Saturday, January 9, 2010

How My Dad Got Funny

It happened one day in November of 2003, just after I had returned home from the hospital after having my appendix removed. It was an unplanned surgery, as you can imagine, and my parents had driven the 125 miles from their house to mine to help me for a few days.

The appendix attack was perfectly timed to interfere with a major move to another city the following week. I hadn't even started packing but I had saved my boxes from the last move and Mom and Dad had to get them out and pack them. It took them four days and all I could do was encourage and direct. And laugh!

Somehow, starting with his grousing about my coffee maker the first morning, Dad became the funniest man on earth. I had to hang onto the counter and my tummy so I wouldn't hurt myself laughing! Almost everything he said and did for the next four days was hysterically funny. I was a laughter casualty, roaring, slapping my legs, dropping to the floor and asking, "How did it happen? When did you get so funny? And how did I manage to not notice this my whole life?!"

The transformation in my dour, practical, dry dad was amazing. Turns out he totally enjoyed being thought of as Funny Guy after a lifetime of Serious Guy. We all knew that my laughter attacks had everything to do with recovery from anesthesia and nothing to do with actual humor and yet we all had so much fun with it!

Funny Guy stayed with us for several years after that and we loved him and laughed at him and, in the end, he gave us all something to remember and talk about during that last painful year before he died.

This story goes to show that we all have a terrifically funny person inside us and sometimes all we need is for someone else to come along and release them. It's never too late to stop and laugh and it almost never requires anesthesia.


  1. I have moments when I think I can be pretty funny. Too bad my audience (my family) doesn't always think so.

  2. Families are the toughest crowds, Vicki, try not to take it personally. I did stand-up comedy for 3 years and my family never laughed once! Some things are just for us, claim it, enjoy it and laugh anyway!