you. Always keeping in mind that there is a fine line between being funny and hurting someone's feelings for a laugh.

If you can turn a bad situation into a funny story, more power to you. People already spend enough time NOT laughing.