Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

grieving-e1338346383681Do we really mourn the deaths of people we never knew personally, or do we feel obligated to hop onto the grief bandwagon and toss our meaningless condolences out into the world, just because we have the technology to do so?

I am always amazed by the rapid media response of the latest celebrity’s, athlete’s, etc., sudden death. Within minutes people turn to their social media sites and begin posting their thoughts, feelings, opinions as if they were that celebrity’s personal, close friend and confidante. “He influenced me in so many ways my life will never be the same again, RIP, Mr. Celebrity, I will always love you!” Honestly, I don’t believe celebrities can be that influential in people’s lives, I know they haven’t been in mine –unless I used them as a teaching tool for how not to behave in the public’s eye.

I am sorry, but I just cannot get onto this bandwagon. Sure, I am sad the world has lost a great actor, entertainer and comedian. I am also very sad he felt he had no other option available to him, or that nobody was able to help him battle against his demons. Suicide is never a selfless act – his family members and close friends are no doubt devastated and desperate to know “What could I have done to help him? What were the warning signs?” But my sadness and public outpouring of grief over someone I never knew personally and have no familial connection to, ends there.

Perhaps I am still too busy trying to deal with my own grief. I lost my father one year ago this month. I lost my mom this past January. I lost my brother in June. Three deaths in less than one year, and each one holds its own share of grief I am still trying to process and overcome.

When my brother died, the Facebook postings of RIP, Marty, started streaming in immediately, from strangers around the world, who had never even met the man in person – they had only seen his beautiful photography and read his journals on line.They never spent time with him and got to grow up with him and play such games as “Dress the Cat in Silly Clothes” and “Let’s build a snow fort in the backyard!”. Real brother and sister moments that will never be forgotten.

While our family appreciated the outpouring of respect, we were outraged by how it was done because this was also how his daughter found out he had died. That’s when I decided Facebook and Twitter are not appropriate places for death announcements.

I learned a lot from my family members’ passings – that we all grieve individually, personally, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. But, I also learned that grief — real, authentic, grief — comes from the loss of those closest to us, not from the passing of someone we only knew through films, or television, or sports, etc. 

We should leave the real, authentic grief to the ones who deserve (experience) it and keep our promises not to invade their privacy at such a terrible time, especially when they request it. That really is the most compassionate response we should be offering them. 

Trust me, I know.

Chapman_Hyams_Grieving_Angel_by_SalemCat

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amish-state-laws-T833H8C-x-largeI have just three words to throw out to the world:

Amish Drivers’ Test

I just spent a night camping out in Amish Country, Ohio. I’m talking real, authentic, horse and buggy land — not the fake “Amish” folk recently portrayed in the reality TV show: “Breaking Amish” then again in “Returning to Amish”. Newsflash: the Amish folks in those shows are as “authentic Amish” as I am “authentic” skinny.

A night away from the hustle and bustle of suburban “first world problems” (Should we drive the minivan or the SUV to Starbucks this morning?”) does this metropolitan gal a little good. It gave me a chance to unwind and let my mind drift away to more calm and peaceful places…like the humorous side of country living.

Birds_on_a_Wire_by_GramMooFor example, I was sitting in front of the campfire, watching the mourning doves gather on the wires above my head. Most people wouldn’t pay this much mind, but I’ve said it before – I am not like “most” people. I must have stared at those birds for a good twenty minutes, trying to figure out why some faced one direction while the others faced the opposite direction. What drew them to the wire in the first place? What do birds on a wire do once they arrive? Why do I always take things to the next level?

Which leads me to the point of this post. The following morning was rainy, so we packed up the car to head back to the hustling, bustling city. On our way, we stopped for a real, authentic, non-TV reality based breakfast at a place called, appropriately enough, “Mrs. Yoder’s”. Yoder, for those not very familiar with the Amish culture, is a very popular Amish surname. It’s their version of our English “Smith”. Only with fewer electrical appliances.

Watching the horse and buggies clip clopping down the road was both charming and intriguing. But, once again, my curiosity kicked in and I had to ask, “Do the Amish need to get a state issued drivers’ license to drive their horse and buggies?” After all, it is a vehicle with full road access. I highly doubt, however, one would ever see Jebediah Yoder driving his family down an interstate expressway — the horse would get too easily spooked by the amount of people pumping their arms up and down trying to get the horse to squeak out its version of a car horn – a big old, wet, horse fart.

But, really, back to the drivers’ license issue: what would the test questions be like? Would they have to have their very own, relevant questions like:

If Obediah Yoder was driving his buggy down E. Main Street at 15 mph, and Jebediah Yoder was driving his buggy down W. Main Street at 12 mph, what time would the Amish women need to get their pies baked before the quilting bee began?

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More questions came to mind:

What types of moving violations would the Amish get? What would police chases look like? Is there such a thing as a DBWI? (Driving a Buggy While Intoxicated)?

We need more Amish comedy in this world. These are true, authentic questions I have about the Amish lifestyle.

I was at the airport several years ago, when the idea for Amish humor came to me. I was standing on the observation deck watching the planes land. I looked to my right and saw a family of Amish folks watching the planes land one by one, and waving their arms at the new arrivals about to touchdown on the runway. They appeared to be having the best time ever allowed by their strict Amish “no sin zone” standards. And that’s when it hit me:

AMISH FIELD TRIPS

Since then, my repertoire of Amish humor has grown to include Amish SCHOOL field trips — where do Amish school kids go for outside classroom experiences? The lighting store to study chandeliers? AutoZone to check out car parts? The Apple Store to ooh and ahh over the latest IPhone? I once went on a field trip with a bunch of second graders to a farm so we could spend a day at “Moo School” – that’s called “just another day on the farm working the cows” to the Amish.

I don’t intend to be rude or judgmental, but the obvious contrast between their lifestyle and mine leaves the field wide open for some harmless, yet funny, comedy. Besides, if it’s on the internet, are they really going to see it anyways?

Some of the ideas I have are short little jokes, others are long skits. I even wrote my own joke a couple years ago when the new craze in automobiles was the ‘hybrid” vehicle: (Copyright 2014):

What do you call an Amish hybrid vehicle? A MULE!

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See? Now, that’s funny right there.