“You're dead, Grandpa!” my grand-daughter told me one day last summer.
I assured her I was not.
“You are deader than dead!” her sister warned.
“So which is it?” I asked, “Dead or deader than dead?”
For the first time in history, the two finally agreed on something.
“Dead, dead, dead,” they chanted.
Another sister, little Miss Poker Face, added her weight to the consensus. “Mom's going to kill you,” she said matter of factly.
I couldn't follow her logic.
I had just concluded a short exchange with the girl's mother (who in the interest of full disclosure is my step-daughter); we hadn't clashed, we hadn't argued - far from it, we were in perfect agreement.
She and my wife were discussing the indignities of age when Melissa, my step-daughter complained that she was gaining weight and it all was settling in her rear.
This is when I peered over the top of my book and remarked, quite innocently, “We noticed.”
Contrary to what the girls suggest, Melissa didn't seem to take offense, instead she merely went about her business.
That is why I admire my step-daughter. She is clever. She is tough and she speaks her mind without holding it against anyone else for speaking theirs.
I recognized the occasion as a teachable moment.
I told the girls that their mother was a confident woman, comfortable with her appearance and more than willing to speak frankly about herself.
I told them that society conditions women to speak in code. It trains them to say one thing while meaning another - rather than being honest.
These things, I told them, are vestiges of a by-gone era and that they should look to their mother as the perfect role model of rationality and common sense.
Apparently, I went on for too long because the girls slowly began to edge away from me. This often happens when I get long winded. But people usually take their leave in ones and twos – not en mass. My lecture had cleared the deck.
Then it struck me like a pail of cold water.
Then I was struck with a pail of cold well-water.
Melissa had crept up behind me and dumped a bucket of water over my head. The girls, the family, everyone, howled with laughter.
The shock was tremendous. Not the blast of frigid water mind you, but the realization that indeed there are things that one must not agree with. That some things must remain unsaid and that it is often better to sit on a deck in the warm sun than to venture an uncalled for opinion – however innocent it might be - and get dumped on by the cold water of reality.
This week’s writing challenge: write a funny story.
You have to believe that the history of literature began with a single tale told around the campfire, "A funny thing happened to Og today..."
You also have to believe that every writing career begins in much the same way, "Giggle, giggle, Og..."
So let's do it.
- Tell a funny family story.
- Tell us about the idiots you work with/for.
- Tell us about something you saw that cries to be told.
- Tell us about something funny that you have been too embarrassed to tell before.
- Tell a lie, a tale, a fabrication - but make us believe it because it is too funny not to be true.
Post your article to Gather Writing Essentials.
BE SURE TO TAG your submission with MWE. Note: I search for articles using the tag "MWE" If you don't tag it right, I will not find it.
- Include "Monday Writing Essential" in your title.
Two weeks ago I challenged you to write about humility. Apparently fate felt that one week was not enough, so it spent an grinding me into abject humiliation.
Here are the responses:
And here are a few more posts worthy of note:
Weekly reminder:don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!).. Also try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.