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Posts Tagged ‘Laughter’

The Devil Made Him Do It!

October 16, 2011 8 comments

Either that, or it was his funny bone!

©2007 NHT Noah Henry Teich

Some people are just naturally funny. They don’t have to try hard. The joke just kind of flows out of them, or their PowerPoint presentation.

I ask you, what’s life without a little humor?

Seriously. I know this 15-year old sophomore who happens to be a funny guy and who happens to go to a Catholic school. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Anyone who has ever gone to Catholic school knows, funny and religion do-not-mix-well. Do one “funny” thing and you’re immediately slapped with the “class clown” label for as long as you go to that school. Being the class clown in Catholic school can mean countless hours of detention, clapping the erasers (cause they still have erasers) or worse; points taken off grades. It can mean being called out of class and calls made home, to parents; not to mention purposeful, public scoldings designed to put you in the position of becoming the “example” for any other student who might be thinking humor belongs in school. Thus, the funny guy becomes the fall guy.

In short, Catholic School is 99.9% serious business. Recently, my funny friend, fell.

Here’s what happened:

The  Religious Assignment

Make a PowerPoint presentation talking about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Back Story

Saint Juan Diego

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a young, simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said “Bring the roses behind you.” Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him.He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision. (Manga Hero)

St. Juan Diego is proof that God uses those who are most humble to do His work. By all accounts, Juan Diego, was a humble and young man.

Serious stuff.

My young, sophomore friend, who also happens to be an honor student, put all of this serious information into his Power Point presentation, only when it came time to reveal Juan Diego’s likeness, my funny friend flashed this image to his class:

Saint Juan Diego - maybe

Come on, now THAT is funny!

Needless to say, this startling, daring, depiction of the young, blessed Saint Juan Diego in my friend’s Power Point presentation brought the class to pandemonium to put it mildly; uncontrollable laughter burst onto the scene, requiring the teacher to admonish the class several times before order was restored.

The Consequence

Being called out of the next class. A call home to the parents. 18 points taken off the final grade, giving this slacker an 82 out of 100% on the report and a mandatory apology letter to the teacher (at the teacher’s request, of course).

Inside information from the mom: apology letter number one, had to be scratched when the boy, after saying he was sorry to the teacher, said he only did it to try to keep the rest of the students from falling asleep in class. “Kudos”, I say for at least being truthful.

 Was it worth the laugh?  I asked him.

Yes. It was totally worth the laugh. I thought these Power Points could use some funny moments.

There you have it and again, there’s got to be something said for the honesty here, not to mention, you are witnessing a comedian in the making.  I sent the boy $10 in the mail along with a note telling him not to be disrespectful but never to lose his sense of humor.

The world needs more levity if you will; more laughter.

The Result

Not only will every student  in that religion class remember the story of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, always and forever, they will remember it, with a smile on their face.

The Disclaimer

While the views expressed by this student do in fact reflect those of this author, ABSOLUTELY NO DISRESPECT is meant toward the Catholic church, its teachers or teachings.

I’m Catholic. I went to Catholic school and I only WISH some kid had the moxie to do something–anything to cause the type of uproar and uncontrollable laughter in class that this boy did.

It would have made the whole experience more human, with more humor.

Photo Credit #1  ©2007 Noah Henry Teich

(All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced.)

Photo Credit #2 Saint Juan Diego

Photo Credit #3 Forwarded From The Nameless Catholic Boy

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The Mother of All Ironies

May 8, 2011 12 comments

There’s no doubt life is hard and riddled with uncertainty and while I really do try to “take the world on with a smile”, sometimes it takes everything I’ve got.

I live at the beginning of a cul-de-sac, the first of nine homes that make a horseshoe. A few weeks ago my neighbor who lives two houses down on the left came to our door and asked me to step outside for a private conversation. She recently discovered that someone had been trying to break into her house — again. She also informed me that the alarm went off in the home of the family that lives directly across from her the same week. The police responded but found nothing.

Honestly, I can’t say I was surprised. I’ve had a feeling for a while now that something was weird in the neighborhood–again.

My neighbor was visibly upset when delivering this news. Who wouldn’t be? It’s unsettling to say the least, especially, if it’s happened before. If you’ve read my posts: My Edward, Life’s Terms – Not Mine or Everything Must Go, Including Me!, you know that my home was burglarized a year ago this past winter at least eight times that we know of.

She too was repeatedly burglarized during that time and sandwiched in-between our two homes, lives the 21-year old perpetrator.

Similar to the over $10,500 worth of items taken from my house, nearly $13,000 worth of jewelry and cash went missing from her house. Unfortunately, the two detectives assigned to her case were unable to connect the dots to my case and closed hers. Interestingly enough, these are the same two detectives that were convinced my then newly turned 11-year old son was the culprit.

I at least, receive monthly restitution checks from this bad boy living next door. And, in addition to the 6-month house arrest sentence he served (silly really) there is also an order of protection against him for each member of my family, for 5 years. Not that this is remotely comforting, the boy violates this order every day, simply by living next door. Indeed, we share grass.

The story of our burglaries from start to capture and arrest is undoubtedly a fascinating one that I hope to put on paper one day but for now, I’m simply mind–boggled by the twisted sense of humor the universe seems to have and its reluctance to let me, let this craziness go!

Tell me, what do you think the universe is trying to say when I come home with my children after a late dinner out, only to find that my house key, when inserted into the front door lock, goes round and round in an endless loop, prohibiting our entry? This being the new lock we had installed just over a year ago, after break-in number five and the first sign of a violent act in our home.

Seriously, how many times has your dead-bolt failed and what are the chances of something like this, happening to us?

Unfortunately, it was 10:00 pm on a Saturday night and although the locksmith has a 24-hour emergency number, that “mailbox” was full.

The good news is that for the most part, our house is now like Fort Knox. The bad news is that after an hour of brainstorming, trying a variety of things including the unsuccessful removal of a window air-conditioner and a desperate plea from my 10-year old daughter……

“Mom, please, it’s cold out, can’t we knock on their door and ask BBQ to help us?”

…we were literally forced to use one of the same methods my neighbor used, to break into our house.

BBQ is the pet name my kids and I have affectionately given the convicted felon living next door. The first B stands for BAD the second B is the first letter of his first name and the Q is the first letter of his last name, hence, B-B-Q. It’s an attempt to interject levity into an otherwise somber situation. It’s similar to our use of the endearing term we have for the police, which is “po- po, as in,

“Hannah, the “po-po are here to see you again.”

(See 1-9-1-4 for clarification of that reference.)

Anyway, I’ve purposefully tried to defuse the fear my kids have had of BBQ with humor and emphasize instead, just how pathetic he was to steal such things as tooth-fairy, birthday and Halloween money from children. It’s a coping skill. My kids get it. I’m sorry that they have to.

Clearly by the way, BBQ had to have heard us (through his open windows) last Saturday night, walking around our house in the dark, trying to break-in.

Is this not bizarre? Truly, for me, this was the mother of all ironies.

We broke in, by cutting the screen door to the porch with the house key that was no longer of use to us. We slipped a few fingers through the tear and unhinged the latch. Once inside the porch, we removed a screen to an unlocked window. I was elected and with the help of my two kids, climbed through.

It’s befitting that on Mother’s Day I would express how proud I am of the way my kids handled themselves; without panicking and working together to come up with a solution. They’re thinkers and have learned how to appreciate the power of humor in a tight spot. My daughter giggled her way through taking pictures, while my son took great delight in pushing my leg through the window.

For us, the situation was surreal. We laughed our hearts out.

Don’t get me wrong, even though we laughed, smiling about this really is difficult and it’s taking everything I’ve got, NOT to rationalize why I’d like to see the boy next door receive a good old fashioned “butt-kick’n”.

But I won’t go there, here.

Back to the universe. Within a three-week time period, we received news of new robbery attempts, our new dead-bolt went, non-functional and we were forced to break-into our own home.

For me, the message is clear:  It’s time to leave.

And to that end, the wheels (and there are many of them) are all in motion. Slow motion perhaps but in motion none the less. In the meantime, I am grateful for how resilient my children continue to be while the universe continues to play with uncertainty.

To all the other grateful and proud moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

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