Well, it’s Thanksgiving. So, what are you thankful for? I am grateful for the comical moments of life that we never see coming. Proverbs reminds us that a good laugh is better than a pill. Hope you enjoy the following story…
Artemis shifted back and forth in his folding chair as Aunt Mabel looked nervously toward the back door. This was his third funeral and he was determined not make a scene as he had done at the previous two. None of it was really his fault mind you, I mean the first two funerals. Who could have predicted that a stray dog would wander in and lift his leg on a peace lily during the pastor’s sermon, or that Uncle Leland’s toupee would fall off as he belted out “I’ll fly away”? All things considered, his fits of laughter should have been justified but his Aunt Mabel saw things differently. In both instances, she had grabbed him by the left ear and promptly escorted him out the back door.
And so, Artemis determined that this service would be different. It would be incident free and he would finally make his family proud. Being twelve years old had brought to bear unexpected pressures that Artemis had not anticipated. One of which was his parents hope that he would be a good example to his three younger brothers. Looking to his left, he groaned. There they stood, three roughneck boys all in a row. One was picking his nose while the other two watched in anticipation. If ever younger siblings needed a good example it was those three knuckleheads. Besides, he was a serious young man and he loved his grandfather dearly. The thought of gut-wrenching laughter as the men in suits lowered the old man into the ground was appalling to Artemis.
As the organist began playing, the preacher walked in and sat to the left of the casket. The organ went silent as the soloist, Mary Shellenberg, began her rendition of, “In the Garden.” And then it happened. Without a proper introduction, a bluebird flew in through an open window, and passed by Artemis on a suicide mission. At break-neck speed, the little bird rammed itself into the side of his grandfather’s casket and fell dead at Mary Shellenberg’s feet. She had just hit a note that was well above her natural abilities when she looked down and saw the dead bluebird lying at her feet. Artemis watched in amazement as the old, frail women bent down, picked up the bird, tossed it into the casket, and continued to sing, “I come to the Garden alone.”
Today would not be the day Artemis could claim victory over the demons of laughter at a funeral. His third attempt would not be his lucky charm. Bent over in hysteria, the young man felt the firm grip of his Aunt Mabel’s fingerrs on his left ear and out the door, they went.