Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

There may something more unflattering.  I don’t’ know what!  I was discussing being “older” with my wife, and she said, “We’re entertaining.”

On the surface, I liked that.  As a motivational humorist, I get paid to be entertaining.  She wasn’t referring to that kind of entertainment.  

You see, the older we get the more trouble we sometimes have walking, particularly in the morning.  The more trouble we have hearing, particularly in a crowded room.  The more trouble seeing.  The more trouble chasing after grandchildren.  Brenda says our children think this is entertaining.  I think that’s not nice.  She says they smile at our behavior (I say they laugh) because they don’t think of us as old and are amused when we don’t operate at the same “efficiency” level as before.  I don’t see any honor in that.

I love the beach, and I love to ride the waves, as do my granddaughters.  Recently, we were playing in the ocean waiting for the big wave.  When it came, it was really big.  Just as when I was young, I dove with the wave and rode it all the way in. It was fast.  It was exhilarating.   I loved it!

After the ride, I sat in the surf, and my son rode another wave to me and said, “You OK?”  “Sure.  Why?”  “Well, you’re just sitting there.”  “Yea, I know,” I answered.  “Dad, I know you.  You can’t even define the word sit.  Why are you just sitting there?”  “I’m OK,” I snapped.

“What have you done?” he said.  “Have you had an accident?”  I was furious.  Ten years ago, “an accident” would mean I had a broken neck.  I don’t know what he meant this time. I don’t want to!

“I’m OK.”  “Then why don’t you ride another wave?” he challenged.  “OK, Mister Need to Know Everything, I hurt my hip and can’t stand up very quickly.”  He laughed.  OUT LOUD!!!!  “Here, let me help you,” he said. I turned on him.  “You put one finger on me and your life will end immediately.  I’m NOT so old I need help getting up.”

He laughed again.  “Dad, that’s just too funny.”  I disagreed.  “Too funny” is when I get paid for telling stories.”

Another case.  Our grandkids got bunk beds.  I told the top bunker I’d help her make up her bed.  Son said, “This I’ve gotta see.”  “You don’t think I can get up in the bed,” I almost yelled with confidence.  “Of course you can get up there,” he said.  “I just want to get the video camera ready when you try to get down.”

Both sons have told me they don’t think of me as old.  BUT, when I do something that proves I’ve got a decade or six behind me, they tease.  Brenda says I’m over-reacting.  She says they’re not really poking fun.  “We’re just entertainment.”             

I didn’t believe her until one Saturday afternoon. I was waking from a nap on our screened back porch and heard one of our grandchildren say to a friend, “When I shout real loud, watch GrandBob jump up and stumble around on his bad knees.”  As if that weren’t bad enough, she made two dollars selling tickets.

Date of Blog Story: 
August 13, 2009

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