“A cheerful heart is good medicine” ~ Proverb l7:22
Thank you for visiting our Humor Grab Bag page. Below are personal and true stories submitted by our support pals and friends of Gift From Within. Traumatic experiences may for a time diminish our ability to find the humor in life. Part of enjoying life is to be able to chuckle, and laugh. We hope to put a smile on your face after reading some of our stories.
The Rat by Patti
I was in my early days as a secretary in the detective bureau of a large southern police department. Being normally shy, I had a reputation for being quiet, sweet and naïve. The normal jovial pranksters in my squad didn’t really know what to make of me. One day I spoke up to ask a question of one of the detectives and he looked startled. I could almost hear him thinking “she speaks.” This all changed one fateful day when my protective shell was instantaneously shattered.
There was remodeling going on, a new addition being added to house the forensic unit. Apparently all the commotion disturbed the local rat population and they began to make appearances, much to everyone’s chagrin. It was rumored one had been seen under the candy machine right outside our squad.
I sat one day totally absorbed in my tape transcription. My earphones blocked out most outside noise but I heard a slight rustling behind me when I paused the tape and I knew no was back there. I twisted my chair around just in time to look a rat in the face as he stared down at me from the top of the window. I think both of us were equally startled. He was standing precariously atop a vertical blind and he appeared to be having trouble keeping a foothold. He glanced at me with confusion and then began a somewhat graceful slide down the vertical blind…right towards me.
I heard a tremendously loud EEEK and realized it was emanating from my mouth. Well, that type of shriek is music to the ears of police officers who live on adrenaline and are constantly ready and very willing to respond to a cry for help, from a damsel in distress especially! Several of the guys were on their feet instantly surrounding my desk. I managed to exit my cubicle and pointed at the rat. One of them grabbed a huge glove and tried to catch the offender.
I’m pretty sure the rat escaped justice, but what stays in my memory is how things changed. Suddenly I opened up, charmed out of my shyness by these gentlemen who seemed not quite so scary now. I began to join in the practical jokes they played on each other and found myself accepted and protected in a way that warmed my heart.
All of this thanks to a rat.
I was a sophomore in high school and met a guy who was a lot older. He was graduating from college and after one date he invited me to his graduation dinner and dance. Probably was not a great idea but I proceeded to go shopping for a new outfit and handbag. I thought he was very nice and I was flattered that I would be going to a fancy reception. I did not know any of his friends so I told myself to be on my best behavior.
At our table in the ballroom there were about 5 other couples and everyone was dressed in evening clothes. To my dismay all the young ladies were wearing sophisticated clothes and hairstyles. What I was thinking? My clothes seemed a bit immature for this occasion. I had on a nice dress but it was plain and simple compared to their outfits. And then I felt even more out of place because my date did not pay too much attention to me. And one girl straight across from me stared at me from time to time but did not speak.
I was feeling neglected and thought my attending was a mistake. So I tried to make the best of it by trying to get people to notice me. I made comments, nodded in agreement, smiled, laughed out loud but no one seemed to hear or answer me. I was just the kid…the high school girl.
Okay I thought, since no one really wants to talk to me I’ll just have a good ole time eating and sipping wine. I can’t remember if I consumed one of two glasses of wine but I did drink some. I probably drank more than I should have but I thought it would relax me. Then the waiter served the first course, a plump juicy grapefruit. I proceeded to put my spoon into my grapefruit and then it proceeded to fly through the air straight to the girl across from me onto her plate. Of course now they all paid attention to me and I was mortified. The evening did not go as planned but I did get to eat some delicious food and next time I will pass on the grapefruit
Waiting For The Bus by Megan
To put a few bucks in my pocket during my first year in college, I delivered lunches for a small deli to local businesses. The deli was located in a merchant district that also housed an accomplished school for the blind. One day, as I was on a return run, I was stopped on the sidewalk of a busy intersection by a woman who asked, “Can you please help me cross the road?” At first I thought the request rather odd until I saw that she was carrying a red and white tipped cane and realized that she was unable to see the crosswalk signals on her own. “Of course,” I replied taking her arm, and when the light turned green, we carefully walked together across the street. At the other side, she thanked me and we parted ways. I ran off to the deli to pick up my next delivery.
When I came out of the deli, I saw a man with the same type of red and white tipped cane standing at the corner of the intersection. Although I was a block away and the sidewalks were jammed full of people, I could see that there was no vehicle traffic in either direction. So, with only a slight hesitation about whether my help was needed, I seized the moment to shout out to the man: “It’s safe to cross the street!” People on both sides of the street heard my announcement and looked at me strangely. The man on the corner, too, seemed surprised, and not knowing where the voice was coming from, looked up into the sky and replied, “Thanks! I’m waiting for the bus!”
A laugh is a smile that bursts. ~Mary H. Waldrip
Here is a true story from when I was in my 20’s in Texas about 1978. I wanted all my childhood and life to take tap and ballet classes just like so many of my grade school friends had done. I decided to contact a ballet studio and enrolled in class. The teacher told me to go to the mall and get a leotard and tights and slippers.
The store at the mall had all kinds of leotards and tights; the fitness craze and workout centers trend was just hitting that part of Texas. Everything was so expensive, so she showed me a set on clearance, bright emerald green. It didn’t seem unusual to me because the store was full of brightly colored outfits.
I showed up for my first ballet class dressed from top to bottom in this bright green outfit. Class had started to warm up, so as I made my entrance in the back, they could all see me in the floor to ceiling mirrors. I was shocked to see that they all had on black leotards with pinkish tights. I felt like the Jolly Green Giant and was absolutely mortified. Always painfully shy, I didn’t dare say anything about it or leave, I just tried to blend in like a sore thumb.
Right after class I went to the mall and got outfits exactly like they were all wearing.
Next class, I came in with my black leotard and pinkish tights. I just stopped and stared with that feeling you get in a nightmare: every single woman in the class had on different colored bright leotards and tights! I was trying so hard to fit in and they looked at it as a chance to get out and go shopping for the latest trends.
It made me realize that everyone just wants to feel like they fit in. I didn’t quit the class, but I never forgot those feelings!
I have an identical twin. At this stage in life we look like sisters but no longer identical. Hmm can’t be identical when one is 20 pound heavier than the other and our bumps and grinds no longer match. We look more like partners on a Richard Simmons exercise video. But that is off the point.
We did look identical from birth to when we were in our twenties. People mixed up our names all the time. My father got so confused he started just saying “hey you.” People I didn’t know would wave to me in high school and I would wave back thinking they thought I was my twin. My twin on the other hand was the “evil” one and wouldn’t wave and continued to get me into trouble with my classmates. In fact, I think she actually took this on as a hobby.
When we were in fifth grade we decided to fool the teacher. I took my twin’s seat and she took mine. A bad idea. No one in the class even noticed. When the teacher called on me….I answered all the questions correctly. My sister took this opportunity to be ignorant and less knowledgeable. You would have thought I’d know better by now. Not the first time she got me into trouble. Of course this foolery was mostly her idea. She answered every question incorrectly and I sat at my desk fuming. She would wink and smile at me….I tried to figure out how to stop this mess I got myself in.
After the class I said we are going to fess up to this scheme of yours. She said “not a chance.” I went up to teacher and told her that we played a little joke on her and that we switched seats and that I knew it was wrong but…but…but…and that I knew all the answers that…..and that Judy didn’t….or maybe she did but didn’t answer it on purpose. blah blah blah…The teacher first looked bewildered, looked at my face and then said Oh really now? Study harder like your sister and gave her a big smile. Yes madam. I made a mental note to put chewed gum and squished tuna fish into my sister’s desk as soon as I had a chance. After that year they separated us from being in the same class. Thank Goodness or otherwise I might still be in grammar school.
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson
Soapdish ~ Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., and Cathy Moriarty (DVD – Dec 11, 2001)
Robin Williams – Live on Broadway (DVD)
The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank (Mass Market Paperback) by Erma Bombeck (Author)
If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck (Mass Market Paperback – Mar 12, 1985)
Scary Movie 1 (2000) DVD
Scary Movie 2 DVD ~ Anna Faris
The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edition) ~ Steve Martin, (DVD – 2005)
Walking in Circles Before Lying Down ~ Merrill Markoe