Creating Laughable Moments

I grew up in a family of jokesters. Aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents, who joked and played tricks on one another. Sometimes on other people, too. Like the time my uncle Darrel and I were at the mall.

My uncle had been the victim of a factory accident, which tragically cut off two of his fingers. One day while at the mall we stopped inside the pet store. My uncle saw a little boy peering into a cage and walked over to him.

“Don’t get too close,” my uncle said, “Look what that lizard did to me.” He produced two stubby fingers, which sent a wild-eyed child running to his mom. We had a good laugh.

The prankster gene ran through the whole family, down to my little brother, who once taped the handle of a kitchen sprayer, aiming it in just the right spot, so when my mom turned the faucet on, she was soaked.

As my brother got older, even after I was married, we played jokes together. One time we buried a box with a random selection of things – paper, rock, deck of cards – and placed them in a hole in the garden where my husband was going to dig. He was very confused when he found it.

I taught my children to be pranksters. They learned quickly, once placing red Kool-Aid in the faucet, telling their dad it was rust. It’s a good thing my husband caught on to my humor, since I played more than one joke on him.

My dad wasn’t a prankster so much as a joke teller, though I often didn’t understand his jokes, perhaps because he was laughing so hard I couldn’t figure out what he was saying. His belly shook, and he sounded like one of those toy novelty boxes with that goofy, contagious laughter.

As for my mom, she was the story-teller, rambling on about her life in Sweden (which never happened, but many people believed it did), even reciting an authentic Swedish prayer.

It is from my mom that I learned the art of story-telling. It is from my whole family I learned to joke and laugh at life.

My husband and I have created our own funny moments, like the time we played restaurant when our kids were little, applying accents to our Midwestern voices, handing our children menus and serving them food. Even now, with children gone, we laugh and get silly, doing things others would probably never understand.

None of the jokes matter, none of the incidents anything special. Yet they live, forming a bond that can’t be broken, one we can never forget.

It is in those moments when we least expect it that memories live. The goofy, unexpected, laughable moments. The ties that bring us together.

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6 thoughts on “Creating Laughable Moments”

  1. I loved what you wrote in this message and I can so relate because my dad was a joker, a storyteller and a prankster and so many of the things you wrote about we’re so similar in my own life. I was a picky eater and instead of telling me about the starving people in Africa My mom played restaurant to get me to eat the same food that I was being picky about lol! I remember all of the laughs around the bonfire in the evenings we’re playing cards at the table while it was pouring rain outside and to this day and my blog and in my books that I’m reading it’s all about those good memories thank you for sharing yours

    1. You are so welcome! I heard the starving Africa story often. My brother and I stopped it from ever being told again by placing an envelope of mashed potatoes into the mail box. (Should I be admitting this?) Thanks for sharing your memories with me!

  2. Hi Vicki,
    Great post. I love laughter. My dad was a storyteller, too, and most of his stories had a punchline–something crazy or humorous that happened. I carry on his tradition in my books. I totally agree with you. Laughter does create a bond that stays with you.
    Thanks, Amy

    1. What a cool dad you must have had. Isn’t it funny how we don’t appreciate those stories or crazy moments until they are gone? I’m glad you carry his tradition with you when you write. Thanks for sharing this, Amy.

  3. Your place sounds like so much fun! My son once got me with the taped water faucet sprayer, too. So I grabbed it and sprayed him right there in the kitchen. Those are good memories.

Would love to hear your thoughts.