Let me make it very clear right up front that I am in favor of as many “ha ha moments” as possible. I could not get through a week without my daily dose. I firmly believe that laughter is the appropriate medicine for the soul. Some people, according to their demeanor, need a little more laughter than they are presently getting.
That said, let me quickly point out that some things are not funny.
Of course, most things in my life and about my person are marvelous targets of humor. I do not take myself very seriously. I am not sure any wise person would take me seriously either. In fact, I would highly suspect a person who took me seriously. I can take a joke as well as the next person and I can give it back as well as the next person.
I have had some weeks that if it was not for a little bit of humor I do not know how I would have gotten through. So, if you can’t do anything you can at least laugh. I firmly believe that the best laugh is when you can laugh at yourself. You might as well laugh at yourself, everybody else is.
Then, there are those serious moments in life that beg for no laughing. I would recommend that warning signs are put around these areas reading, “Positively No Laughing Zone.” With this sign should come a severe penalty for those who violate it.
That said; let me explain an area in my life where the sign should be permanently erected.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were having supper with another couple. We try to do this at least once a month and keep up with each other’s progress or lack thereof.
We were having a great meal and as we came to the end, I stopped the waitress and said, “I would like some ice cream for dessert.” As far as I am concerned, that is a rather reasonable request and quite in keeping with the environment I was in.
“What kind of ice cream,” she queried, “would you like?”
When it comes to ice cream, ice cream is simply ice cream to me. If there is a flavor of ice cream I do not like, it has yet to be invented. I love ice cream. My favorite song is, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” In my date book, there is no better ending to a wonderful meal than ice cream.
I remember my grandfather’s favorite ice cream was vanilla. He would not eat any other ice cream; he thought they were polluting it with colors. To him an ice cream sundae was as close to blaspheme as he ever would get. “Why ruin,” he objected, “the ice cream with all that slop?” He wanted nothing coming between him and the purest experience of ice cream he could get.
Me, I love ice cream regardless of the flavor or color or “slop.”
I looked at the waitress and simply said, “I don’t care what flavor you bring me. Surprise me. As long as it isn’t broccoli.” That was supposed to be a joke. Ha ha ha.
As the waitress left our table, we resumed our conversation and shortly she returned with the ice cream.
Upon her arrival, I looked at her and then the ice cream she was bringing and almost screamed aloud. Of all the blasphemous things to do to a customer, this has to take the cake.
First, she had an ice cream bowl with three scoops of ice cream, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. No problem. However, on the side of the dish in plain view for everybody to see, especially me, was a piece of broccoli. Broccoli! The forbidden fruit or whatever it is.
My dining companions thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen. Particularly, the dining companion that was going to come home with me that night.
Not only did they laugh. The waitress laughed. The table next to us began to laugh. The table next to them began to laugh. It was not long before everybody within 173 miles was laughing at my ice cream/broccoli dessert.
Actually, not everybody was laughing. I was not laughing. Broccoli, no matter the presentation, is no laughing matter in my book.
If matters could not be worse, my wife, through her hilarity spasms, reached over, picked up the broccoli and began eating it in my presence. Talk about adding insult to injury, my injury was vastly insulted.
I may have been smiling on the outside, but I assure you I was more than frowning on the inside. Some things are funny; broccoli is not one of those things.
Driving home amid the muffled chuckles on the other side of the front seat, I thought of what the apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV), “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I know that when Paul said, “In every thing,” it included things like broccoli. I must say that there are some things in life, like broccoli, where the thanksgiving is a matter of faith. I will never learn to love broccoli, but I can muster up enough faith to thank God for all things, including broccoli.