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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keeping a Straight Face . . .

I'm not much good at keeping a straight face.

I can think of all kinds of gags and jokes to play on someone . . . but then I give it away because I think how funny it's going to be and I start to smile . . . and then chuckling . . . and then downright laughing.

Happened today at lunch. I was trying to pull Evelyn's leg and, sure enough, I started to smile . . . and she saw right away that I was up to no good . . . the more she became aware, the funnier I found it . . . and I broke out laughing.

Reminded me of the time Bill Lamb and his wife, Barbara, came out from Hamburg, Iowa to visit us. We, my ex-wife, Mary, and I, picked them up at the airport and I decided to have some fun with them.

"Wow! It's great to see you guys! You look great!

Listen, we'll take a little sightseeing tour and head up the coast. It works out fine for us because, you see, Mary and I belong to this Hare Krishna Ashram in La Jolla, and we'll stop in there and introduce you around. It's a fascinating culture that I'm sure you'll just love. Oh, it's a bit different from Iowa . . . but great.

What we do, see, is when we get to the Ashram, we all take all of our clothes off and then enter the bathing pool . . . then, before we put our clothes back on, we all join in a circle and dance around a table laden with fruit and vegetables. We clap our hands and sing a mantra . . . just anything that comes into your minds. That's fine. It's the free flowing spirit, y'see."

At least that's how it was supposed to play out.

I got as far as describing the taking off of all our clothes and entering the bathing pool and I made the mistake of looking in the rear view mirror and I saw Bill looking at Barb with this quizzical, look of consternation, and I knew he was wondering . . ."what in the hell have we gotten ourselves into?"

And that was when I lost it and started laughing. A great gag and I couldn't pull it off.

Such is the difficult life I lead. Or led.

Naturally, I'm much more mature now.

I would never tell a tall tale like that today.

'Did I happen to ever tell you about how I went through Viking training while visiting in Norway . . . .?"

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