Laughter — Can We Ever Get Enough?

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In Junior High, I had an English teacher who was very conscientious and had a dry wit.  I believe his name was Mr. Henderson.  One day he made a joke about something — I can’t remember what that was — but the whole class laughed. He was hugely pleased by our response.  I found it funnier than even the rest of the class and continued to laugh till I was crying.  After a few minutes of this, he smiled and said “Okay, let’s get back to the lesson.”  But I wasn’t done.  I continued to laugh. My stomach hurt I was laughing so hard.  He stopped smiling and said “Okay, Sandie, we’ve had our bit of fun — time to get to work.” The rest of the class had quieted down as they felt the tension rising. I could tell he was getting annoyed, but at this point I was in hysterics.  He was getting annoyed at me for laughing at his joke. Then came his punchline — “I’m going to have to give you detention if you do not stop laughing”.   The irony of getting detention for laughing at his joke didn’t escape me and I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair as I blurted out “Sorry!” He then told me “You have detention!”  My good humor did not diminish even at this proclamation. I, normally one of a teacher’s pets, a goody-two-shoes was getting detention for laughing. I thought my sides would burst. He let me be at this point till I finally became exhausted and quieted down.  At the end of the class I got up and as I walked to the door I looked back at Mr. Henderson.  He looked at me benignly (as was his way) and I gave him a big smile and left the class room.  I went to detention the next day.  He was the detention teacher. He smiled at me as I entered the room and I knew I was forgiven.  I almost started laughing again.

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Some Enchanted Afternoon

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Sight.”

Some Enchanted Afternoon

I had just dropped my son off at the bus station.  He was off to the big city — New York City — to begin his first semester of college.  I was experiencing all the classical symptoms of empty nest syndrome.  I had cried buckets of tears after his bus drove out of view.  After calming down, I knew I’d best not go back home or I’d just have another crying jag.  My friend, Sue, and her daughter, Renee, were looking to adopt a kitten.  I decided that while they were busy this day, I could look for  a kitty for them at a pet store they hadn’t gone to  yet.  (I usually do my adopting at animal shelters but they had already gone to the local one and hadn’t found any young kittens.)   Thinking of looking at kittens was already cheering me up as I drove over to the store.  With a spring in my step I walked up to the door and opened it.   A bell jangled to announce my arrival.  As I stepped in, I looked to the back of the store and stopped.  There was a   beautiful black and white tuxedo kitten with white whiskers and a white splotch on her nose. She looked just like the neighbor’s cat from my childhood.  I was instantly in love and I was twenty feet away.  A salesman asked me if I needed any help.  In a daze, I said “yes, I see a kitten” and walked past him in a trance. It was as if I were hypnotized. When I would remember these moments afterwards, I would hear the song “Some Enchanted Evening” playing in the background.

“Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger – You may see a stranger across a crowded room… and somehow you know, you know even then, that somehow you’ll see him again and again…”

Soon I reached the cage and I couldn’t believe how cute she was.  “Hello kitty”.  I greeted her while peering through the cage bars.  She mewed back.  The saleslady said I could take her out and hold her. (Its times like this I feel how great it is to be an adult!)  I opened the cage door and carefully gathered up her tiny furry body and brought her to my chest.  She didn’t protest but cuddled against me. I explained to the salesperson that I was looking for a kitten for a friend and I thought this one was just right.  I stroked her and talked to her and looked at her in amazement that anything could be this adorable.  Reluctantly, I put her back in the cage to call my friend.  I called her cell phone number, but she didn’t answer.  I left a voice mail.  I tried calling again in five minutes — still no answer.  The salesperson had agreed to hold the kitten for me while I made the phone calls.  What was I to do?  Surely, she’d be gone by the end of the day if I couldn’t get hold of Sue.  I realized that there was only one thing to do.  I’d have to buy her and save her for Renee and her mom!  Surely, they would adore her and if they didn’t — hey, I’d take her!  Oh, I felt as if I had wings and could fly as I paid for her.  I carried her out to my car in a box with air holes.  Now she was meowing in protest.

Driving home, I thought about my husband, Manny, seeing her.  He loved cats and adored the one we had — Abby.  “Wait till he sees you!” I spoke back to the mewing box.  “I bet you’ll cheer him right up.”  Manny was often down lately because he had lost most of his hearing and the hearing aids only helped a little.  I got home and unlocked the front door while my dog, Hoo,  barked and jumped upon me.  “Shhh — you’ll scare the kitty” I cautioned him.  Manuel was in the bedroom and so I placed the box upon the bed and told him to come and see. Then, I opened up the top of the box a little bit and out popped a wee head with tiny ears and tiny white whiskers.  As I opened it wider, I babbled on excitedly about picking up the kitten for Sue and Renee and how I didn’t even look at any of the other kittens.  Manny’s face was beaming as the kitten hopped out of the box and began walking upon the bed.  He petted  her and said “we’ll have to figure out a name for her”.  Suddenly, I realized that he thought I had brought her home for us!  He hadn’t heard me say that she was for our friends.  What was I to do?   He hadn’t looked this happy in months.  Well…it wasn’t as if Sue or Renee had seen the kitten yet and well… wasn’t I just in love with it?  And Manny would be so disappointed…And so, we named her.  My husband was from Mexico so I wanted her name to sound Spanish.  This was the first pet we had gotten together.  We quickly settled on the name Pepita and claimed her as our own.  As for my friends, they finally found their own kitten to love and were able to forgive me for taking Pepita!