Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

There are some things I would not have done when I was younger. I can't say that anymore. Not after last week. Not after THE SHOW. In all honesty, it wasn’t THE SHOW that was really “the show.” It was the preparation.

The foundation you need for the story is simple: I am, always will be, and always have been the class clown. People ask me to do things they wouldn’t ask others, because I’ll probably do it, for a laugh. Brenda, God love her, is an innocent bystander.

On Friday, October 30, our church had a dinner theater as a fundraiser for missions. The entertainment was a 70s revue. We had Elton John, John Denver, the Godfather. Sonny and Cher sang “I got you, babe.” Yep. Brenda and I were Sonny and Cher. Think about this for a minute. The class clown. Who was Sonny? Who was Cher?

We went to a discount store for costumes and bought several sacks of “stuff,” but deemed them tacky and ugly and took them back. A friend suggested a local shop where we could rent costumes.

The owner burst my bubble. We weren’t that original, he said. For about 80% of the couples who go as Sonny and Cher, the man is Cher. Sonny's costume was easy. Fur vest, gold baggy shirt, patterned pants. Cher was tough. The shop had one “hippy” blouse and two pair of pants left. The blouse might have worked. The tiny pants couldn't. We then moved to outfits from Cher's glitzy period, including a “Bob Mackie” dress. Black with sequins, fringe and spaghetti straps. He smiled and said, “It stretches, but, you’ll have to shave your chest and possibly your back." Uh NO.

By this time, there was an audience - two ladies looking for flapper dresses. “You’re not going to try that on?” one asked. “NO,” I shouted, rather rudely. She went for the juggler. “Then why are you going to be Cher if you’re not going to take a risk?” I growled and snatched the elastic pile of bling-bling and headed toward the dressing room. My thighs are bigger than Cher’s chest. The elastic stretched, but the outfit came to about a foot below where any respectable person would have worn it.

I laughed at myself, and one of the ladies tossed another little number under the curtains. Red sequins, strapless, with elastic that “was supposed” to come up under my arms – a halter dress. A thong would have fit better. When I exited the dressing room, I felt it imperative to declare, “I want to be perfectly clear that had I been able to wear these dresses, I would NOT have.” Being a good marketer, the owner knew he had to find me something or lose the Sonny rental. There was one last costume for full-figured male Chers. A blue floor length Vegas style shift with a blue cape, feathers and “diamonds” around the neck. And, a head dress, of course! One of the "flappers" walked out of another dressing room and exclaimed, “That’s perfect. Cher was so over the edge."

When she saw the costumes, Brenda shook her head. “Didn’t they have anything else for Cher?” I was so frustrated by the experience, I almost hit her with my purse.

Just for the record, we were great!

Date of Blog Story: 
November 3, 2009

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