Tag Archive: humor

Friday Funnies: A Play in One Act

This morning I still don’t have a 50/50 Friday post to update my list of 50 Things I Want to Do Before my 50th Birthday because, frankly, I’ve done nothing new. Life is moving too quickly right now for me to make much progress on my list. Instead, I thought I would post something quick today, something that made my morning, and which I will be sure to forget if I don’t write about it on my blog.  So, I give you a one-act play entitled Friday Funnies….

ACT ONE: SCENE ONE

Scene: The kitchen in the morning. Unwashed breakfast dishes sit in the sink. A mother frantically finishes packing a lunch box as her 7 year-old son is playing on the breakfast bar with a toy. Mother grabs her keys and begins to walk out of the kitchen.

Mother: Let’s go. We are going to be late for school.

Diego: (looks nervous) Wait. I think I have to go potty.

Mother: (exasperated) Now? You have been sitting there all morning. (pause) Okay, go then. Number 1 or Number 2?

Diego: Number 2. Or a fart.   Pause. A noise comes from the boy’s direction.

Diego:  Oh. It was a fart. Let’s go.

(Exit stage left).  FADE OUT

ACT ONE: SCENE TWO

Scene: Exterior in front of house. Beautiful Spring morning. Mother and son emerge from front door out of house. Mother carrying a coffee mug and big purse, nearly trips over a scooter that has been left directly on the porch outside the front door. Son trails behind and sheepishly looks on as his mother swears beneath her breath. Both proceed to get into a car parked in the driveway. The car is dirty, and school papers, and baseball equipment crowd the back seat as the son straps himself into a booster seat. Mother puts coffee mug in cup holder, climbs into the front seat and starts to drive away. Mother looks at son in rear-view mirror.

Mother: Wow. You look nice. Daddy did a good job combing your hair. I am glad we remembered it was picture day at school. Remember to button the shirt button before you take your picture. I’m glad you changed your shirt.

Son:  Yes, but I wish I could have changed my pants. These pants are getting short on me. I think I am growing.

Mother: You really are growing. You do need some new pants. I will try to buy you some this weekend. 

Son: These pants are a little tight too. When I grow taller, does my butt get bigger?

Mother: (Chokes on laugh. Spits out her coffee and it sprays on windshield)

CURTAIN

REPRISE

Scene: it is noontime. Mother about to leave the office to enjoy a long awaited lunch with her husband. Cell phone rings. The caller id indicates it’s son’s school. The voice on the line is one mother doesn’t recognize.

Mother: Hello?

Caller:  Hello, this is Jeff from Diego’s school. Diego is here in the office with me. He has had an accident.

Mother: (beginning to panic thinking of all the playground accidents which could have occurred, or, even worse, perhaps Diego’s  fart wasn’t a fart after all?)  What kind of accident?

Caller: It’s his pants…

(Mother looks worried, her fears confirmed. Oh no, the fart?….)

Caller: …He’s ripped them.

Mother: (He’s ripped a fart in his pants?) OH NO!

Caller: Yes, he ripped his pants. In the seat.

Mother: (Relieved. Then, it begins to dawn on her what this means. Trying not to laugh, she is thankful she is not drinking coffee.) I will bring him a change of clothes as soon as I can.

Diego's pants after bending over in a game of kick ball.

What about you? Do your mornings look like comedies or tragedies?

Skunk Spray and Dog Pee, The Gifts That Keep on Giving.

Some weeks I drive carpool for Olivia and two of her friends. We are up early and and on the road at 6:45. In the morning.  Some mornings I have to drag Diego out of bed extra early and bring him with me. Needless to say, three teen girls, and a sleepy 7 year-old at 6:45 in the morning, are not the most pleasant company as we wind our way through traffic to get to the girls high school a few cities away. Often the sound of the silence in the car is deafening, disrupted only by the occasional “uh-huh,” and accompanied by the requisite adolescent eye-rolling.  One day last week was a completely different story.

Olivia was riding shot-gun and Diego was strapped in his booster seat beneath a couple of blankets, dozing. I picked up K and M, two of Olivia’s friends. When they got into the van, Olivia asked them if they smelled skunk. K and M replied that yes, in fact that did. Olivia was mortified, and began to offer an explanation. She told them how the night before, when she got out of the shower she reached for the towel that had been in her bedroom. The towel had been draped over a pile of clean laundry, which was on the floor, in a basket.

As Olivia used the “fresh” towel to dry herself she found it odd that it was slightly damp and not exactly clean smelling–in fact, it smelled a little like, wait for it, dog urine! Yes, our dog Molly found the towel laying atop the laundry on her bedroom floor and thought it was her pee pad! When Olivia discovered she had just dried herself off with the pee towel, Olivia, jumped back into the shower and took another equally long shower.  Maybe it was Olivia’s heightened sense of smell or the thought of all that dog pee, but the thought of sleeping in her own room where the scent of dog pee still lingered was too much for her, so she opened up her bedroom window, and went to sleep in her sister’s room.

The next morning the entire household was awakened to the very real and distinctive smell of skunk spray. Olivia’s open bedroom window allowed the stench to permeate from outside the house. The skunk scent lingered everywhere skunk had been, outside Olivia’s bedroom window, on the front porch, and on the driveway where our van was parked.  No wonder K and M could smell it when we picked them up. Maybe it was the idea of Olivia drying herself with the pee towel, or the skunk story, but soon the girls began telling their own skunk stories.  K told us about the time a skunk had crawled under her house and died. Her family tried to hire a couple of people to remove it but the stench was so bad no one would go near the dead skunk.  Every time they got close enough to remove it, they would vomit. I guess all this talk of dog pee, skunk spray and vomit was just too much for Diego, who I thought had fallen back asleep. I was wrong, Diego was listening, fascinated by the grossness of it all.  As K  finished telling her story, Diego, chimed in.  He asked, how did the skunk die and why didn’t anyone try to give the skunk CPR? With the curiousity of a 7 year-old Diego asked, if they had given the skunk CPR, couldn’t they have vomited in the skunk’s mouth?That was enough to send squeals of eeww among the girls. Diego just laughed out loud, very pleased with himself.  I just grimaced and thought to myself, that maybe it was better to have a quite carpool  in the morning.

 

Sunday Offerings – Three Simple Joys

It’s a Sunday in Summer and, I confess, I didn’t make it to church today.  But, I did spend some time thinking about the following simple things that bring me joy and make me grateful.

!. Dodge Ball

Yesterday, Nico came home from a week at Boy Scout camp. He was covered in grime, and filled with stories of his camp adventures. He told me what he did each day, but when he told me about his last day at camp, his ever-deepening voice was filled with pride.

He told me that on the last day of camp, the camp staff challenged the scouts to an epic game of dodge ball. The game started out with about 30 boys playing against an equal number of staffers. Little by little, as the camper or staffer was hit by the ball, or failed to catch the ball, the player was eliminated. The game got down to Nico, the lone camper, against 3 of the kitchen staff. Nico threw the ball at one of the staffers. The ball hit the staffer’s legs and bounced off, hitting the second staffer, and both in one throw. With the game down to Nico and the last staffer, Nico threw the ball at the staffer. The staffer bent down to catch the ball, caught it, and then dropped it! The other campers who had been eliminated but were still watching the game let out a loud cheer for Nico.

The scouts won! Nico proudly told me how he was carried back to camp on the shoulders of his fellow scouts. What a great moment for him. Nico, the last man standing, triumphs in dodge ball!

2. Magical Cups

I have been helping my mom go through some of my grandmother’s things since my grandmother’s passing. It has been difficult and discouraging because she had so much stuff. We can’t just toss it out because some of it has value, even if it is just sentimental value. I took a few plant cuttings from my grandmother’s garden in the hope that maybe, in her death, my grandmother’s green thumb will have magically passed onto me. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes…

I also took these:

These are metal cups. They are the two remaining from a set which is long gone. When I was a child my grandmother would serve me milk in these cups. The milk always tasted so good when I drank it from these cups. Even though my stomach can no longer tolerate milk I wanted the cups, so my mom let me have them. Yesterday Diego, who rarely drinks milk, asked for a glass to go with his PB and J. Juan served him milk in the cup. Later, Diego asked for more milk from the cup. He said he had never tasted milk like that before. He told me the cup was “magical.”

I may not have my grandmother’s green thumb, but I have her magical cups.

3. Greener Pastures

About two weeks ago, Juan declared war on the grass. He looked at the patchy, yellow, poor-excuse-for-a-lawn we had in the backyard and said, “You and me lawn. I am going to win.” He went out and bought grass seed, lawn topper and set our sprinklers to automatic. Friday, we came home from a couple of nights out of town and we saw this:

Juan Wins!

Grass. Growing. And it is green!

Yeah. Maybe my grandmother’s green thumb went to Juan instead of me?

What about you? What simple things bring you joy? What simple things make you grateful?

What’s in a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

You have probably heard these lines before, but in case you didn’t read the Cliff Notes along with your assigned high school reading of this scene, Juliet is pining away, after meeting Romeo and learning he’s a Montague. The Montague’s are family rivals to Juliet’s Capulet clan. Juliet muses that although her newly beloved is a  Montague, what matters is who he is, and not what he is called. Ah, love.

We all know this is true. What matters is the person you are and not the name you are given. Unless, of course, you are a young boy with a spanish sounding name, growing up in a largely white, suburban neighborhood, like my husband, Juan Rafael. Or Juan. Or Ralph. Yes, Ralph. He became Ralph when he was in first grade and the nuns at St. Hedwig couldn’t say Juan Rafael.  Now, with a name like St. Hedwig, why the nuns felt compelled to give Juan a more English sounding name is beyond me.

Juan Rafael is a beautiful name, and sounds especially nice when it’s said with a Spanish accent. But, when my husband was growing up in the 70′s  and the nuns at his Catholic elementary school couldn’t pronounce his name, they asked him to for the english equivalent. He told them Juan was John, and Rafael was Ralph. They nuns decided to call him Ralph. He was Ralph all though elementary and high school. Even his Colombian family called him Ralph.  When he got to college Ralph took back his name and became Juan. He also changed his political party, joined MECHA and became active in politics, but that’s another story.

So, when I was pregnant with our child,  and Juan and I learned it was a boy, we began to consider names. We knew we wanted something that would translate to Spanish, but we had a hard time agreeing on anything. Then, we recalled where our son was conceived–in Acapulco, Mexico, during a celebratory wedding weekend for some family friends. The groom was named Diego. Diego. It was perfect. Not too ordinary. No tricky spanish pronunciation, but a name that translated to Spanish. We announced to my family our intention of naming our son the Spanish equivalent of James.  My dad, Jesus, loved the name we’d chosen. My dad, whose name is a popular choice among latinos, and who probably fought his own demons because of his moniker, thought Diego was a perfect choice for his only grandson who would be born of two latino parents. But then again, my father, who has a strong sense of pride in our own Mexican culture, would have been happy if Juan and I named our son after the Aztec ruler, Cuahtemoc. My mother wasn’t too sure of our choice. She asked me, “You’re really going to name him Diego?” Yes, I really am.

When our son was born, he did not look like a “Diego.” He looked like, well, a red, squishy faced, hairy little monkey.  One day I sat down to nurse my little monkey and turned on the TV.  As I  changed channels I came across Nickelodeon TV and I I saw this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36dRUm_1nVw&w=425&h=349]

What? A kid’s show with a little brown-skinned explorer boy with jungle animals as his friends, named Diego? The show was “Go Diego Go.” It was kind of cute, but still obnoxious enough that I suddenly began to doubt my choice of moniker for my little monkey. How often would he be teased about his name? Would the theme song follow him onto the school yard and beyond? Luckily, I had been living under a rock and didn’t realize how popular the show was. It was a favorite among the pre-school set. By the time Diego entered pre-school, the name had a certain cache to it. My mother even came around, and told me that Diego’s name suited him perfectly.

I felt very pleased with myself about the name we had chosen. I even celebrated it when I planned his 3rd birthday party with a Go Diego Go theme.

One day, not long after Diego entered kindergarten he came home telling me about the friends he’d made. There was Ben, Ethan, Chris, Matt and a little boy with a biblical name, Oshea. Diego asked me why couldn’t he be named something else. Something more simple. Why couldn’t he be called Ben or, even better, Oshea?  Sigh.

Sunday Offerrings – A Day at the Races


Today we went to at a Cub Scout event, the Soap Box Derby. The Derby is an annual event where the boys race homemade cars. The boys steer the cars with their feet as it goes along the slightly downhill, winding course. In case things get a little scary on those hairpin turns, the boys use a hand brake to slow themselves down. The runs are timed and the boys compete against each other.

Diego’s Cub Scout pack is a really nice group of families and boys. I like the cub scouting program because I think it helps to remind boys about what it means to be a kid. The kind of kid who plays outdoors in the water on hot summer days, goes camping, and takes hikes though the woods. Sometimes my boys become so hooked into the video games and television they forget about going outside and playing around. Today, they were reminded of that.

And I was too.

My "pit crew" readies me for a race.

But Diego did much better than I did.

Here’s my attempt:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUx7pqBpEs4&w=425&h=349]

Obviously, Diego did a lot better than I did!

3rd Place Finish!!

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