Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fun is Life

I cannot say "Life is fun" because I firmly believe that "fun" should never be used as an adjective. I have felt this way for many years, ever since a hostess asked me to being some "fun cheese" to a party.

As I dodder about in my half-double here in Coal Country, I am still dedicated to Fun. I especially enjoy My Own Fun, which may come at others' expense, but does no harm whatsoever. Feel free to steal (or modify) any of these for your own use and annoyance.


Crossing the street is always fun for me. I enjoy "freezing" at a DON'T WALK sign, usually in a goofy position. Then assume a silly gait as you cross. DO NOT LOOK AT ANYONE FOR A REACTION. Just enjoy the moment.

The Supermarket Stare is cool. As you push your cart down the aisle, lock your eyes on someone far away. Then, as you get closer, DO NOT turn your head or eyes to keep focus on the other person. Just keep your gaze where it was. FUN!

Restaurant Fun: When a waitron asks you, "Is everything alright?" rub a specific part of your body (I prefer the upper-outside thigh) and say, "Well, I've got this rash ..." Follow that up with, "Well, you asked!"

Air Travel Fun: I must credit my brother with this one. Once we were given seats by the emergency door, with attendant legroom. Cool. A flight attendant came over and gave us the are-you-physically-able-to-do-the-door-thing speech. Tom gave her a blank smile and nodded once or twice. Finally she said, "I'm sorry sir, but do you speak English?" With a faux-Slavic accent he said, "Diet Coke." Later we played the Back-of-the-Head Game: "Let's see, that's Princess Di sitting with Jackie Gleason and Crabby Creiner from Jetland Street."

Dr. Fun: Tell doc you just got back from a vacation in the Isles of Langerhans (they're in the pancreas). Or that you received a Bundle of Hiss (heart) for Christmas. Once I saw an ortho dude for a small injury. I could not crack the guy. He was tanned and poloed, on a Friday afternoon, obviously dying to take the Benz up to the Vineyard. Finally, as he wrote out a prescription, he asked, "Does anything bother your stomach?" I said, "Ferris wheels." Bingo.

Hospital Fun: I have some doozies, but many are too blue for this space. A good one is to stash some grapefruit juice after breakfast. When it's tinkle-cup time, pour the juice in. If someone remarks about cloudy pee-pee, chug the juice and say, "Let's run it through again."

The Great American Neck Snap. One of my all-time faves. The bare bones: How many people can you get to turn their heads? The quicker the better. Malls are a great venue. Just talk with a friend in a normal voice, but shout out one word. "Remember when the Stones sang 'HEY you, get offa my cloud'?" Or, "I love when Bowie said, "Wham, bam, thank you, MA'AM'." ADDENDUM: Do not turn and look for Snaps; just keep walking. AceBrag: I once achieved a Neck Snap of Guinness proportions. I was sitting at a Yankee game, along the first-base line, about halfway up the field level. A fight broke out—a fairly vicious one—near the right-field foul pole. Many turned right to watch the ensuing tussle, complete with cops and security drones. But the game went on. I prayed for bat-ball contact. On the next pitch, the batter complied, fouling one off to left. I screamed, "HEADS UP!" I estimate a mega-Snap of thousands occurred. Total success.

A salesman called me once, peddling an alumni directory from my alma mater. Once I ascertained that this was a non-school, private, for-profit enterprise, it was time for Fun. I finally said that I was Ralph Holleran and that my brother Tim had expired the year before. He had died when he ran into a burning kennel to save three Pomeranians. Two years hence, you shoulda seen the heads turn when I showed up for my reunion. To detractors, I said, "And you bought that stupid book!"

It's always a gateway to Fun when you meet someone for the first time and that person realizes you have a mutual friend. Once I said, "Geeze, you're not nearly as heavy as your sister described you."

I asked a salesperson at a hardware store, "What sizes do those yardsticks come in?"

In St. Louis, I had an excellent Italian dinner in the famous Hill neighborhood. My waiter had a thick southern drawl. I cringed at his pronunciation of proscuitto. So I asked him for a a dram of Scazzverona as a postprandial digestif.

When I see an empty cashier line at The Dollar Dreck, I ask the cashier to do a price check on a package of ersatz Brillo.

POSTSCRIPT: Many of these gags are known in my old 'hood as Treatment. Do not allow Treatment to linger. Admit you were kidding. Unless you want to have even more Fun.

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