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A Comedy of Misjudgments

October 14, 2009

3ww

The words for Three Word Wednesday  this week are:

Frustrate, Indecent, and Understand

 

A Comedy of Misjudgments

Sophia Loren, a sultry Italian sex symbol of the early 60’s, once said, “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”  I agree with Miss Loren. I believe to have a full life one must understand it is the good times and wise decisions intermingled with the bad times and misjudgments that creates a full life, as long as we do not become overzealous in celebrating the positives and paralyzed through frustration with our negatives. I have found that being able to see humor in our mistakes is often the tempering agent that allows us to view these misjudgments as only parts of our full life. And sometimes, seeing the humor in the mistakes made by others also helps them overcome their embarrassment and frustration with themselves.

Yesterday was a day of misjudgments. In the late afternoon, I was frosting a sheet cake which I knew would probably go to waste even though we have two temporary houseguests staying with us. I glanced out the kitchen window and saw our neighbor Buzz mowing his lawn. Buzz lives across the street from us, with his home and two city lots sitting on a small knoll above street level. Our property slopes down from the street and our home sits at the bottom on two picket-fenced city lots. I was putting the finishing touches on the cake while the others in the household were watching the early evening news when I heard something on the news that caught my attention. I walked into the living room to catch the story, when I happened to look out the front windows and saw this riderless riding lawn mower back down over Buzz’s yard, cross the street, bump its way down over the bank, break through our picket fence and heading for our porch. One of its wheels caught the side of our flowerbed in the middle of the yard and turned the mower over on its side, sending it rolling down the yard. As soon as I saw it cross the street, I yelled, “What the hell!”

Everyone’s attention diverted from the television screen to the front windows in time to see the mower crash through the fence and eventually turn over and roll to a stop in front of our porch. We all burst into uncontrollable laughter! It was just not something you see everyday. We gained control of our laughter and walked outside to get a closer look.  My 83 year old father quickly announced, “I’ll be damned, that’s Buzz’s lawn mower!”

He had no more than said that, when Buzz came walking around his house with a gas can in his hand. He stopped where he had left his mower, looked around and starting scratching his head. Although we could not hear him, the expression on his face told us he was thinking, “Now ,I know I left that mower here.” We stood on our porch, each trying hard not to, but finally broke out into indecent, howling laughter. Buzz looked in the direction of the noise and saw his mower, lying on its side in front of what had to appear as four laughing idiots. He ran down his knoll, crossed the street, and walked through the broken picket fence. By the time he reached his mower, he was laughing also.

So there we all stood, or I should say, there we all were, bent over and holding our sides to ease the pain of such a long and hearty laugh, when another neighbor came riding by on his bicycle on the street above us. Chester is a wonderful little man of 68 who lives further up the street and takes an evening bike ride almost everyday. Once he came within ear shot of our howling, he looked down to see the mower on its side in front of our porch with now five laughing hyenas moving about holding their sides and bellies. And yes, he was distracted too long and crashed his bicycle into the driver’s side door of a car parked on the street just past Buzz’s property line. Upon impact, he fell to the ground, bringing our laughter to an abrupt halt, but only momentarily. He was on the ground only a second or two, and then jumped to his feet like a spry thirty year old would and walked over to look at the broken fence. He raised both of his arms in the air, and yelled down, “What is so funny? You have a hole in your fence. Do you have holes in your head too?”

Well, that only proved to reopen the gates of hysterical laughter to five hyenas, which became contagious and overtook Chester. About that time, a woman I vaguely recognized came running out of Buzz’s neighbor’s home. She ran to what turned out to be her car and began to scream,  “What’s so funny? There’s nothing funny in this. Somebody’s paying to have my car fixed!” – which only made everyone else laugh even harder, including her son-in-law who was on her heels but took a look at the entire scene before him, put the pieces together in his mind and immediately joined in the laughter.

It was like a scene out of Laurel & Hardy or the 3 Stooges – a chain reaction of stupid stuff nobody could ever dream would happen. I laughed so hard I wet my pants! And although they wouldn’t admit it, I think a few others did also. Within minutes, I think everyone who lives on the street was in our front yard, all laughing at the re-telling of the chain of events, except, of course, the visiting mother-in-law who stormed back into her daughter’s house. I figured she went to call the police, but I guess her daughter stopped her.

It was the funniest evening we have had in our neighborhood in a long time. Several of the men worked together and got Buzz’s mower turned over and pushed it back up to his yard, while two others helped Chester get his bike up and running. Then everyone got together and fixed the fence with the extra picket pieces and 2×4’s dad had in his workshop, most of which were already painted because he said you never know when we were going to need to replace a few pickets. That’s my dad, the original Boy Scout – always prepared.

And although I was never a Girl Scout, and not known for being overly prepared for the unexpected, I brought out my freshly baked sheet cake and it was gone in a matter of a few minutes, washed down with yet another retelling of the chain of events and cups of hot coffee to ward off the cool briskness of an October night. Yes, it was a hysterically funny evening in our neighborhood. We need to have a few more of them because, even though mistakes were made by a few, no one got hurt, everything got fixed, and everyone had so much fun, everyone that is except the visiting mother-in-law whose car door will be fixed by Chester’s homeowner’s insurance. I feel sad for her. While everyone else involved last night will look back and see how much fuller their lives were to be a part of this comedy of misjudgments, she will only remember her car door got dented in a neighborhood of laughing fools.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 10:21 pm

    I. Love. This.

    The story, your telling, and the way you wrote it out. It is just wonderful…what a wonderful write here…

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 15, 2009 8:47 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so happy you enjoyed by story. Cricket

  2. October 15, 2009 4:12 am

    A great snapshot of life – and yes, that humour is so – so – important.

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 15, 2009 8:48 pm

      Thank you Anthony. Humor has served me well for most of my life. Cricket

  3. October 15, 2009 9:09 am

    You have a great way with words.

    commas and all

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 15, 2009 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much for your words of praise. Cricket

  4. October 15, 2009 10:14 am

    Fun and funny. A great story and a great way to get rid of cake.

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 15, 2009 8:50 pm

      Thank you! And yes, it went rather quickly. Cricket

  5. October 15, 2009 2:31 pm

    Great humor – vivid re-telling!

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 15, 2009 8:51 pm

      Thank you. I am happy you enjoyed my comedy of misjudgments. Cricket

  6. October 15, 2009 9:27 pm

    When Chester fell off the bike, I began to wonder if this was real. How Funny.

    • cricket51 permalink*
      October 17, 2009 9:25 pm

      Unfortunately it was very real, but thankfully he was OK Thanks for stopping by. Cricket

  7. October 17, 2009 5:07 am

    The characters came so alive that i felt you were narrating a recent incident. Enjoyed reading.

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