Archive for January 19th, 2011

“That’s Funny…..”

Jan. 19th 2011

Have you had a “that’s funny moment” lately?

If not, you should.

A “that’s funny moment” is a phrase I coined. It is when one is engaged in conversation, listening,  or or during a question and answer session following a talk. A “that’s funny moment’ IS  funny–yet NOT a  belly-buster, side-splitting, roll-on-the ground, wet-your-pants, combustible fit of uncontrollable laughter. These moments are subtle.

For example, my father was at the hospital the other day. A nurse enters the waiting room. She calls out…”Sister Brendan Feeney?   Sister Brendan Feeney?”

No reply.

I look at Dad. Dad looks at me. 

His medical chart was written with the title “Sr.” before Brendan.

Dad says, “I’m Brendan Feeney, Senior”

The nurse replied. “Oh, we were expecting a nun!”

I was giving a lecture at an elementary school. When it came to discussing taking photographs of famous people, the topic of First Ladies came up.  I asked the young students if anyone knew the name of one of our nation’s first, First Ladies. She was known for being an elegant hostess and brought grace to the White House. She liked to entertain. 

One student physically jumped up and exclaimed…………..”Dolly Parton?”

It was a”that’s funny moment.”  I gently redirected the answer. “Could it possible be  Dolly Madison?”

 Its gets stranger.

Another youngster in the crowd pipes up and says……….”Oh, she’s the First Lady who bakes those dry cakes mommy puts in my lunch.”  

That’s funny.

I was at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, chaperoning a group of young artist, dancers, and performers around the grounds with a guide from this famous dance complex in Becket, Massachusetts. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is on the National Register of Historic Places. A staff member pointed out a very large rock located behind the dining hall. Ted Shawn’s Men Dancer’s built the dining rom in the 1930s.  This “rock”  is the  the metaphoric “pillow” where Jacob rested; a biblical reference.

To get to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, one must drive up a winding scenic route called “Jacob’s Ladder.”  Many famous dancers have scattered their ashes around the base of this famous rock outcropping.

When it came to questions, one young artist, about 12-years-old asked, “Isn’t it  rather hard sleeping on that rock? ”

Savor nuggets of humor. We tend to run and race.  We tend to not be skilled listeners as in past generations.  Enjoy a “that’s funny moment.” It will make you smile. The world will seems less serious–even for a fleeting moment.

Brendan Ben Feeney

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