One of my rules for owning a Motorcoach is Rule Number Two, which contains the following: Patience is not only a virtue but a necessity.
Rule Two and Rule Five (my latest rule) work very closely together
Rule Number Five: When owning a Motorcoach Don’t Forget to Laugh.
Of course this rule applies to lots of things in life, being a parent, having a job, breathing.
You must be able to laugh even if it kills you.
When you are an RVer, having a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at troubles, is as much of a necessity as owning a spare sewer hose.
For example; I related a story about the first accident I had with our first coach when it was new. I bumped one corner of the coach into a tree. That upset me considerably, of course. Another RVer, who witnessed the accident, had some words of advice for me.
“Hey, just go ahead and hit the other seven corners and get it over with!”
The humor and the logic of this sarcastic statement was hidden from me at the time it was spoken, but I have owned a coach long enough to completely understand it’s meaning now.
I should have understood it then; after all, I have used humor to get through life for as long as I can remember.
I have been told I am a funny guy. I appreciate that, even if the person saying it did not mean it as a compliment. One of the first persons in my life to tell me that I was funny, even when it might not have been the best time, was my mom. She knew better than anyone.
For example: One Wednesday afternoon when I was in the second grade, I brought home a note from my teacher. It was one of those notes composed with red ink, like the teacher wants the parent to think it is written in blood. The note said: “Derrick is still not working up to his potential. He daydreams constantly, and when asked questions during class responds with a joke or other inappropriate remark. I would appreciate your attention to this matter. Sincerely, Mrs. Mather.”
Well, Mom read the note, and got a bit upset with me. I don’t know why, it wasn't like this was my first red note. I brought more than a few home the year before.
“When are you going to quit goofing off in class?” she asked. “I am so tired of getting these notes. I should just knock you into next week!”
“I wish you would,” I said. “I have a test on Friday and I ‘m not ready for it.”
And that is when the fight started.
Now that reminds me of another story, emphasis on the word story.
One day a few summers ago I was driving down the road in my truck when one of those quick hard rain showers hit. The road quickly had pools of water and people were stopping short all over the place. A big black Escalade, in front of me, slammed on its brakes when it hit one of these slick pools of water. I could barely see with the hard rain coming down. I stopped just a bit short and tapped the rear end of the car.
I got out of my car just as the other driver got out of his. He looked very mad, but that was no problem, he was a dwarf. He walked to the back of his car and saw his busted tail light.
He looked up angrily at me.
“I AM NOT HAPPY!" he said.
I looked at him and replied: “You’re not? Then which one are you?”
And that is when the fight started.
What is humor, anyway? Where does this uniquely human ability come from?
Wikipedia defines it this way:
Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humeral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humors (Latin: humor, "body fluid"), control human health and emotion.
People of all ages and cultures respond to humor. The majority of people are able to experience humor, i.e., to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a sense of humor. The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humor would likely find the behavior induced by humor to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. Though ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person will find something humorous depends upon a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, and maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. For example, young children may favor slapstick, such as Punch and Judy puppet shows (I preferred The Three Stooges) or cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. Satire may rely more on understanding the target of the humor and thus tends to appeal to more mature audiences.
Many theories exist about what humor is and what social function it serves. The prevailing types of theories attempting to account for the existence of humor include psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humor-induced behavior to be very healthy; spiritual theories, which may, for instance, consider humor to be a "gift from God"; and theories which consider humor to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.
I certainly believe that laughter and humor come from God. He obviously has a sense of humor as well; after all He created human beings. I can’t image that He was only looking to have a pleasant conversation. He has rules and doesn’t want us to misbehave but He must want to have some good guffaws along with all the tears his human children can provide.
We are the same way with our children are we not?
That reminds me of another story: (this one is true)
When my daughters were very young I caught them playing with a few dollar bills that they "lifted" from my wallet. (Diane insists it was their allowance) They were drawing beards and mustaches on the president's faces. Instead of getting mad at them for taking my dough without asking (the answer would have been yes) I acted shocked that they would be defacing US Currency.
“You can go to jail for defacing money! Diane what are we going to do about this?”
“Maybe I should call the US treasury and report them!”
At this point the girls started to tear up and begged us not to call. They tried to give the money back to me but I told them I couldn’t carry damaged, defaced money around with me.
I left their room. A few minutes later I heard water running in their bathroom and whispers coming from behind the closed door.
I walked into the room and found them with a sink full of soapy water trying to wash the ink off the bills.
“OH NO, NOW YOU ARE MONEY LAUNDERING?!”
They burst into tears…I can be so mean sometimes but I found it hilarious then and still do now. Of course the girls hate it when I tell this story.
The Bible has many references to laughter. Most are about laughing at one’s enemies as opposed to laughing at some joke or circumstance, but there are examples of that in a few places.
Ecclesiastes 3:4: A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to morn and a time to dance.
I don’t like to morn. I am not much of a dancer, but I love to laugh.
Jesus once said in reference to how we judge others that how can you remove the speck from your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own?
I have always found that funny….a board sticking out of my eye.
The story of Balaam’s donkey is humorous. The Bible uses the more ancient word for donkey but it will not work here. Anyway, Balaam does not want to curse the Israelites for this very rich enemy King, but changes his mind when the price to do so gets to be so big he can’t refuse. He rides out to do this dirty dead. He and his ***, sorry, donkey, are going down this tight mountain path when an angel with a very big sword appears and blocks the way. The poor beast sees the angel but Balaam does not, so he starts to beat the unfortunate animal when it runs the other way. The donkey moves back to the path but is so afraid of the angel that he starts to cringe against the mountain wall which traps Balaam’s foot. He starts to beat the donkey once again. The donkey has had enough so she lays down which really ticks the prophet off so he beats her once more but much harder.
This time the Donkey speaks up…”Hey what have I ever done to you that would make you hit me three times?”
The donkey not only talks but counts as well.
The first book of Kings Chapter 18 tells the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Elijah and the prophets get into a contest over whose God is real. They meet on Mt Carmel for a fire from heaven shoot out. The prophets go first asking their god to send down fire and consume their pile of ox parts. They dance around, cutting themselves with knives and making an awfully loud racket at the same time. They did this for hours.
Elijah makes good use of sarcasm and hurls taunts at them.
“Hey shout louder! Surely he is a god! Maybe he is deep in thought or busy or traveling somewhere! Maybe you just need to wake him, or he stopped alongside the road!
In other words the god of the prophets of Baal has stopped to take a pee.
Elijah was not one for political correctness, that is for sure.
And that reminds me of another story.
Many years ago I told what I consider to be the best joke I know to a bunch of tired people on a plane in Chicago. We were stuck on the runway during a snow delay. I got bored with just sitting there so I decided to kill some time. I jumped up out of my seat and moved to the front of the passengers
“Hey I want to tell you this story!"
I had everyone's attention so I made the best of it.
During World War One there was this private in the trenches waiting to be issued a rifle. They ran out of guns and bayonets before he could get his so he asked his sergeant what he was suppose to do.
“Here take this” the sarge said as he handed the private a broom handle.
“What do I do with this?” the private asked.
“You point it at the Germans and go Bangity..bangity…bang!”
The shocked private replied “That isn’t going to work!”
The sarge said "you’re right" and he took the handle back and tied a string on the end of it.
The Private said "what does that do?"
"You point it at the Germans and go stabity..stabity ..stab, now listen to your Sarge and go out there and fight!”
"Yes Sir! says the Private….he hits the trenches and there is a big bloody battle, bodies everywhere. The private points his weapon: Bangity Bangity Bang!….The private is amazed. Many Germans go down and as he Stabity Stabity..Stabs! and Banigity Bangity Bangs them over and over again.
For hours they fight until the private thinks he is the only man left alive. Then he sees one German rising out of a trench on the other side of the dusty, smokey, battlefield The German comes towards him. The private takes a shot at him…. Bangity bangity bang!. The German keeps coming. Bangity Bangity Bang!. He still keeps coming and then he is on top of our brave private.He lunges at the enemy with all his strength...... Stabity Stabity STAB!.... Statbity Stabity STAB!
It doesn’t work. The German plows over the poor private. The German breaks the private’s arm, his leg, and his back. As the private is lying in the mud and the German moves away, he hears the German saying:
The Passengers all laughed until it hurt.
Man I kill myself sometimes.
One of my next re-entries will include Motorcoaching stories that you just have to laugh at. When that will be? I have no idea.