Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Easily Distracted

This may mean nothing to anybody -- and, really, it shouldn't -- but there are times when I crack... my... self... up! Back in the recesses of my brain are these squishy little bits that find the stupidest things hilariously funny.

I may be walking down the street waiting for the dog to do her business, or putting an envelope in a mailbox, or sitting in my office trying to pay attention to a conference call, when a disassociated thought about nothing important becomes dislodged and tumbles like a boulder onto the rural mountain highway of my consciousness.

I try to ignore it but there it is, huge, demanding my attention, requiring that I deal with it before I can continue on my way.

Just this morning, for instance, my lovely wife explained her anxiety over having to present awards at the elementary school graduation ceremony while a stray thought worked hard to derail my focus. As she read out loud the script provided for the day's exercises, I couldn't help thinking how amusing it might be if she spoke in the voice of the jack-in-the-box from the Island of Misfit Toys. You know, the character from that Rankin & Bass Rudolph Christmas special from 40 years ago? But she should speak that way only when reading the scripted words, changing back to her normal voice when not reading from the script.

Pay attention, I told myself. She read on, unaware of my internal struggle.

Maybe the voice of Mr. Haney from Green Acres would sound funnier. She could walk up in her pretty summer dress, clear her throat and start right in with it. "Good morning, Mr. Douglas, and to all you fine ladies and gentlemen. Now I want to tell you about the greatest award ever handed out at this el-lee-mentary school..."

Pay attention!

Yep. That's how it works. I know I am supposed to be listening, being supportive and telling her she will do a great job (and I do tell her this). I just can't get around those pesky boulders.

My being equal measures assinine and infintile, many times the boulders in my way are nothing more than remembrances of flatulence. Mine, yours, someone else's, someone else's dog's, doesn't matter. Flatulence is funny. If flatulence weren't funny, most lucrative comedic ventures as we know them would not exist. And flatulence as a punch line is more well-regarded than you might think.

Did you know that Mark Twain, in an effort to amuse a friend, once wrote a story about Victorian-age stuffed shirts sitting around a table trying to figure out from which backside the horrible odor wafting across the room emanated? And why did he write this story, giving it the same loving care he gave to all his writings? Because fart jokes are the cornerstone of comedy.

Find someone who has never laughed at flatulence and you will have found a soulless drone.

So, the next time you think I'm paying attention and you suddenly notice a far-off look in my eyes, you can either tell yourself that I am concentrating hard on what you're saying or you can accept the fact I am more likely thinking of the last time you broke wind and tried to pretend it wasn't you by looking around for the source of the noise like an unpainted mime.

If I giggle inappropriately and for no apparent reason, that's a dead giveaway you should consider the latter option to be the case.

ⓒ 2010 Mark Feggeler

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