Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, March 8, 2019


Today as I was driving to the Y to give Helen a ride home from her h2o aerobics class, I made a funny noise and made myself laugh out loud. No, not that kind of noise. I was singing a song and suddenly, without thinking about it, I did it in a warbly bass approximation of Art Carney’s Crazy Guggenheim voice. I started laughing and had a hard time stopping. Then I thought, “Why should I try to stop laughing? I’m really funny,” so I laughed some more.

There are two ways to laugh at yourself. There is the rueful laugh, the one that says you recognize that you are a dunce. That’s what we usually mean by “being able to laugh at yourself.” We can laugh at our own foibles. But it’s equally worthwhile to be able to laugh at your own self as an entertainer, not just as a dumbkopf.

I thought, “This business of giving up something for Lent so that something else can take its place is really paying off. I’m giving up those mental arguments I have with stupid politicians and hateful Christians--the ones I always win but that they don’t even know about—and now there’s room for me to entertain myself with silly songs.” [1]

I don’t know if that’s all that God has in mind for that newly empty space in my soul, but it’s been a long time since I got to laugh out loud at my fun self. Maybe something that seems more spiritual will come along, but right now laughing at my comedic singing ability is a blessing that I’m happy to accept.

John Robert McFarland

[1] In older English, “silly” meant “blessed.”

“My body is a temple. [Ancient and crumbling]”
On a t-shirt in the Signals catalog.

No comments:

Post a Comment