My distinguished school career as the class clown began in the fourth grade when I told a joke and everyone laughed, except the teacher, of course. Through the years, I continued to annoy my teachers, irritate my parents, and delight my friends with irreverent comments and rebellious actions that resulted in many trips to the principal’s office. Only my good grades saved me from being sent off to some reform school in the wilderness.Actually, I grew up in the wilderness. Anyone ever heard of Wendell, Idaho? I didn’t think so. It’s a small farming community in southern Idaho where you can get to Clell and Mabel’s home by turning left at the brown house with the wooden deck, just past the hill by Chandler’s dairy barn. During the sixties, as I was honing my humorous and rewarding talents in the classroom, the town had 1,000 inhabitants. I knew just about every one of them. My parents had attended the same schools I attended, and I had some of their same teachers. These teachers were OLD!As a child, I relied on my wits to survive. I was the only girl in a hard-working farm family and my importance fell way below that of my brothers, my mother, the hired hands, the dog and the cats. The dog was useful for barking at strangers and the cats were necessary to control the mice. The hired hands worked hard on my father’s farms from sunrise until sunset. My mother, bless her heart, dutifully had dinner on the table every night at six o’clock, whether or not my father came in from work. If he were late, she silently added more milk to the gravy and kept the pork chops in the oven until they became hard enough to use as door stops. But, just smother them chops with globs of reheated gravy and you could choke ’em down with a few glasses of dairy-fresh milk. My brothers were important, well, because they were male and I wasn’t. It all seemed so unfair.Every day my father would play John Philip Souza records on high volumn and pound on our bedroom doors, hollering “Get up! Get up! Time’s money!” To this day, I cringe and get a twitch every time I hear “Stars and Stripes Forever,” even though I’m very patriotic and continue to get out of bed and get to work because I couldn’t possibly waste time or money by lolling around in my big, comfortable bed with the Italian sheets and the coordinated bedding.Anyhow, that’s Part One of my grand adventure into the safety of humor. I find it so much more enjoyable to laugh about this crazy world than to fuss about all the crap. I recently had an article printed in several national magazines. It’s titled “Toss Out Some Humor to Lighten the Work Load.” In case you’re interested, here’s a link to one of those articles. Toss out some humor to lighten the workload
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