Nov 28, 2016


5 Things that Make You Laugh Out Loud:

Humor is a funny thing (pun intended). What one person finds hilarious, another doesn't see the humor in. I don't know how funny you'll find these things. I know they get me laughing every time..

1. Overheard (Chuuk Edition). When we were student missionaries in Chuuk, J and I started jotting done funny things that our students, colleagues, and even each other said. We called it "Overheard" and to this day, if J and I sit down and run through the pages of quotes we collected, we will be ROFL. A sampling:

Several of the funniest lines were when our students disapproved of our disciplinary actions:

"Don't you know how to love people?"--one of the students to my colleague Mikal Clark when he was taking down the volleyball net and they didn't want him to.

"Give! You will give to So Young!"-one of my fifth graders demanding I return a toy to her classmate that my colleague had confiscated.

"Where's the man? We will kill him."--another fifth grade girl joins they fray, speaking about the colleague who took the toy.

"I will not go and play.  I will stay in your house."--the original fifth grader now refusing to leave our house after I wouldn't return the toy.

"Mr. Maycock, can I wait until the flavor goes away?"--my high school senior Lisy on being told to get rid of her chewing gum.

"Mr. Carlos, are you tired of teaching?"-J's student Joylyn after seeing him get upset at some other students.

My failed attempt at building "self-esteem":

Me: "O.K. What good qualities do you have?"
Student: "Warning. . .Detention"

One student's take on salvation:

"I don't know if God choose you, but I think you're a good boy."--One of my fifth graders inviting a classmate to go to heaven with him, as written in his Bible notebook.

Willy "Big Will" Hawthorne was a fount of witty banter.  Will was a student missionary from Walla Walla and our high school science teacher.. A good chunk of our "Overheard" entries were one-liners from Willie:

"I trust in God for protection, but I also believe re-bar works well."--Willy commenting on a situation in which a student had physically assaulted one of our teachers. Gallows humor was not uncommon during that year.

"We're right behind you. You're out front and we're protected." -Willy to Mr. Lacayan, the acting principal while our principal was off-island.

"If I eat all my junk food now, I won't be tempted by it."--Willy

"Today went really well for being a bad day."--Willy

"Don't put yourself down, Sean.  Give us the opportunity!'--Willy

2. Humor about the Teacher Life:

I've always been one for gallows humor. I like being able to laugh at the stresses, failures and frustrations of my profession. Sometimes, laughing is how you get through the hard times.

Here are two of my favorites (Be forewarned, the first one has some strong language):

3. My Children

These boys of mine crack me up all the time. Unfortunately, I don't have a handy little collection of all the funny things they've said over the years. Maybe I should start compiling! But those two crazy kids are some of the most consistent sources of laughter in my daily life.

4. Synonyms, especially slang, especially for slightly inappropriate words like "drunk". I haven't really had a good belly laugh over synonyms in awhile but when I was a kid my brother and I would look up these synonyms and laugh until our sides hurt. Language nerds, I know. It's particularly funny when you read them one right after the other.
Herewith, synonyms for drunk:

Another example of this sort synonyms list is the song "Shake Your Euphemism" by the Blue Man Group. I laughed so hard when they performed this at their show in Chicago this past spring. I mean whoever heard of referring to your rear end as "your life's work"?   LMAO (Pun intended). Click here to read the lyrics, which are essentially one long list of euphemisms for. . .well, you know,

5. Things I Know I Cannot Laugh at.
As a teacher there are times when you know you cannot laugh. A students has done wrong and they must be dealt with. You are stern, stone-faced: This is absolutely unacceptable behavior. And all of a sudden you're overcome by giggles as you reflect on this so wrong thing the child has done. You start coughing a lot, looking in the other direction and staring hard at the wall, willing yourself not to so much as crack as smile. But the harder you try, the more your body trembles with barely contained hilarity. The last time this happened, I think I was successful in hiding my inappropriate mirth from the student who was being reprimanded. But when I shared the story with my colleagues at lunch, and with my wife that night I could barely get through it without collapsing in a fit of laughter. Even now, all it takes is remembering one word of the incident and I literally start to laugh out loud.  It was just plain wrong. (And funny, too. . .).

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