Too funny

image from medicinenet.com

image from medicinenet.com

Ron Chester, 89 years of age,  was stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

Ron replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.”

The officer asked, “Really?  And who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?”

Ron replied, “That would be my wife.”

How was I Supposed to Know by Lorna Lee

Lorna lee coverGenre: Memoir

Blurb: (from Goodreads) Lorna is like everyone you’ve ever known. She is also like no one you’ll ever meet again. She’s just an ordinary person trying to make the best of the predicament du jour. What makes her different? The answers are revealed in this, her first, book. Here’s a hint: Lorna finds herself in more knotty predicaments than a novice knitter, yet she tells her often grim life story with a grin.
Was Lorna born curious and insecure or did her father’s mysterious disappearance when she was four years old make her that way? Was she really a Good Girl or was she clever enough to be an adept actress? Why did she wait until she was fifty years old to start saying what was really on her mind?

Lorna’s story is one of decisions and their consequences born out of ignorance, or innocence. Information was withheld; secrets were kept. Looking back, she asks, “How was I supposed to know?” And then she laughs, because what else can she do?

This book explores Lorna’s adventure of not knowing what was around the next corner (or why she was even turning a corner) and the sometimes delightful, sometimes shocking, but always enlightening surprises that awaited her

What I liked: Most everything about this novel. I don’t read many memoirs so I don’t have a lot to compare this too, but I really enjoyed this story.   Lee is very good at telling her story. Despite the many sad events that happen to the author in her life, she tells her story in an entertaining and often funny manner. And it’s nice to see how she personally is able to make lemonade out of the many lemons that are thrown her way. The writing is good, and the story moves right along. I like the pictures she includes in each chapter, as well.

What I didn’t like: Over use of capitalization of words that don’t need to be capitalized, but that is just the writer in me.

Rating: 4/5

Good for a Few Laughs

from cartridgesave.co.uk

from cartridgesave.co.uk

I am currently enrolled in a copy editing certification program and last week we were working on writing good headlines. Our instructor had some wonderful examples of how not to write a headline.

These are for real!

Gators to face Seminoles with Peters out

Messiah climaxes in chorus of hallelujahs

Governor’s Penis Busy

(Should have been “pen is busy”)

Something went wrong in jet crash, expert says

Starr aghast at first lady sex position

Long Island stiffens for Lili’s blow

Organ festival ends in smashing climax

Include your children when baking cookies

Safety experts say school passengers should be belted

Drunk gets nine months in violin case

Survivor of Siamese twins joins parents

Iraqi head seeks arms

Panda mating fails; veterinarian takes over

Hard to imagine the copy editor missing these, but they did, for our enjoyment.

Prepare to Laugh Outloud

I just finished listening to Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark and just have to share some of this woman’s incomparable wit. This audio book is read by the author herself, and she has that lovely southern belle accent I just love to slip into when I’m in a southern belle short of mood, or I’m imitating some belle I recently heard on TV or radio. I think it’s even more fun than pretending I’m from Ireland!  It’s kind of funny, but the older I get, the easier it is for me to slip into that southern belle mystique; that, “I need a big, strong man to do this for me” attitude (read as if you are Dolly Parton saying it).

My husband caught me at this just the other day (minus the accent, of course, that would have been a dead giveaway). He was tightening up the handle of the screen door into the house, and I nonchalantly mentioned how I thought there was a cupboard in the kitchen that could use a little tightening too. This from the mouth of a woman who prides herself in being pretty handy around the house. He took me to task right away by replying: ‘Since when did you forgot what the right side of a screw driver looked like?’  I smirked, but when he was done with the door, he went into the kitchen and tighten the offensive cupboard. (Yes!) I tried to save face by explaining how I had tighten this other cupboard door a while back, but he just went on silently with his work. (Doesn’t hurt to try!)

Well enough about my silliness. Here are some quotes from Belle Weather and a real pro at southern belle/ female redneck humor.

“Back in Dallas I decided to make the pilgrimage to the mothership that is Neiman Marcus, where I accidentally spent forty-eight dollars on an eyebrow pencil. For a Maybeline girl from way back, this was downright guilt-inducing. Still, I deserved it. I was staying in a hotel where I was-I swear-the only guest not affiliated with a national cheerleading convention.   If you ever want to feel old, just ride an elevator with thirty-five giggling teens wearing their hair in buns of spongerubber rollers and saying “Shut up!” a lot to each other.”

Here is her encounter with a particularly nice pest control man and a dead opossum:

“Look,” I said…”The possum is dead. Dead! I don’t care if you go all Abu Ghraib, put a leash around his neck and smoke a cigarette with your leg propped up on his haunches. Just get him the hell outta here!”      Once Vince actually listened and realized the possum had waddled on over to that great other-side-of-the-road in the sky, I was sure the fee would drop dramatically, but I was wrong.    “On initial investigation, we will ascertain as to the particular species of the possum…”     Sweet Lord above. Deliver me from a worldly post control expert. Whatever happened to the good old days when I could just dangle a twelve-pack in front of a passing redneck and not only get the varmint removed but also get a damn good start on a deck on the back of the house?    I tried again.”

One last piece where she is talking about some plumber that are working on her kitchen:

“And even though my current plumbers had some kind of weird version of Tourette’s while working, we got along just fine.    I discovered that it’s actually not so bad to communicate via obscenities.    I’d point at a leaky faucet and say simply, “Shit.”    They’d respond with a slow whistle followed by a wholly sympathetic, “Son of a bitch!”    And then the repair would begin in earnest.    While linguistic snobs would say that cursing is the lowest form of human communication, they’d never had such excellent plumbers in their house.”

I think I’ll read more of Celia’s stuff!

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

If you haven’t read “The Bean Trees,” I would recommend it. I especially like the voice Barbara Kingsolver writes in for this story – very relaxed and very funny.

The story is about a girl from Kentucky who decides after high school that she is going to take a trip on her own. She has never been away from home before, but knows she doesn’t want to end up pregnant and married (or unmarried) like many of the girls around her are. She heads west and happens into a bar in Oklahoma looking for a cheap meal and ends up with a young Native American child. (It’s hard to tell how old the child is, but she isn’t old enough to speak.)

By chance her next destination is a tire repair place in Arizona called “Jesus is Lord Used Tires” where the woman owner, and smuggler of illegal immigrants, takes her under her wing. One of the funniest bits in the story is about a girlfriend who ends up working in a Salsa factory where no one who works there can touch any delicate (shall we say) parts of themselves or others because of the oil from the hot chili peppers permanently imbedded in their skin.

The whole thing is an interesting ride, and an enjoyable one.