Now this is a question that is not as simple to answer as one might think. Last summer it became my go-to conversation starter in order to test a new discovery—that our funniest stories are most often derived from embarrassing moments.
Can you recollect a laugh-out-loud situation that does not involve a blush or cringe? I tested my supposition on several people. Family and friends received the question, reacted with anticipatory grins, pondered, but soon their smiles were replaced by perplexed expressions. Most said, “well, I don’t know…what was yours?”
Why is this so difficult?
If you can conjure up a really hysterical story that does not involve acute mortification, I would love to hear it. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the funniest thing that ever happened to you and perhaps I might share it.
Chester remembers a funny incident. It happened when he was just a little rodent growing up in the mouse household. Here is how it was told to me:
Chester and his buddy Theo asked permission to build their first catapult. They gathered rudimentary supplies: wooden sticks, a white plastic spoon with a crust of pooled coffee in the bowl, and a strong rubber band. (Have you ever noticed how mice are copious users of rubber bands? It’s no wonder that Chester’s favorite pop song is Strings and Strands and Rubber Bands. You can find the first stanza in Chester Midshipmouse. Maybe someday I’ll publish the rest of the lyrics here.) Chester and Theo constructed a simple catapult and decided to test it out in a corner of the Gathering Hall. The only appropriately shaped projectile they could find that Chester’s mama would allow was a green olive stuffed with red pimiento. Stretching the twisted rubber band until taut, they aimed the contraption across the living space and let her fly, expecting a gentle, arcing lob. Unfortunately, just as they released the spoon launcher, Mr. Dash strolled by on all fours, thinking his thoughts. The olive flew in a line drive and took him out in a direct shot to the head—leaving smashed green and red bits everywhere. His poor mate, Miss Beatrice, saw the whole thing and passed out in a dead faint. When she came to, she was heard to say, “I thought those were his brains!”
Being well brought up mice, Chester and Theo got a good talking to and were required to make apologies. Later on, it was reported that there were smothered shouts of laughter heard from Theo’s nest, where the two friends gathered to talk over the whole episode.
So, that’s Chester’s story, at least as it was relayed to me. What’s yours? What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?