Over Christmas and the New Year, I spent time with family and friends, and these are some things that made me laugh:
1. My niece's parents, my sister, F, and my brother-in-law, J, are practising Christians. As such, they have sent Hannah to a Christian kindergarten where she learned what is known as the Superman Grace. She likes to get her mother to promise that she can lead grace at meal times on family occasions. I found a copy of it online:
SUPERMAN GRACEHannah delivers it with such adorable enthusiasm and, of course, all the adults, whether Christian or not, are obliged to join in. I do the actions for Hannah, but tend not to sing, because I would feel like a hypocrite since I'm not of the God-fearing persuasion.
(tune of Superman -- da, da-da, da da-da-da-da)
Thank you Lord, for giving us food
(actions: standing, then crouch [thank you Lord] and raise right arm overhead as you stand [for giving us food])
Thank you Lord, for giving us food
(actions: same as above only raise left arm this time)
For the food we eat
(actions: standing with both arms over head, sway to the left)
For the friends we meet
(actions: standing with both arms over head, sway to the right)
Thank you Lord, for giving us food!
(actions: standing, then crouch [thank you Lord] and raise both arms over head as you stand [for giving us food])
On New Year's Eve, however, I found myself telling some friends about it. I managed to remember the words and the actions--although I delivered them sitting down. The trouble with the Superman theme is that it's quite catchy. It can be difficult to get out of your head, and when you've had a few melon flavoured sparkling wines, you might start to think of other lyrics to the prayer. Maybe something like:
Thank you Lord, for giving us boozeYes, it's true, I will be going to Hell.
Thank you Lord, for giving us booze
For sparkling wine
For Vodka Cruisers
Thank you Lord, for giving us booze!
2. My brother, S, and his wife, I., made a fairly last minute decision to visit Brisbane from Melbourne over Christmas. I love the way the two of them interact. There is such warmth and laughter and appreciation for one another between them. I really enjoy I.'s company and she is a bit of a puzzle fiend like myself. Between us we have accomplished the seemingly impossible task of converting S to Scrabble. He has always said he doesn't have much of a vocabulary. I don't really like that he puts himself down about it so much, and whenever he used a more complex word in his speech, which he does often enough, I joined in with I. to say he might want to use that word in Scrabble. Soon we had him jokingly admitting that it had been his excuse for not playing Scrabble with I., which was a good sign that he's beginning to believe he's not a dunce. (He's never been a dunce; he was subject to a lot of unhelpful and negative bullying around his academic achievement or lack thereof, which made him believe he was.)
Anyway, I. is also a fan of Sudoku, which I'd recently down-loaded to my phone. There's a whole spiel here about how I find it, and Scrabble, relaxing, because I can feel that both games seem to use another part of my brain than I usually use in my academic work. Anyway, I. liked this idea, and said to S that they'd have to download an electronic version of the game when they got home.
She said that she wanted to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's Disease, so she could continue to nag him well into their nineties.
3. The last moment of hilarity occurred in the wee hours of New Year's Day morning. I was playing The Margaret and David's At The Movies Boardgame (I know, I know. I am such a party animal) with friends. I had a serious case of the hiccups, which is always an unfortunate thing when you've had a few drinks. There is no way you can convince anyone you're not drunk, but rather that you breathed the wrong way when you were ingesting a rice cracker while talking and messed up the proper functioning of your diaphragm. No one wants to hear that boring, but perfectly physiollogically sound explanation amidst New Year's celebrations.
The hiccups had been going on for a while and the usual cures had been discussed and passed over, when one of my friends turned to me and said, 'Did you hear that George W. Bush will be serving another term?' I looked at her quizzically, all the while thinking, but isn't he midway through serving his second term? It isn't possible for him to serve a third is it? Another friend at the table had been going through the same thought process, when the friend who had made this bizarre claim, said 'Did that frighten you?'.
I don't know if you'll find that as funny in translation as I did, but the timing was perfect, as was the choosing of the threat of an additional four years of George W. at the helm of the world as something sufficiently frightening to scare the hiccups out of me. I swear I laughed for five minutes, paused for a breath, and then proceed to laugh for another five. I laughed 'til I truly hurt, long after the hiccups had disappeared.