Some people--my dad and brother-in-law among them--have a gift for transmuting stress into humour. I've seen it done often enough that I can make a passable attempt, but that's about it.
Remove the stress, though, and funny things bubble up in its place.
Like at the hospital yesterday. Yeah, I know we're in the middle of an H1N1 epidemic and I understand what this sign was trying to communicate, but the lobby of a hospital seems an odd place for a sign that says PLEASE DO NOT VISIT IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL. I chuckled at it yesterday, before Eva's surgery; now that it's over with, I'm finding that to be a real knee-slapper.
Jesus, my father, though. We're on line at the Atrium Cafeteria and perusing the lunch specials. "What's a 'Greek burger'? I asked, innocently. Without any pause at all, Dad says "Just two buns".
Jim, clad in a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "I'M A VIRGIN BUT THIS IS AN OLD T-SHIRT", was looking around for shit to disturb to great comic effect, prompting Eva to tell everyone she was in hospital to receive a "brotherectomy". Incidentally, at the aptly named 'kiss and go' station outside day surgery, Eva and I exchanged tender I-love-you's. I told her I'd see her 'on the other side' and earned a punch in the shoulder for that weak sally. Jim told Eva "see ya, spaz" and she said "later, dork" and for perhaps the first time in my life I truly understood siblings: we'd all said exactly the same thing.
There's a weird humour (to me, at least) in the fact I have sent over seventy text messages in the past two days. Me, the guy who two weeks ago didn't have a cell phone and swore up and down he'd never get one until he had no choice; me, the same guy who's been saying for years that text messages make no sense whatsoever when you've got a freaking phone in your hand. I will say this: for the sake of my sanity and productivity, the number of texts is going to plummet when Eva gets home in less than an hour. It's damned hard to get anything done when there's an earthquake in your pants seemingly every other minute. I am not a multitasker. Hell, most days it's all I can do to be a tasker.
Anyway, my dad and I are out in his car on the grounds it's (a) substantially more comfortable than a hospital waiting room and (b) equipped with XM Satellite Radio and its comedy channels. There's a comedienne talking about finding the humour in everyday life. With my father snoring away in the seat beside me--that man can fall asleep instantly and with vigour--I reflected that I try. I really try to find the humour. Sometimes it's elusive, as when, for instance, your wife is going in for surgery. This comedienne said she puts it on her 'To-Do" list each and every day: "Find something funny." Then again, she says she completes her To-Do list every night before bed, writing down everything she did that day and checking it all off. Sounds like me.
I'd like to thank Jim and my dad for leavening the situation considerably over the past couple of days. It would have been entirely too serious around here without you.