I was at the Fredonia Farmers' Market Saturday morning, and I met a friend and reader who is a retired school teacher. She told me she reads the column every Saturday and enjoys my style of writing because everyone can understand what I write. I told her I have low tolerance for people who try to talk or write above other people's heads. It's mean and arrogant.
I told her this story about when I was registering for Fredonia State. Each student had to stop at every table pay a fee for different things.
We got to the end of the line, and the girl ahead of me turned around and said, "I'm afraid my resources have sadly depleted."
I looked at her and said, "Yeah, I'm kind of broke myself."
Now, I never knew if she graduated because I left after two years, but if she graduated and taught, I feel sorry for her students. After all, the purpose of language, whether it's written or spoken, is to communicate. Showing off is not an option!
Now we're going to laugh.
There was a king who had a good friend. They did everything together. The friend had the habit of saying, "This is good," no matter what happened.
One day the two of them were hunting. The friend loaded, the king shot. Something went wrong and the king shot off his thumb. The friend said, "This is good!"
"What do you mean this is good?" the king exclaimed. "You didn't load the gun right and I've lost my thumb. I'm putting you in jail!"
Months later the king went hunting in Africa. He was captured by cannibals. The water was boiling and they were all set to throw the king in the boiling water why they noticed his thumb was gone. He was unacceptable. They wanted a whole person. They set him free.
The king had been spared, thanks to his friend. He must return and free his friend. He arrived at the prison, told his friend what had happened and begged him to forgive him. The friend said, "This is good."
"What do you mean?" the king asked. "I've kept you in prison for a year!"
"Yes, but if you hadn't put me in prison for a year, I would have been with you!"
The Lord works in mysterious ways!
I like this one:
A thief broke into a house. Out of the darkness a voice said, "Jesus is watching you." The thief whipped out his flashlight and scanned the room. He found a parrot in a cage.
"Did you just talk?" the thief asked.
"Yes," said the parrot.
"What's your name?"
"Daniel," the parrot replied.
"That's a strange name for a parrot," said the thief.
"If you think that's strange, what do you think of 'Jesus' for a pit bull?"
Here's another one:
A preacher was known for his long sermons. One day while he was preaching, a young man started walking out.
"Where are you going?" the preacher asked.
"To get a haircut," the young man said.
"Why didn't you get it yesterday?"
"It wasn't long then."
Here's one that proves it's not what happens to you, it's how you handle it:
This man was in a terrible ice storm. The walking was treacherous. It was a feat to keep on his feet. He finally got in his car. Everything was frozen. He couldn't find his scraper, and he improvised with a spatula. It worked. Then he got to church, opened the door, leaned in to get his Bible, all the snow and ice came down from the roof and hit him on his backside. He burst out laughing. It could have hit him on the head. This man knew how to play "Pollyanna." I'm glad Mom taught me that!
I can relate to this one because it almost happened to me: This man started to get a toothache near the gum line. He decided to put some Anbesol around the tooth. That usually works. He picked up the tube in the cabinet and squeezed some out. The stuff didn't look right. He looked at the label and it said "Anusol," a hemorrhoid ointment. Oh, oh wrong relief!
Here's one I did because I am a spontaneous person. I decided to pick on some celery between meals. After I removed some stalks, I looked at the celery leaves and it looked like a floral arrangement from the florist. I can't stand waste, so I smoothed it out at the bottom, put some water in a dish, put the celery in it and used it for a center piece. What will people say when they see it? I don't care. I love the way it looks, and I'm enjoying it. I'm spontaneous! This spontaneity gives me freedom to do fun things. One of my friends called me up to ask me if I still had the celery as my center piece.
"Oh, heck no," I replied. "I ate it."
So, you see, I am practical, too. I wasn't going to let it go to waste.
I make the most out of life. Laughing is so much fun and laughing at yourself is a freedom you can't afford to miss! It works for me!
Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org