No Way to Overdose on the Best Medicine

My wife thinks I’m funny. That’s lucky for me, since the wisest advice I ever got about marriage was to keep her laughing. So far, so good.

She wishes I would use this space more often to make you laugh. That’s easier said than done, but here are a few things lately that have tickled my funny bone. Maybe you’ll get a kick out of them, too.

On Election Day, I took Patrick, who’s six, into the polling place to show him how our great democracy works.

“These are the people running for the various important offices,” I said. “We’ll fill in the bubbles next to the names of the ones we want to vote for, put the paper in the machine, and whoever gets the most votes wins.”

He looked the ballot over thoughtfully. “Where’s Broko Bomo?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, who?”

“Broko Bomo. You know, the president.”

“Wow. Very good. Aren’t you smart? Ba-rack O-ba-ma doesn’t have to run this time around, though. This is just for Connecticut.”

“Oh. Soooooo . . . where’s your name?”

The boy has faith in my ability to run the state. That alone should get you giggling. On the way home he told me he liked the smell of my “oderant”—which makes a fair amount of sense if you think about it. He also volunteered that he likes how my hair looks after I get out of the shower but before I put “ghel” in it—his preferred pronunciation is with a hard “g.” After my famous locks are styled, he says, they look too “pinecorny.”

It’s called the wet look, but whatever, bud.

All Sally wants to do is drive. At two, she has become a toddler of action. She rages against the five-point harness of her car seat, hollering “I want dwife! I want dwife!” That’s Sally-speak for, “Move over pal, I got this.”

“Sally, you’re too little to drive,” I say. “Besides, who’s the boss?”

“Daddy bosssss,” she announces, smiling with evident pride. It’s good to know someone around here understands who’s really steering the ship.

Eight year-old Magdalena told me over dinner one night that she likes school, where she gets to learn about the “soup.”

“I’m sorry. Didn’t hear you. Did you say the soup?”

“Yeah, Daddy, you know—the Soup Indians?”

Clara is now officially a “tween,” so laughing at her expense is off limits for the time being. We have entered a new era with new rules. Rule #1: If Dad’s not confused, then he’s not paying attention.

On a good day, though, my insane-and-off-the-chain Solid Gold dance moves can still crack that little lady’s code.

Speaking of code—my father, who likes a good laugh himself, is flummoxed by the Internet. Social networking is especially vexing. He knows about Facebook and Twitter, only he calls them Facepage and Twixt. Don’t let him catch you looking at your phone. “You came all this way to visit me and now you’re twixting about it?”

Laughter is the ballast of love. It keeps you upright when the wind is trying hard to push you over. It keeps you afloat when the seas change without warning. It keeps you on course when the current is dragging you into the deep, dark ocean.

Let it do it’s job.

I try to laugh every day, even if I have to look in the mirror—or at my bank balance—to do it. With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. I hope I die laughing.

There is no sound more pleasing to my heart than the sound of my wife’s laughter. When a giggle sneaks up and grabs her without warning . .  . well, I wish I could bottle it. I wish, too, I could remember just what had us laughing so hard that once when we could both barely breathe.

Maybe it was something I said. Maybe you had to be there.

From the November 2014 issue of Fairfield County Catholic.

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