Sometime shortly after moving to New Orleans my youngest son made his first strike as a microhumorist. Around the age of three he became enthralled with bookmarks, primarily he wanted to look at them and observe the artwork on them. No big deal, until he started pulling bookmarks from the books I was reading. Being a young fine and proper gentleman he would attempt to replace the bookmarks as best as a three year old could; most of the time he would almost replace the bookmark near the place where it was originally placed, making his act even more menacing.
Imagine yourself sitting down in your favorite reading chair for the evening, about to do some serious reading, you open your book where your bookmark is placed but you cannot for the life of you figure out where you left off, because your youngest had put your bookmark back in the wrong place. Funny sure, annoying yes. Eventually the youngest grew out of this little playful habit.
This morning I put the water on for coffee and turned the radio on to listen to NPR. As I waited to right the ratio of my blood and caffeine levels I noticed that the stories on NPR didn't sound just right. They were news stories alright but they were not NPR news stories. By chance I slowly turned the tuner clockwise and then it hit me, the microhumorists had struck again. This morning as he walked past the radio he reached his hand up and gently turned the tuner from NPR to the station for the blind. The local station for the blind has a dedicated and lovely rotation of volunteers who come in every morning to read aloud the local newspaper.
I probably enjoy these little moments of tomfoolery because of my own dabbles in microhumor. Here are three of my favorites.
1. One evening during my freshman year of college my roommate and I were both working on essays (we wrote them out in long hand back then). My roommate took a break and stepped out of the room for a moment. While he was down the hall I walked over to his desk, found his essay, and discovered that he had stopped mid-sentence. I am not for sure what possessed me to do such an act but I picked up his pencil and wrote the word sh*t as the last word in his unfinished sentence. A few moments later he returned, sat down at his desk and commenced to pick up where he left off. But he couldn't, he stared at his paper for a good piece, then he reread his last paragraph four or five times. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and released my pent up laughter. I dont know if he ever got me back, but if he didn't my youngest has for him!
2. A few years ago I wanted to expose my nephew to a variety of worship experiences, so I took him to an Episcopal service in Charleston, WV. I knocked on the door, my sister-in-law let me in while her then husband went to retrieve my nephew. I looked on the kitchen table and noticed my then brother-in-law had been working on the crossword puzzle. I quickly grabbed his pen and filled in a seven word clue with "redbull." A few moments later my then brother-in-law returned to his chair and commenced to finish the crossword puzzle. A few minutes later he started cursing under his breath about the craziness of the puzzle that particular morning, then he yelled out loud why he had answered redbull for 27 across, then he looked up at me and saw my mischievous grin, cursed at me and told me to get out. It was a good morning.
3. Finally. The first year me and the missus were married her father and mother, sister and nephew, and another niece traveled to Virginia to pay us a visit. I don't know how we all crammed into our half a rented house but we did. It was a great time. Except that during most of the visit my father-in-law kept giving me a hard time, teasing me about all kinds of stuff. One night I had had enough, so I did what anyone else would have done to their 77 year old father-in-law, I hid his teeth. The next morning as he got up from bed I put my ear on the door and heard him ask my mother-in-law where she moved his teeth to. I knew I could not let this go on very long. I knocked on the door and said now let this be a lesson to you next time you start giving me a hard time. Despite my cleverness he never stopped giving me a hard time, but to the day he died if he knew I was coming to his house he would put his teeth in a special hidden place where I could never find them. I think of you often Leo, you were a fine man.