Dec 22 2010

Housework

At my last job, one of the secretaries, Elaine, related this story about her husband:

“One day he had decided to try to help with the housework. I came home from work and saw that he had made the bed. He did a terrible job and I laughed and laughed.”

Then, there was kind of a sad pause.

“He never tried to help again.”

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Nov 15 2010

Replies to What Prime Number Changed Your Life?

In a previous post about a dream I had involving life-changing prime numbers, I asked (jokingly) what prime number changed your life. I actually received a reply:

“The number 17. First, I met my husband for the first time the day before I turned 17 and second, I was married on the 17th of December.”

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Jan 29 2009

My Husband

If you haven’t been keeping track of my husbands blog you should because he is the funniest and most informative person I know. Now, Daniel if you are reading this don’t let it go to your head. I know you have an award for it but you don’t have to flaunt it every time I think your sense of humor makes me groan instead of laugh. (Yes, he did win an award, sort of, for being funny but that was many years ago). Over on his blog he has told about his friend Jeyson. He has mentioned that The Peters has a funny way of telling stories but I am here to tell you that Daniel has a very funny way of telling stories whether it be one he has experienced or one he has read. Let me give you some background before I give you an example. 

First, Daniel’s late father passed down to him many things and one was his storytelling. Or I guess I should say how he tells a story. I would have loved to meet his father and have gone out of my way to ask people, who knew him, what he was like. One of the many facts that have been shared with me over the years is that, “He wasn’t as funny as he thought he was.” Now, these are not my words but many of his friends who say that when he would tell a story he would get more enjoyment out of it then they would. NOT because it WASN’T a funny story but because it was so hard to follow through all the laughing.

Now, my husband and I try to spend some quite time before he goes to sleep and I go to work either working on a crossword puzzle or reading aloud to one another. One of the most recent books we have been going through is called “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?” by Patrick F. McManus. If you haven’t read any of his stuff he is a humorist that tells short stories about his life. Very funny stuff!

Okay here is an excerpt from the story, “The Green Box” as read to you by Daniel. His comments will be in bold, mine are normal, and the story is in italics.

“Peering into the green box, I could scarcely refrain from emitting a shout of joy. There, nestled among such collector’s items as gopher traps, a single warped bearpaw, snowshoe, a rusty machete, a jungle hammock, a collection of spent cartridges, a collection of dried toads, a perforated canteen, a casting reel encased in a permanent backlash, a dog harness made out of nylong stockings, and other rare and priceless mementos of my sporting youth, was without a doubt what had to be the world’s most powerful hand-held slingshot. I had thought the slingshot lost to posterity. 

The slingshot had been designed and built by me at about age ten. I described it as hand-held because later I also had built a more powerful slingshot, one that consisted of two live trees and a series of bicycle inner tubes. that slingshot almost earned the distinction of putting the first human into orbit, a kid by the name of Henry, who, when a gang of us stretched the inner tubes back to the limit or our combined strength, failed to hear the order “Fire!” Henry reported later that the lift-off actually had been a lot of fun, but he had run into difficulty at the termination of reentry.

The fork of the world’s most powerful hand-eld slingshot consisted of a Y-shaped section of trunk from a birch tree that I hacked down with my machete. The bands were make of strips cut from a tractor inner tube. These strips were then woven together in such a manner as to greatly increase their firing power. The pouch consisted of a tongue cut from a leather boot. Whomper, as I called the slingshot, was a magnificent and awesome instrument. Originally, my intention in building Whomper had been to hunt elk with it. Snicker “I was disappointed to discover upon its completion, however, that, strain as I might, I could no more stretch the bands than if they had been made of cast iron. I considered this only a minor defect, however, and took to carrying Whomper about with me in a special holster attached to the back of my belt. I aslo carried a regular slingshot for utilitarian and sporting purposes. It was this combination of elastic armaments that resulted in one of my more satisfying experiences as a youngster.

My old woodsman friend Rancid Crabtree had taken me to the Loggers Picnic, an annual event in which the loggers competed in eating, drinking, and feats of strenght. Rancid said he figured he could hol his own in two of the categories but that he was too old and feeble for feats of strength.

“Ah’ll leave the fets of strangth to you,” Rancid told me.

Actually, I figured I might do quite well in some of the events, but I was immediately sent to humiliating defeat in arm wrestling by the strapping offspring of a logger. Snicker, haha, hemmmhemmm, Sorry

Rancid snicker, snicker tried to console me. “Don’t fret about it, hehehe hahaha  he said. “some of them giggle, snicker, hehe, sorry girls is a lot stronger then they look. Hahahaha, snicker You’d a probly won iffin laugh, laugh, snicker, hehe, sorry, I’ll try to stop she’d been a boy.”

(By this time Daniel is so tickled that he is telling the story through biting his tongue) No doubt my defeat by Mary Jane Railbender would have gone unnoticed by most of the picnickers had it not been for the presence of a large, loud. loathsome fellow by the name of Whitey. Whitey, though ten years older than myself, was one of my most despised enemies and passed up no opportunity to torment me.

“Har, har, har!” he roared. “Got beat by a little snip of a girl, did you? Har, har, har!” He then rushed to spread the news among the loggers and their kin, who, while they didn’t exactly find the news of my downfall sidesplitting, seemed at least mildly amused. To me, that constituted excessive mirth at my expense, and I stalked off beyond the reach of their har, har’s.

While I was drowning my sorrow in a bottle of orange crush, Mmmm, Orange Crush, ‘sounding like Homer Simpson, pause…pause… while he is dreaming of cold orange crush in a bottle’ I think I need one, do we have any, ‘no, we don’t… keep reading please’ Okay, but I would love an Orange Crush right now I happened to notice a flock of crows flying over. Man I hate crows As was my practice in those days, I sprang to my feet, drew my regular slingshot to its full capacity, and let fly at them with a rock. I missed the crows by a quarter of a mile, Dang, the got away but suddenly somebody yelled out, “Holy cow! Who threw that rock? That’s one heck of a throw!”

“That was just Pat,” somebody else said. “But he done it with a slingshot.”

“A slingshot!” shouted out Whitey. “Pat’s got a slingshot? Must be made out of wishbone and a rubberband if he can shoot it, anybody who lets himself get beat by a little birl in arm wrastlin’.” Snicker, Snicker Now he is snickering not because this particular interchange is hilarious but because his brain has already gone farther ahead in  the story and he already knows the punch line. Giggle, snort, haha, sorry Whitey took the little sounds of amusement from the other picnickers for encouragement. “Here, Shrimpy, toss my yore peashooter. I’ll show you how a man does with a slingshot. Haha, snicker, snort, giggle, I love this, is a very amusing story

From deep inside me I could feel this great, evil, hysterical laugh welling up, but I fought it back down. Calmly, with just the right touch of nonchalance, I reached behind me and drew Whomper I knew it! he triumphantly grins at me. it gets better from its holster. The big slingshot landed with a solid chunk at Whitey’s feet. He stared down at it: the massive fork, the woven rubber bands thick as a man’s wrist, the boot-tongue pouch, all of it bound together with wrappings of baling wire. Even from where I stood I could tell he was impressed. 

(At this point my husband already knows the end of the story, not because he has already read it but because his brain has scanned ahead and knows what is coming, and can’t keep from laughing no matter how hard he tries)

“C’mon, Whitey,” shouted Rancid from the crowd of spectators. “Show us how a man does with a slangshot!” 

“All right, I will,” said Whitey, and he scooped up the slingshot, fitted a stone the size of a walnut in the pouch, and hauled back. Haha, snicker, pant, laugh, snicker Well, it was a terrible Snicker, laugh, laugh, haha, sorry, hahaha, giggle spectacle to have to witness,Snicker, laugh, laugh, haha, sorry, hahaha, giggle and I’ve always felt a little remorseful Snicker, laugh, laugh, haha, sorry, hahaha, giggle that I enjoyed it so much. Up to the part where Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke the buttons started popping Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke off the front of  Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke Whitey’s shirt and flying Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke about like shrapnel, I thought Whitey might actually Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke stretch the sling an inch Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke or two. But by the time the women and little Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  children were sent Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke away because of the horrible sounds he was making, I knew there wasn’t a chance. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, whew, I can’t breath and my chest hurts

At last, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke quivering Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke with rage and exhaustion, Whitey threw the slingshot to the ground. “Ain’t nobody can pull that thing,” he gasped. For a second, I thought I detected a wave of sympathy, even admiration, flowing from the spectators toward Whitey. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke””Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke

Then Rancid stepped forward. “Shucks,” he said. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke “Let a feeble old man Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke give thet thang a try.” He grabbed up Whomper, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke hauled back ” Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, whew, I can’t breath and my chest hurts until the woven tractor-tube bands Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke hummed like guitar strings. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke He then shot the rock out of sight. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  His face split in a big grin, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke Rancid handed Whomper back to me. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke The loggers laughed and applauded and slapped both me an Rancid on the back. I never again had any trouble from Whitey. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke

When we were driving home, Rancid still had the big grin on his face. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke

“What’s so funny?” I asked him Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, chok, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke

“Ain’t nuthin’ funny,” he said through his teeth. Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke”

“How come you’re grinning like that then?”

“Ah ain’t” Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  grinnin’,” he  Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  said. “Ah thank  Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  Ah ruptured  Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  maw Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke, Har, har, har, choke, laugh, har, laugh, choke  face pullin’ thet dang slangshot!”

By the end of the story I was laughing so hard, not because the story was funny which it is, but because watching my husband struggle to contain his mirth to finish the story was one of the funniest things I had seen in a while. Plus, if you think trying to read and understand what is going on is hard try having it read to you in this manner. I eventually had to go and re-read it to figure out what happened in the end.

McManus, Patrick F., “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?” pages 13-17. 1982.

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