Tag Archives: laughter

Friends We Meet Along the Way ©

I’ve written a humor column every month for the last 16 years. That breaks down to 192 columns—134,400 words. The columns go by many titles and most of the ideas for them come at times when I am not sitting at my desk,  vis. while I’m  walking the dog,  having lunch with my Emmaline. My, ideas–it’s a stretch to call it inspiration—pop up wherever I may be.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is telling about some of my  adventures (real and imagined), and in letting you, the readers, meet some of the people who inhabit those adventures.

In many stories, from exploring the Cuban jungle with my colleague, Kate, to meeting with my long-distance pal from outer space, the robot KB-11.2 (Kaybe),  I have taken Life on some curious journeys. And I’ve share them with you. It’s never been boring, and as I write this month’s column, and  as I think about all my friends,  my pals, the little Dutchmen come to mind.

I haven’t really been out to the Smokies to see them lately. As a result, we’re thinking about making a trip there especially since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. I first introduced the little guys in July 2014 in a column titled Man in the Mirror.  It was about my first encounter with a curious-looking gentleman, a kabouter. Most people would think a kabouter as a leprechaun.  Kabouters wear  long beards and antique Dutch-looking clothing including  tri-cornered hats.

I was standing in front of the mirror in a vacation cabin back in the Smoky Mountains where Emmaline and I  frequently stay. The Dutchman was staring at me from a mirror that hung in the bathroom. I was startled. After I calmed down and got my bearings, the Dutchman and his friends took me tubing down the stream that flows alongside  the cabin. We drank root beer from large steins, and had a rip-roaring afternoon.  I’ve written a couple of columns about our adventures with the Dutchman and his fellow Kabouters.  But I haven’t given you readers much detail about them.

Here’s some background:  The Dutchman in the mirror is named Jurriaan. It’s Jurriaan Lievin, as a matter of fact.  Jurriaan and his friends live in a mushroom village located in the woods just down the one-lane road from our family’s Smoky Mountain cabin.  These guys, according to Dutch folklore, are shy of humans. Stories say that they play tricks on people who try to catch them. For whatever reason these little Dutchmen men were more curious than shy when it came to me, Emmaline, and our family  well before wrote about them. They’ve been a part of our family celebrations ever since.

Folklore also mentions that some Kabouter love the off-stage limelight. They have been the focus of countless fairytales, but the stories always mention the tiny men slipping away after performing their good deeds. We  all  know the Legend of the Wooden Shoes.  And on television we’ve all seen the gnome in that travel commercial. That’s Jurrriaan’s cousin, Nicholaas. He, wasn’t shy like the other men in the forest, so Nicholaas decided  to head for Los Angeles and try his hand at acting.  He’s become quite successful.

Emmaline and I are planning to go to the cabin soon. We need adventure, and our friends the Dutchmen are all about adventure.  They always have been.  In that vein, I’ve decided it’s time my best friends meet each other.

I contacted Kaybe and Kate and told them to meet us at the cabin this spring. Kate is excited to get out of the jungle for a while and to meet everyone.  I asked Kaybe drop by and pick her up in his spaceship. It’s not out of his way.

Emmaline is excited, too. She’s planning a party and has already bought  root beer steins for everyone. And there’ll be plenty of inner tubes too for the river float.  Oh, that reminds me, I need to get some lubricating oil for Kaybe.   The humidity at the cabin sometimes plays hob with his metal joints.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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A Thought While Walking the Dog

How many ants

On how many sidewalks

Have been stamped on

By laughing Children??

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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The Best Medicine

To call Jeremiah Teancrumpets, the British billionaire, irritable, short tempered and demanding would be like calling the Sahara a dry sandy desert in North Africa.  His Excellency was known to a select few as “Jerry.” Everyone else called him “Sir Jeremiah,” or  “M’Lord.”

At least to his face.  But whether Jeremiah Teancrumpets was Jerry, or M’Lord to his face, many folks called him “that blankety-blank old blankety-blank,”  behind his back.

Sir Jeremiah acquired his fortune the old fashioned way–he inherited it. His father, Lord Regis Teancrumpets acquired his piles of money in the same way. It’s difficult, but if you look deep enough into the roots of the aristocratic Teancrumpet family tree, you will find  a gaggle of sharp-eared working-class ancestors.

These ancestors owned a dingy eatery where foreign entrepreneurs  met clandestinely with the wealthy landed gentry to work out the details of very profitable overseas transactions.  The clandestine proceedings were designed to keep the monarchy from demanding its cut of lucrative overseas deals.  The Teancrumpet ancestors listened in on these business conversations. They opted for the low road with the information they garnered. They didn’t inform the crown as was their bounden duty. Instead the Teancrumpet ancestors took a cut of the action from the conspiring businessmen.

It was cheaper for the entrepreneurs to cut the eatery extorionists in on a small part of the profits than to risk losing their heads in the Tower of London.  A couple of generations later, the lowly Teancrumpets were kissing the rest of the working class goodbye and moving on up to the the British aristocracy.

Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets inherited wealth, and, genetically speaking, he also inherited an irritable, short tempered, demanding personality, that almost cost him his life.

One of Sir J’s tirades precipitated a physical crisis that led to a transformation in his behavior.  One morning in his dressing room Sir J’s trouser zipper stuck. He flew into a rage, and was going through his repertoire of obscenities and expletives at the top of his lungs when he suddenly coughed, gagged, and fell on the floor  unconscious.

Tebbs, the butler, who was laying out Sir Jeremiah’s clothes, shouted to the upstairs maid and told her to phone for medical help. Then he began emergency CPR. Fortunately for Sir J, one of Britain’s leading research cardiologists owned the adjoining estate.  Dr. Hanover came at once. He stabilized Sir Jeremiah, and then accompanied him in the ambulance to the hospital.   It was Dr. Hanover who directed Sir J’s  recovery and recuperation.

When it was clear that Sir Jeremiah was going to make a full recovery, Dr. Hanover told him:  “Jerry if you fly into another one of those rages, you won’t survive it.  If you want to live, you’re going to have to change your behavior.  I can help you.  In my research I have developed a simple, effective way for you to deal with your angry outbursts.”

An uncharacteristically subdued Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets  inquired:

“What do I have to do?”

“Laugh,” said the doctor.

“LAUGH!” shouted Sir J.

“Out loud.” said Dr. Hanover quietly.

Sir Jeremiah’s left eye began twitching.  Blood rose to his cheeks and his bald pate.  Obscenities began to form.  Sir Jeremiah was about to launch in to one of his classic anger fits.

“LAUGH, YOU MISERABLE BLIGHTER,” bellowed Dr. Hanover. “LAUGH OR YOU’LL BE DEAD IN TWO MINUTES!”

Rage and fear competed on the face of Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets.  Fear won.  The obscenities died in on his lips, and out of his mouth came a strangled gurgle, then a weak, lugubrious giggle.

“Good,” said the doctor. “Again. Laugh again, you old blister!”

For the next half hour Dr. Hanover insulted and cajoled Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets, and for the next half hour Sir J responded with increasingly fluent laughter.

There followed weeks of laugher therapy in Dr. Hanover’s clinic.

Thus it was that Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets learned to laugh his way back to good health–and increasing wealth.  Soon Sir Jeremiah’s laugh was striking greater fear in the hearts of his adversaries than his rage ever had.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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