It Only Hurts When I Don’t Laugh

The other day, Si noted the correlation between my current address (on one hand) and the They Might Be Giants favorite from their Flood album — characterizing me as “Partickhill Man, Partickhill Man.” True enough, and clever indeed — but I so often err in comical ways that I tend to think of myself more as “Risible Man.” I’ll turn the key in my office door several times, annoyed that the door doesn’t open, before I remember that I’m turning it the wrong direction. I’ll hustle downstairs to deliver some papers to the office, and realize halfway down that I left them in the office. I’ll stumble in an especially awkward way, or buy a big load of groceries before I realize that I was supposed to pick up a parcel on my way home, or… well, let’s just agree that there’s no end to the comical blunders to which I’m liable.
This is a convenient thing, since I love a good laugh, and living with me — as I have for as long as I remember — I always have plenty of material to laugh at.
For instance, yesterday Margaret and Pippa and I were doing some errands in the Chicago snow and sleet. I was trying to protect Margaret from slipping, since her knees and ankles are already in dodgy condition. As we stepped onto a grate, my foot went out from under me and I plummeted to the sidewalk. With more presence of mind than I can account for, I rolled with the fall (so I didn’t land squarely on any one body part); as a result, I haven’t hurt anything badly — but my whole body is achey (especially (of course) my neck, back, and shoulder). So both the spinning fall (which amused the watching Margaret and Pip) and the ironic post-tumble aches and pains (which amuse me, between winces) provide material for mirth.
Though some days I wish I could do that for a living, instead of being a laughably forgetful, clumsy, awkward lecturer/priest, in the end it’s just a joy having so much cause to chuckle absent-mindedly at my own ample folly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *