Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Four Legged Angels



             I remember being in the congregation during a sacrament meeting in which a newly returned missionary was giving his homecoming talk. As he shared various experiences, he would explain why he felt the need to share.  I remember him saying that all missionaries have at least one dog story.

         “We do?” I had thought. 
         I must admit that I had missed his dog story as I had been thinking of my own.  One that actually brings a smile to my face each time I think about it.

         I was serving in an area where each door had been knocked on (weekly if not daily) by one religion or another.  It came to the point that people just didn’t want to open their doors as they felt they were being bullied by religious freaks.  We had actually been told to back off from going from door for at least a few months.  No sweat off my brow.  I hated that particular method of trying to find people, but I was with a companion who measured her missionary success by going from door-to-door.  

         Many members in that area referred to our companionship as “The Odd Couple” thus we named ourselves Oscar and Felix.  I was Oscar, and my high-maintenance, “by-the-book” companion was Felix.

         After two months of contacting members and searching for referrals in ways other than door-to-door, my companion counted down the days that we would go tracting door-to-door.  I did not share in her excitement.  I know there are people who have been found through knocking doors - but for me personally, it was not the greatest method and definitely did not measure my success (or failure) as a missionary.

         We had gone to only two houses before a German Shepherd started to follow us from one house to the next.  He would sit behind us and away from the door as we invited those who answered to listen to our message.  A few would look at the dog and ask if he was ours.  As we'd walk away from the skeptic who refused to believe the dog was ours, I'd make jokes just to get a rile out of my companion.

          "Yes, it is our dog and if you don't listen to our message, he'll eat you."

         My companion felt embarrassed and was a bit defensive as answered their concerns.

         “He’s not our dog.  He just started following us.  We don’t know why.”

         After four more houses or so, Sister Felix turned to me and said,  “Sister Cannon, we need to say a prayer so that the dog will stop following us.”

          I'm certain that the look that she saw on my face was one of puzzlement.  
          “Sister Felix, the dog could have been sent as a guardian angel.  If a prayer is offered, it won’t be in harmony, as the dog is not bothering me.  You go ahead and say a prayer if it makes you feel better.”

         Sister Felix offered a prayer and pleaded that Heavenly Father return the dog to his home.  No sooner did we say “amen” and we were joined by a Basset Hound – thus we had two dogs following us.  They weren’t doing anything wrong.  They seemed well behaved.  But it bothered her – which only amused me further. 

         We knocked on two more doors I think, and then Sister Felix became disgusted and announced that we may as well just return to our car, as we obviously weren’t going to get anything accomplished.  What? No more knocking door-to-door? I was right.  They were four-legged angels.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hank Zipzer is Laugh-Out-Loud


                                              Lin Oliver and Henry Winkler: Hank Zipzer authors

         Hank Zipzer is a character invented by Henry Winkler – though I wonder how much of the character is based upon himself as he had struggled with learning though nobody understood that he had dyslexia but wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his 30’s.

         The first Hank Zipzer book that I read was “The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Fell Down” Hilarious.  I laughed out loud with almost every page.  
 
         I really liked how in this particular story, it is not the obvius talent put who play the leads.  The director picks those that seem to struggle – someone he can help mold into the part.

         Hank’s fifth grade teacher is named Ms. Adolf – I’m guessing a play on words, as she appears to be stern and unfeeling, but perhaps not quite Hitler.  Just his first name.
 
         In my mind, Henry Winkler does the narration for the character Hank Zipzer.  I think the voice of Principal Love twould sound like Ben Stein.

         I tried reading it to Jenna, but she’s just not interested and she has a marvelous sense of humor.  She just doesn’t identify with the character at all.

         Learning has always come natural and easy for Jenna.  She doesn’t feel pressure from others that she’s being made fun of – nor does she make fun of others.  She’s got a great gift of accepting others as who they are and never stereotypes another based on looks or behaviors.  Although she has ruled out bullies, she still treats them with respect.

         I didn’t have a learning disability.  I enjoyed learning things – at my own level.  I liked learning what I wanted to learn but for the most part did not enjoy what was being taught.  I had a tendency to tune things out and daydreamed entirely too much.  I was never a class clown.  More of the shy wallflower.  But I can relate to some of Hank Zipzer’s character.

         I like the series for a few reasons.  One would be the font size.  Because I don’t struggle with my failing eyesight.  Two, I believe all seventeen stories come in paperback (at least they have thus far) which is less weight in my backpack (good reason, huh?) and three, because it’s easy reading, marvelously written and really does put a smile of my face.

         Now that my school years are so into the past, I learn older I get, the more that I really do enjoy learning.  Many of the things I refused to learn in my youth have become more interesting as I age.  I also enjoy being entertained with Witty humor.  Thank you Henry Winkler for Hank Zipzer!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Have to Have a Ten Page Report About Sir Isaac Newton Turned In by Monday



It is nearing the end of the school year and Jenna tells me she has to do some research on Sir Isaac Newton for an upcoming report.  She tells me that it has to be ten pages and has to be turned in by Monday.  Funny how I didn’t question the report itself – though the amount of pages and deadline threw me somewhat.

Generally her teachers have sent out an outline of the things that the class will be learning during the course of the year.  Usually they have worked an entire month on any given project.  And ten pages is a lot for high school students – let alone third graders.  She must have heard wrong.

I asked her what teacher had given the assignment and type up an e-mail as I believe that Jenna’s understanding is not correct.  Just as I finish and am about to press send, Jenna begs me not to. 

“Why not?” I ask. 

“Because it’s not a real assignment.  I just made it up.  I’m interested in learning about Sir Isaac Newton.”

I am dumbfounded.  Not only for her interest – which might spell GEEK to some of her friends, but for her clever acting.  She said she wished she had gotten someone else, but that each child had to draw a name out of a container that her teacher had passed around.

I love that Jenna truly loves learning.  She is fascinated with non-fictional books.  Always has been.  She loves to read about Science and history and is ashamed of how different races have been treated throughout the course of history and really would like to better our world. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Blog Could Really Use Some Humor





I really enjoyed reading Katy Pluim’s blog Living Life “Single-Handedly” . She said she was working on creating a new blog – whether she did or not , I don’t know.  The only blog I have is this one which has not been updated since September of last year (over six months ago)  and I have missed her posts and the sweet comments made by her Aunt Pam.

One of the things that Katy created for her posts was “Funny Friday” which featured humorous stories of anyone willing to share.  She used a few that I had sent over – but not these four – which are actually a lot funnier when listening to Corey tell them.  The written words just don’t translate as the verbal expression.

I’m thinking my blog could used something light and funny.  I did get Corey’s permission to share these with Katy.  I also got him permission to post them myself.  May you (the readers) enjoy them as much as I have:

 1.    The Bank Robber                                        

Corey was working with a company called The Costume Closet. During the month of Halloween the employees were asked to dress up.

One day, when he was dressed like a Medieval Crusader, he went to the bank to deposit his paycheck.  The location was was caddy cornered across the street from the Costume Closet –    As long as he was there he had decided to re-order his personal checks as well.

The treatment that he received was very less than professional.  The teller was very cold toward him.  After he finished up with her at the window, he said that he’d like to order checks.

“Well, you’ll have to do it over there,” she said quite curtly as she pointed to the desked area.

Confused by her behavior, Corey politely thanked her and went over to the desk.  Same thing. 

He gave his personal information and said he would like a specific logo or icon to be included on the check.  The bank worker quickly flipped through her book and said that she didn’t have it.

Corey asked if he could look.  He found it and showed it to her, but he still thought her somewhat rude and had showed very unprofessional behavior.  

With his deposit and his ordering accomplished, Corey headed back towards the store.  He noticed a police car following him back to the store and thought “what the heck is going on?”

As he approached the store, the policeman rolled down his window and asked why he was in costume.  Corey informed him that he worked at the costume shop and showed them his name tag, which had both his name and "The Costume Closet" engraved on it.  The police said they had been notified that a costumed individual had been at the bank.  The tellers had been skittish because they had recently been robbed at least twice by people in costumes and masks. 

My brother thought, "Didn't they see my name tag or the company name on my paycheck?"  It was Halloween season, after all. Even so, why would he have then provided his personal information while ordering checks?  Duh.

          2.    Terrorist Attack

It was shortly after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.  Planes had been grounded for nearly a week.  And even after they started running again, not all flights were full because of the after effect that was felt by many individuals.

Corey had taken a flight to Pennsylvania for a friend's wedding and was heading back to Salt Lake City from a long layover in Detroit.  It was the 17th, I believe.  He sat in his assigned seat until the doors closed.  Not even thinking about the events that had recently occurred, Corey moved to an unoccupied seat for convenience, as he had been accustomed to doing prior to 9-11.

Noticing that he was not in his assigned seat, a flight attendant asked him for his boarding pass.  Corey had left it in the baggage compartment above his original seat across the aisle.  The fight attendant told Corey to come with her.  The doors were opened and the two of them exited the plane.  Corey was than interrogated by the entire crew, with the captain taking lead.  They asked his name, proof of his identity, why he'd been flying, how he'd booked his ticket, his career (an actor - that went over well) and so forth.  The flight was held up for at least twenty minutes.

Corey, who is actually quite fair skinned and wearing an American flag pin, was being treated like a potential terrorist. When the issue at hand was finally resolved, Corey was allowed back on the plane.  He sat in his assigned seat and remained there with his eyes on the floor.

After the flight started, the flight attendant said he could move if he would like.  Corey opted to stay in his own seat and kept his eyes down the entire time.

(for a more accurate account and then some, see this post)

                3.      Audition for a Brother

Corey had the opportunity to audition for Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat.  While the production itself was to be held at Kingsbury Hall (in Salt Lake) the auditions were being held at a local High School because the musical director was that high school's choir teacher.

So Corey went to the high school.  He got there early because he is always early.  He was asked if he was there for auditions.  He said he was and he was told to fill out an application.

He thought the application was weird – unlike anything he had ever filled out before.  It was asking for things like his GPA.  He filled out the application and went to the theatre to audition.

After his name was called, he presented his music to the piano player and was asked which part he was auditioning for. He answered that he was there to try out for one of the brothers and proceeded with his audition.

After belting out the song he had chosen, the choreographer (or was it the conductor?) said, “You’re not auditioning for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, are you?”

Corey said that he was there to try out for Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat.  But since he had been early and had quite a youthful appearance at the time (he was in his early 20’s I believe) it was assumed that he was there to audition for the high school musical try outs that took place before the “Joseph” auditions started.

                         4.        Page’s Lane

Corey had gone up to Centerville to audition for Pages Lane – which he says was the most unprofessional, irreverent environment he has ever gone to for auditioning for anything. 

The play was “The Secret Garden” and he was absolutely certain that every child in Centerville and the surrounding areas had come to audition.  He said the environment was noisy.  No courtesy was shown to those performing (auditioning) and so many were unprepared.

He said one kid auditioned with “Happy Birthday” and several kids after him decided they would like to audition with that also.  One kid sang a cappella and changed keys several times in a song that didn't normally have key changes.  Corey, who’s been acting since he was six, was appalled.  (It is a thousand times funnier to hear Corey tell it)

When Corey got up to audition and sang this beautiful, confident, well-rehearsed song, the room fell silent.  As he shared his frustrating experience with me and my mom (and we were laughing hysterically which was probably not helping) he said he almost wished he would not get a call back because he didn’t think he wanted to work there.  At the same time he would feel offended if he hadn’t been picked because he was obviously prepared.  He did get an offer to be in the choir (he can truly make or break a choir with or without his voice), but turned it down. 

Corey says he should get a job assisting children on the proper way to audition.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Inside Jokes and Saturday Morning Cartoons



          When Roland has been out of town (which really has not been too often) I will allow Jenna to sleep in my bed. 

          At 6:00 last night she went toward her room and announced that she’d be going to bed – which I really didn’t believe until I saw her in her pajamas.  She had returned to ask if she could watch something in my room.  She really was tired – I could see that the second time.  I knew she wouldn’t finish seeing whatever video she chose. 

          She loves the reality show “What WouldYou Do?”  which doesn’t start until 8:00.  By that time I decided I would go into my room as well.  I turned off the DVD player and turned the TV to ABC and got in bed.  Jenna was asleep. 
          Then comes the advertisement for “What Would You Do?” and Jenna comes to life.  She’s not the only one who’s tired – and actually has more focus during the show and I am the one nodding off. 

          An advertisement came on for a hamburger – I don’t recall which fast food place it is for but the logo says, “It’s not as expensive as you think” – although I’m guessing we heard it wrong.

          I actually had not paid attention to the commercial, but guessed that maybe that’s how it was phrased when Jenna turned to me and asked, “Why would they advertise something is more expensive than you think?”

          It struck me funny – and I continued laughing as I would imitate, “you may think you can afford this – but it’s more expensive than you think.”

          I tried to control my laughter – but kept on going out of tiredness more than anything.  Jenna became offended with my taunting and making fun of her error.  To make her feel better, I shared one of my own.

          “Have you seen those lights that blink – they are usually located far above the ground to warn planes that they are flying too low?  If the pilot can see the light, he knows he has to make the plane go higher.

          “Well, one time I was asking about one that I saw, but I said the wrong thing.  I asked if it was a warning for planes that were flying too high.

          “Of course Patrick and his friend couldn’t let that slide and so they teased me about it. ‘Yes, it is a warning for pilots who might be flying into the sun.’  ‘Watch out for the sun!’ It was a long while before they stopped teasing me about it”

          And so the joke that Jenna and I now share between us is that she will say, “Look out! You’re going to hit the sun.”  And I will come back with, “It’s more expensive than you think.”

          This morning she starts in with our new inside joke.  I am still tired.  And so I turn on the TV.  The cartoon selection is quite different on Saturday than it is before she leaves for school.  A wide selection of preschool programs.  The ones shared by the main networks have not started yet.  That leaves some kind of Sci-Fi and a Biblical story.  I select the one from the BYU channel.

          As she is watching the story of Joseph, she interrupts my sleep again, “Mom, is this the same story as “Little Joe” from “Veggie Tales” 

          “Yes”

          “They don’t have French accents though”

          “Jenna.  This version is more accurate than Veggie Tales.  Please let me sleep.”

          Joseph ends.  She’s not interested in the workout video that follows.  I hand her the remote. 

          She settles on a pre-school program that is broadcast in Spanish – and then translates it for me.  I’m grateful that she has learned new language skills and that she is actually grateful (for a change) to be learning Spanish – and actually has been excited about it!  I am so happy to hear that!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You're A Grand Old Flag




In honor of flag day, I thought I would share just a couple of amusing stories:


Patriotic Show Up


My mom and sister had gone out of town over the Independence Day Holiday the first year that Roland and I were married.  My mom had meant to put the flag out before they had gone out of town.  She called me (from wherever) and asked if I would do it and she would take it down when she returned.

Roland and I had gone to her house and I went downstairs where the flag was kept – the only flag I knew about.  My grandfather had had a military funeral approximately 30 years before.  Mom took home the flag that had been draped over his casket.  It was actually a lot bigger than I had remembered.  Mom must have been talking about another flag.

I took the huge flag upstairs and told Roland that I had no clue how to hang it.  Roland is a solution finder.  He came up with a brilliant idea for hanging it in the front window.  As I recall we attached the flag over the curtain rod so that it would hang behind the drapes and would visible to the outside world. 
As we pulled out of the driveway we couldn’t help see the front window filled entirely with the enormous flag.  Nor could my mom and sister upon their return.  Nor anyone who passed the house.  It couldn’t help but be noticed.



Mom called me shortly after they pulled into the driveway.  “Why did you use such a big flag?”

“Is there another?”

“Well, yes.  I didn’t mean for you to fill the entire window.  My neighbors probably think I’m trying to show them up.”

I didn’t know she had a normal sized flag in her basement.  It was even included on its own pole.



Amelia Bedelia strikes again

          I had a piece of mail to put out in the mailbox so that it would be picked up by our mail carrier.    Jenna anxiously jumped at the opportunity of putting the letter (or bill or whatever) out to the mailbox herself. 

Now our post office does not seem all that close and so our mail carrier will stop at the mailboxes that have mail to go out provided that the flag is up to tell the carrier that there is something which needs to go out.  And so I told Jenna to be sure and put the flag up.

Sometimes the flag will stick as though it’s welded to the side of the mailbox.  It hadn’t occurred to me that Jenna might not know what it was for – or that the red handled part was called a flag.  I headed out the door so that I could assist in her struggles – only she was having struggles with something else.



She was indeed trying to put the flag up – but not from the mailbox.  She was dragging the flag pole across the driveway and looked up at me and said, “It’s just too heavy mom.”

I tried to hide the laughter from beneath my smile.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April Fool’s Day

General Conference has been cancelled due to the weather

The IRS is sending 700 dollar checks to everyone who has sent their paper work already.  These checks will be sent issued in June.

Gas prices are expected to go down by the end of this year.  You will see happier people with extra money in their pockets as they will be able to fill their tanks at less than two dollars a gallon.

Mitt Romney has dropped out of the Presidential election

NBC has decided to rerelease the original three seasons of Star Trek in prime time.  If the three seasons are as well received as they hope, they will start the forth season with a look-alike cast.  Auditions are scheduled to take place next month.

Ocean Spray has a new product in the makings.  It is called “Pine-berry” jam.  It is a combination of pineapples and cranberries.  This product has been introduced to consumers as a sample and has been very well received.  Pine-berry jam is expected to hit the super markets and other stores later on this fall.

Disney has negotiated a contract for a movie to be released next summer.  The writer of the script presented his offer of “Winnie-the-Pooh meets the Three Bears” but died before the script was written in its entirety.  A new writer was hired, but as the script became too dark and violent for the producers of the Disney films, the project was dropped.  The new writer is currently undergoing psychological evaluation.

We really DID win the Lottery! We plan to invest a good portion of it into the pine-berry jam.

April Fool.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Humor from Children’s Programming


          There are several programs that we know our child has seen at least ten times just this month.  It’s true that many episodes get repeated.  But just as often, many programs just start sounding the same after a while.

          I love the laughable things that are said.  Jenna and I can laugh at the same program, but usually at different parts.  And usually whatever is funny to me makes her wonder exactly why I am laughing.

          There was one time (before Jenna had started going to preschool for four days a week) when she was in my bedroom watching Sesame Street.  I had just finished folding clothes and was going in and out of different rooms and putting the folded laundry away.  So I wasn’t watching Sesame Street, but was in the room long enough to hear this dialogue between Maria and Telly.


          First she praised Baby Bear for having guessed the last sound (I think a horse) correctly.  The next sound was a “vroom, vroom . . .” like that of a motorcycle. 
          Maria asks Telly if he can guess the sound.  He thinks about it before answering that “. . . it sounds like a bunch of lactose intolerant antelope ate a bunch of cottage cheese . . .”

          Jenna didn’t see any humor in it whatsoever and couldn’t figure out why I was laughing. That wasn’t the correct answer.


          Oswald is a unique cartoon that features three friends, Oswald, a purple octopus; Henry, an uptight persnickety penguin; and Daisy – well, a daisy.  They live in a city with some odd shaped buildings like a guitar and teepee.  Other characters include Steve, a tree; Egbert and Leo (egg brothers) Madam Butterfly and her baby caterpillar, Catrina and Johnny the snowman.     

          Oswald is the peacemaker of the show. Usually resolving issues among the different characters.  Usually between Henry and Daisy.  Henry says things that make me laugh – just because he’s so self-centered and persnickety.


          Peep is a cartoon narrated by Joan Cusack.  It involves three foul: Quack – a blue duck; Chirp, a red robin; and Peep, a fairly new yellow chick.  Chirp is the know-it-all who tries to put Quack in his place, and Quack never gets it.  His character reminds me a little bit of Oswald’s Henry – only younger.

          Martha’s voice (from Martha Speaks) alone is enough to make me laugh.  I don’t know what it is about the voice – but it’s not one that I personally could never hear and be able to take it seriously.

          But I think the program I laugh the most at is “Arthur”.  Though I am guilty of having watched Oswald and Peep,  I only hear pieces of Arthur.

          Arthur:        What makes feel so stressed is –

          Buster cuts him off:  a bear?

          A:                I was going to say a test

          B:       Why worry about a test?  I think I’d be much more worried
about a bear


          Even DW (I can’t stand that whiny character) made me laugh in one episode when Pal (the dog) is trying to eat her sandwich and DW says, “Hey, I don’t go around trying to eat your dog food, do I?”

          I suppose it depends on my frame of mind.  It’s nice to be able to laugh.