'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE READERS RESPOND
A few weeks ago I explained that I was running low on new topics for this humor column, and I put out an urgent request to the readers to send in ideas. The response was overwhelming. To all of you who took time to send me a note, I just want to say two things: (1) thank you so much for your concern and your heartfelt effort, and (2) please, for goodness sake, remember to take your medication.
Requesting assistance from my readers was a very eye-opening exercise. I never knew this part of the state was populated with so many, um, interesting people. (I’m trying really hard not to use the word “demented.”) As I read through the notes, the level of creativity and inventiveness made me smile with admiration—it also made me want to call a security company and have an alarm system installed in my house because, frankly, you people scare me.
To give the rest of you an idea of just how interesting some of our neighbors truly are, and to remind you always to lock your doors, I’d like to present a small sampling of the suggestions I received. And I swear, these are all real.
One reader explained that she and her adult daughter enjoy countless hours of fun and laughter because their house is haunted by a ghost. The ghost is named “John.” She didn’t explain if the ghost told them his name is John, or if they just decided that John seemed right, nor did she explain exactly why living in a haunted house filled them with so much laughter.
This loyal reader did offer another bit of information about John, the friendly ghost (which, come to think of it, might explain all that fun and laughter). Let me quote her verbatim: “I have actually felt him in my bed on several occasions….I finally get a man in my bed but one problem, he is dead!”
Another reader described in graphic detail the trauma of witnessing an “eat n’ show” display in the cafeteria each day. Yes, I agree, dear reader, that people should have been taught to eat with their mouths closed, and no, dear reader, I don’t think an Army surplus flame-thrower is an appropriate solution to this problem. Look on the bright side: since you lose your appetite each day, you’ll never become overweight.
Other readers suggested that I write about the frustrations of daily life. More than one reader mentioned the maddening experience of check-out lines, including: incompetent cashiers, people who try to cut in front of you in line, people who bring 25 items to the 12-items-or-less express lane, and little old ladies who want to write a check for one can of cat food. Again, dear readers, let me remind you that the solution to this problem is not surplus military weaponry.
Possibly the most interesting reply I received (and remember, I’m substituting the word “interesting” when I really mean “demented”) described in detail a dear reader’s desire to see her son all decked out for his prom. However, this desire did not manifest itself in taking photographs of her son and his date before the prom. Oh no, that would have been too simple. Instead, our dear reader’s desire involved driving almost 45 minutes away from home to the banquet hall which hosted the prom. And then cruising slowly through that banquet hall’s parking lot—with the headlights off, of course. And then finally, peering out the car window to get a glimpse of junior in his tux—using high-powered binoculars!
The dear reader explained she merely wanted to see “my son and his girlfriend emerge from their limousine.” How lovely. Although, most law enforcement agencies would describe it a bit differently: “stalking.”
Well, I must admit this whole experience has been very enlightening. And if I ever request help from my readers again, you’ll know that I forgot to take my medication.
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