Playing Around With Words
by Irwin Lengel
One of the things I have tried to do with my writings is always find something funny to write about. This can be done in many ways – a funny story, a joke, even an incident that while not actually funny at the time – by thinking about what could have been or how the matter was finally resolved – may cause us to laugh our heads off.
One of the methods I use when out and about with friends especially if we are driving in unknown territory is to break the tension that one can feel building up due to not knowing where we are or when we will get to where we are going is to: In a child’s voice, and in a whining tone blurt out: “Are we there yet, huh, are we there yet?” In most cases where this has happened to me, those simple words: “Are we there yet?” diffuses what could have escalated into a tense moment.
Take the aging process for instance. Many of us (not me, no not me) find the aging process very upsetting. As we get older things start to either wear out, fall out, thin out, or in some cases, spread out. It is part of the process of life and one that, while there are things we can do to prevent some of these things from happening, one of the ways to diffuse getting upset about the whole aging process is to make fun of it with words.
While George Burns was living – he constantly laughed about his age. One of the comments he made once about his advanced years was: “Eighty is a beautiful age. It takes very little to turn me on, and sometimes when I think I’m turned on, I find out I’m not even plugged in.” An approach to life I may soon be taking as I near age eighty.
Taking things at their face value is another method of wordplay creating humor in what could be an annoying situation. Lately we have been receiving phone calls relating to our credit cards. Knowing that I do not have any problems with my cards, and listening to how the conversation is started by the person on the other end of the telephone enables me to use humor to avoid getting upset about the annoying phone call to begin with.
The conversation usually goes something like this: “Hi, my name is Julie and I’m calling about your VISA card. There is nothing wrong with your credit – blah blah blah!” Rather than get upset and start tearing Julie a new one, I merely say into the telephone: “Well, Julie, if there is nothing wrong with my credit, we don’t have anything to talk about, do we?” And I hang up the phone.
And as we seniors know, there are times when our computers literally give us a fit. With that thought in mind, especially for the pet lovers out there – next time your computer gives you a fit, if it is not obeying the commands you are typing on the keyboard – get up from your seat, back away, point your finger at the computer and say something like: “Sit!” “Stay!” “Off!” Chances are the problem will not be fixed, but you will leave the room feeling a little better about yourself and quite possibly have a smile on your face as you exit the room.
Bottom line to this post is that, sometimes, to get through some of the wild and crazy days we senior retirees seem to have (you know what I am talking about – some good days, some mediocre days, and some downright bad days), try your best to poke fun at things and not take yourself so seriously. We need to turn our overseriousness around by taking things literally.
Until next time – have a great day!