Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

I’m jealous of my cats. Oh don’t go rolling your little eyes at me. This is serious business. They sleep all day. I don’t want that. They get their way, mostly. I wouldn’t really mind that, but it’s so far off the scale of possibilities that I realize it’s not now nor has ever been feasible. They come and go and come and go and come and go and get by with it. We simply open the door and let them in, and immediately open the door and let them back out. I don’t want that either.

I’m jealous of my cats because they can sleep all day and sleep all night, then on a whim, can jump up and go off in a fast blur to explore some other galaxy in our house. They don’t appear to have a “get ready, get set, go” speed. It’s totally dead asleep and then “GO!”

I remember once being able to approach that kind of “get uppiness,” but it seems when I reached my 60s, some of my warranties expired. The “get up right now fast” warranty was one. When I give presentations or workshops, I’m on my feet the entire time, and my energy and enthusiasm levels are off the charts high. I’m moving the entire time. But that’s because I’ve “warmed up,” which in my case means getting my knees moving a bit in advance.

At one particularly dinner, I was giving a humorous keynote and got up from the head table a few minutes before my introduction. I stood in the sidelines and walked around. My “host” thought this was because I was getting ready emotionally, and was perhaps a bit anxious. True enough, but not the rest of the story. The real reason I was moving around was to jump start my knees. If I simply rose from my chair after having been seated half and hour or more, my audience would think I’m in need of a walker.

The other night, Brenda and I were watching TV, and the phone rang. It was only five feet from my chair. By the time I jumped up to answer it and stumbled around letting my knees know I was communicating with them, the caller had hung up. When people see you shuffle, they think your mind is as slow as your knees. We’re not stupid, we’re just “getting started.”

I like to think that it’s a lot like popping the clutch on a car. I can say this because I’m one of the three people in the entire country who has a standard shift automobile. Your battery’s dead. But, once you get it on the downside of a hill and pop the clutch, it’s off and running.

Back to my cat. Last week I watched him inside on our screened back porch. A cardinal was in a bush just outside the porch, and Winston wanted so for the bird to be frightened. But, both he and the cardinal knew he held no threat whatsoever.

That’s kind of like me being fast. It’s just not going to happen. But, you let me get started, and I can run for hours.

Date of Blog Story: 
November 20, 2009

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