Funny Things That Didn't Happen to Me Today

Nothing funny happened to me today.  It's not that it was a boring day or anything.  It was a normal Sunday in Lent at St. John's Roman Catholic Church, which meant that I was up in front of the congregation during two masses, singing my lungs out in both English and Latin.  But that doesn't help me, as a humor writer.  When things go completely right, and nothing unusual happens, it's a disaster.

I sang all the hymns and responses right.  I came in at the correct times and didn't misread any of the words in the Responsorial Psalm.  I still can't get used to the new/old version of the Nicene Creed that was imposed on us a while back, but that doesn't matter because everybody is reciting it at once and I just mumble along.  Nobody cares if I get it right or not, least of all me.

I got the second half of a huge load of laundry done today, too.  Now THAT'S something to write about.  I hate doing laundry.  It's not that it's hard.  It isn't.  There is a laundry room in the basement of our building and it's really easy to lug a laundry bag full of dirty clothes down there.  It's just that I hate doing it.  Really.  I'd rather clean the bathroom than do the laundry; it's that bad.

This must stem from my childhood, when I would often watch my mother spending half a day washing our clothes in an old ringer washing machine, then hanging them outside to dry.  It was a holiday in our house when Mom finally got an automatic washer, after almost everyone else in town already had one.  Our family was always behind the rest of the world when it came to mechanical devices.  We could say we were letting others test them out first, but that would be a lie.  We just didn't have the money most of the time.

Another reason was that my Dad was always looking for bargains, and he was convinced that all his friends were as honest as he was.  It didn't take anyone long to learn that if he had an old piece of junk for sale he just had to look up my Dad and make a sales pitch.  As a result, we had a procession of impossible cars, TV sets and what have you.  Once in a while, Dad would come up with something good, like that great stereo console that looked fine, sounded even better and lasted for years.  That was an exception to the rule, though, which stated that anything in our house that originated with one of Dad's acquaintances would end up being a piece of crap.

Most of our TV sets were the kind that worked best if we could get our little brother to stand nearby with his arms out, like he was making a semaphore signal, acting as a human aerial.  Little Brother was not eager to perform this service for more than about 5 seconds, if we could get him to do it at all.  Bribing him didn't work, because we didn't have anything he wanted.  We just had to be content with a lousy picture or take turns doing the human aerial bit ourselves.

Gee, I got all this out of my hatred of doing laundry!  How's that for inspiration?


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