Monday, November 03, 2008

I maintain on the plane

I have the best time when you come,
says my mother.

I like to listen to your laugh.

Yes. My laugh.

I can chuckle, chortle, and giggle with the best of 'em, but I excel at a particularly loud, boisterous laugh. I have been told, "You have a merry laugh." Perhaps. I don't remember that I have ever been recorded when I was laughing, so I don't know what I sound like.

But I do know that in the past I have embarrassed myself and others who were with me with my laughter, and I have annoyed strangers as well. I have annoyed Richard, who on more than one occasion has stalked to the door between the bedroom and the living room where I was sitting on the couch to give me "the look" when I've gotten tickled at something I've read or seen on TV and my "merry laugh" has gotten too loud.

One memorable evening I went on a date to the movies.

We saw Take the Money and Run. It was hilarious, and I started laughing...

and laughing...

and I was frequently the only one in the theater who was laughing.

The young man I was with, whose name was Seymour, kept darting sideways glances at me...

and other people in the audience were turning to look at the crazy woman who wouldn't stop laughing. We may have had a couple more dates after that, but I know he never took me to the movies again.

Which sets the stage for my choice of reading material on the airplane.

I had no idea what adventures might occur on the Springfield to Dallas-Ft Worth legs of the journey to and from Los Angeles, but I assumed with good cause after my experience last year that it might be stressful.

So, I perused the shelf for the most likely candidates to lighten the mood.

I chose two books to take with me that I assumed would be fun.

And I chose this one to read on the flight west. And it was so much fun that I almost "lost it" on the plane.

The basic plot of the story involves the character Death, who is forced into retirement by his bosses. He becomes a hired hand. The Grim Reaper because a literal reaper on a farm.

I started reading it while I was waiting for the flight to DFW, which was right on time. Once we had taken off, I resumed the story after about 30 minutes or so of staring out the window at the land below. Things were going along just fine; and then I saw that there might be trouble. On the farm where Death is working, there is a cockerel, Cyril, who can't seem to get his crowing right, and this annoys Death. So Death prints a sign that says "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo."
Then he wedged the board in front of the henhouse and pointed Cyril toward it.

"This you will read," he said [Death always speaks in "small caps" which I can't replicate here].

Cyril peered myopically at the "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo" in heavy gothic script. Somewhere in his tiny mad chicken mind a very distinct and chilly understanding formed that he'd better learn to read very, very quickly.

So, the story moves forward with another plot line for a while, and then Cyril comes back into the story.

It was another dawn. Cyril the cockerel stirred on his perch.
The chalked words glowed in the half light.
He concentrated.
He took a deep breath.
Now that the memory problem was solved, there was only the dyslexia to worry about.

This struck me as hilariously funny at the time I was reading it. I took a deep breath, put the book down, and quickly looked away and out the window.

And I could not believe what I saw.

Circles insides of squares as far as the eye could see; and at 32,000 feet, one can see quite a ways away. I know why the circles are there, it's because of the irrigation system that they use.

It was fascinating, and it saved me from embarrassing myself and annoying everybody around me.


Tami said...

That is really cool. Really!

Anonymous said...

You are too funny. I remember when Pops and I would get to laughing and she would start "honking!" Oh we have had some good laughs together along with your family!!

Your mama looks great!!