Friday, June 15, 2007

Laughing at Ourselves

A couple days back I published a post on funny "Southernisms" and caught someone who is indeed a Texas Aggie and not being one of THOSE kinds of Aggies she was totally cool about it. It even turns out we have a bit of a shared heritage.

Anyhow, speaking as a psychologist, it is a sign of good mental health to be able to laugh at ourselves and the foibles of others and laughing at others is very different from laughing AT others if you get my drift. There is good and bad all around us and to be able to hone in on what is humorous and life affirming is a skill that will pay and pay and pay. BTW, if you are ever in need of some therapy and you meet a therapist who is gravely serious just run like hell in the opposite direction because that person is either burnt out or is too preoccupied with their own problems to take serious note of yours.

So...laughing at myself as a tribute to our Southern brothers and sisters...I'll let you in on a few morsels.

1) When I was in high school, 9th grade to be exact, I had this new girlfriend. Of course I was the coolest, most studly guy in town so she was more than willing to make out with me behind her house. Somehow during that relatively brief interlude...I didn't want to push my luck because her dad was an All American guard (football) in college, University of Illinois...I got the boot laces from one foot hooked into one of the "speed lace" hooks on the other foot. When we went to walk away my feet were locked together and I feel so fast that I didn't even have time to put out my arms. Face first into the grass...try to recover from that one.

2) A nerdly one. When I was in college I took a statistics course and learned about regression to the mean. I spent the rest of my undergrad days worrying that my A's would inevitably begin dropping to C's so I worked much harder and became even more suspicious when I began getting A+'s. Seriously, I had a lot of anxiety over this!

3) Triathlon - I did a sprint triathlon over in Flagstaff Arizona called the Mountain Man. It is a fantastic event and they run a sprint, Oly and half in the same day. The GEEKGRL and I did the sprint because we were on the first leg of our triathlon vacation, 2006 edition. When I went to get my body marking the woman who marked me scrawled my number down my shin! Her penmanship was terrible too. It looked like a band of wayward 2 year olds with magic marker had assaulted my leg. All the other triathletes were walking about in their cool gear with their great bods and perfect body marking and I was all frumpy with my scrawled mark of shame. I did retaliate by winning my age group, yes AGE GROUP, they do not have Clydes as a separate division at that race. I tell people that my humiliation caused me to want to just get the hell off the course and scrub off.

So if you are willing, leave a story and have a good laugh.


  1. Oh Boy, do I have a huge field from which to choose...okay, here's one: in high school, I was challenged to pop a wheelie on my moped. I managed to do it, even without a clutch. I also managed to fall off the back. So much for showing off. I landed on my back/butt, my friends (whom I was trying to impress) were weak from laughter. The moped went ahead by itself for a little while before falling over. CRASH! $TUPID and EXPEN$IVE.

  2. Not sure how well this one goes over but it was probably my WORST. When I lived in Florida at the age of 21 I was with a group of guys and we were eating at Wings and Curls (Hot chicken wing place) and sometimes this stuff does not sit well in the stomach. After a few pitchers of beer and about 30 wings, my body did the quick digest stomach blender and it was time. I go in the can and someone is using it. I am at about a pain level of 5 and figure I will be o.k. for a few minutes. After a couple minutes I go back in there and this guy is still in there. I am at a pain level of about 7 by now and it is getting serious. I bang on the door letting this guy know that there are other people waiting. He obvioulsy does not care or thinks I am crazy. After a few more minutes, we are in the danger zone. I start hammering on the door to the stall and by now this guy probably really thinks I am nuts or something. He quits answering me and I am sure has no plans to exit the stall any time soon enough for me. Pretty much at the point of no return, doubled over in pain, I spy the garbage can. Not sure what the guy in the stall heard or thought was going on, but I was glad there was a liner in the trash can.

  3. Mike, thats nasty! I just ate too.

    I reguarly walk through drive thrus.

  4. Did I ever tell you about the time I killed two donkeys in an auto accident?

    Long story short....high school, coming home about midnight from my girlfriends house, heavy fog, interstate, still going well below the speed limit, two donkeys escaped from a petting zoo and decided the middle of the interstate was a good place to stand around...luckily I was in my Dad's extended Chevy truck, not the Neon.

    Damage: Two dead donkeys, two totaled cars (one of the donkeys landed on the freeway, causing another car to hit it in the fog) and riducule from my classmates (it made the local papers front page the next day). Only in WI I tell you.

  5. Another moped story. I have a cute little blue scooter that I use to ride to work sometimes. A couple summers ago, I was on call and got called away from a family gathering to go to work. I got dropped of at home to change into scrubs and I decided to take the scooter in to work since Mike had the blazer. Well, I was pretty pissy about having to work all night and the scooter didnt really want to start. I had it sitting up on its kickstand and was revving the engine up to get it going and in my haste I had not made sure the kickstand was all the way engaged. Suddenly the kickstand collapsed and my scooter went shooting off it, laying a huge burnie across the garage floor and shooting a huge hole into the drywall. Now thoroughly mad, I picked it up hopped on and rode off to work pouting.
    It was a busy night and Mike called me a couple hours later, asking "WHAT happened here??" I was distracted and didn't immediately remember the spectacular crash and replied, "what are you talking about? Nothing happenned."
    I am still trying to live that one down. By the way, no one has ever patched the hole in the drywall, there is simply a new piece resting over the top of the hole waiting to be fixed.

  6. My first day working at the state pennitentiary I had to work the night shift. As I was walking across a tier a fellow correctional officer jumped out of a vacant cell yelling. I threw all my gear at him while screaming at a REALLY high pitch at the top of my lungs, and ran away as fast as I could! It took a VERY ling time for staff/inmates to stop teasing me on a daily basis about that one!

  7. off subject, but are you signing up for CdA'08 next week? I was all over it, but finances are coming up short for out of state stuff, and that's a loooooong drive from FL...

  8. I think we have all been there.

    Here's one of mine, I was leaving the transition area of my first tri from biking to running and as I was about 5' away from the exit gate one of my friends started shouting at me. Seems I had left my helmet on. She grabbed it from me and I went on. Good thing that day that the women were running later than the men!!!

  9. im with da Bigun.. thats a long drive..


  10. This is the absolute last place in the universe I would have expected to see a photo of our Foreign Minister LOL ROFL