Time Lines cont.

Past, Present and Future get back together for their weekly lunch.

Present makes the mistake of calling roll. “Past!”
Past: “Present!”
Present: “Very funny.”
Past: “Well, what was I supposed to say?”
Present: “You could have just said, ‘Here.'”
Past: “In just what way would that have been fun, Ekhart Tolle? Besides, you’re the one who is always preaching about being here now.”
Present: “Alright, let’s just move on.”
Past: “I was born ready. By the by, where’s Future?”
Present: “Late, of course. He doesn’t respect anyone else’s schedule. We need to clue him in to the fact that there is no such thing as ‘fashionably late.'”
Past: “And he’s all about fashion. What’s wrong with the clothes of yesteryear?”
Present: “There’s nothing wrong with yesterday’s styles, as long as you wash them occasionally.”
Past: “We can’t always be spring fresh, like you. Oh look, there’s Mr. Tomorrow, now!”
Future: “Don’t start. Let’s order, I have an appointment with a skin specialist after lunch.”
Present: “You’re so vain! Why can’t you just accept yourself as you are?”
Future: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
Past: “Did he say that last week?”
Present: “Probably. Does anyone see the waiter? Oh, there he is!”
The waiter approaches the table. His face is a little red. At the top of his forehead, a line of perspiration has begun to form.
Past: “Oh, good. Wait, is that the same water you brought earlier?”
Present: “Leave it alone, Past.”
Past: “The cubes are smaller.”
Future: “Come back in a bit with some fresh water. My friend is a little… (Future makes a circling motion around his ear with his right-index finger). The waiter quickly nods in affirmation.

to be continued…

My First Big Laugh

I love to make people laugh. That’s something that strikes me as being a little strange when I consider my personality. I really think of myself as a bit of an introvert, although that might surprise some people who know me. However, there are a handful of times that I remember especially well when I consider getting big laughs. Of those times, the first ranks near the top.

I was around six I think, and the whole family, including my parents, two brothers, and my sister were eating dinner together. Mom was a pretty good cook, and took pride in putting out a well balanced meal. This particular evening one of the vegetables on the table was squash. I had never seen it before, but since I already had experience with vegetables I didn’t like, I figured anything new only deserved suspicion until proven innocent. Seeing that I had been given something plantlike to eat, I proceeded to give it the evil eye. Looking up from my plate, I looked at my mom and asked, “What is this?” She said, “That’s squash.” In response, I exclaimed, “Squashed something!” It brought the house down, the house at that time being my family. I’m sure it struck me at the time that turning words and their meaning around in surprising and fun ways can make people laugh, almost in spite of themselves. Ever since that first taste of success, I’ve been looking for ways to make it happen again. I don’t know who is having more fun, myself or the people laughing.

Forever in Green Jeans

The other day I came home with two bags. One bag held a couple bottles of green fabric dye, the other one had four pairs of white jeans. Lori looked up from reading as I walked through the door.
“Whatcha got?”
“White jeans and green fabric dye.”
“Very funny. No, really.”
“Really. Here, see for yourself.”
“Okay, now for the obvious question…”
“Why?”
“Yes, for heaven’s sake.”
“I had a moment of inspiration when I woke up this morning.”
Her face cinched up like it does when she suddenly gets a migraine.
“You woke up inspired to dye white jeans green?”
“Yes.”
“You know, someone has already coined ‘The Green Revolution.'”
“This is about leveling the playing field. Blue jeans have held the high ground for too long.”
“You’re piling up metaphors.”
“If you don’t use ’em you lose ’em.”
“Joel, stop it. Seriously.”
“Here’s the thing. Blue jeans are everywhere. In addition to the actual blue jeans, which you can buy in every size, style, and price range, there are a zillion products made from them. You can get blue jean trucks, blue jean sheets, blue jean perfume… The list goes on and on.”
“And you think you can do the same thing for green jeans?”
“I do.”
“Alright, don’t for a minute think I’m taking this seriously, but since I know how you get, I’ll humor you.”
“Alright.”
“Have you thought out your campaign?”
“Down to the ant’s toenails.”
“That’s not a saying.”
“It is now.”
She bowed her head and appeared to be praying. I think I heard her say something like, “Give me strength.”
“Why didn’t you just buy some green jeans.”
“Too hard to find. A company in Israel has some, but shipping charges would kill me. White jeans were difficult enough. After I get these babies dyed, I’m going to hire a professional photographer and get started on the first ad campaign.”
“What about a national spokesperson?”
“Mr. Green jeans.”
“That’s dumb.”
“Why?”
“Well, first off, the only people who remember him are your age and older.”
“I resent that.”
“Have you considered the fact that he’s dead?”
“With today’s technology, it’s barely an issue. Anyway, if that doesn’t work, I’ll get Neil Diamond to change the lyrics to his song.”
“I’m washing my hands of it. Go die your jeans.”
“It’s spelled dye.”
“I stand by the way I’m spelling it.”