Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cover Your Mouth When You Yawn!!!

Freak accidents. We never expect them…that’s why they are labeled thusly. The phrase says it all.

Death is never funny. It isn’t. And the closer a person is to the victim of a fatal accident, the less amusing and the more tragic it is.

I consider myself a woman with a lot of empathy. A great deal of sympathy. More than my share of compassion. And yet, at the same time I have found myself chortling in fascinated dismay and yes—almost glee—when learning of certain ‘freak accidents’.

None of us wants to die. It is human nature to hold on to the tenuous and fragile strings that secure us to life with everything we’ve got. But we ARE going to die. It is inevitable. Some of us will die soon, and many of us will pass on in the distant future. But if I had my choice between a lingering illness, or long-term pain, or an existence where--because of the frailty of mind or body--I was affecting the quality of life of my loved ones who WERE healthy and who DID have a long and promising future…well. I guess I’m saying that I’m the kind of girl who would rather have her end be swift, unexpected…and even something that might be thought of as funny, after the pain and shock wore off.

Am I a sick mother (wife and daughter), or what??

The following is an excerpt from a newspaper article a friend sent me. I don’t KNOW that it’s true…but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was.

A circus dwarf, nicknamed ‘Od’, died recently when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a yawning hippopotamus waiting to appear in the next act. Vets said Hilda the Hippo had a gag reflex which caused her to swallow. More than 1000 spectators continued to applaud wildly until they realized there had been a tragic mistake.

Well, NO WONDER we can’t get homeowner’s insurance if we own a trampoline! No wonder!!

Okay. You’ve read it. I dare say, you’ve read it twice! And I’m betting that a good percentage of you--whether you’d openly admit it or not—got a chuckle from that article. Maybe even a hoot! It has an aura of mesmerizing horror to it, doesn’t it? I mean, come on!!! Out of all the ways a human being might envision his eventual death, would this scenario ever, EVER cross his mind? We picture car accidents, or cancer, or house fires or diabetes. But we never, EVER foresee bouncing sideways from a trampoline into a yawning hippo’s mouth!!! I DARE you to tell me that possibility has crossed your mind!

I dare you!

I admit it. I giggled and tee-heed for five minutes after I read that. Sure, I feel sympathy for Od’s family and friends. What a terrible thing to have happen! One minute, little Od was bouncing away, light and free, doing somersaults to the delight of his fans, and the next…Hehehehehe.

I’m sorry! I am! See? I’m a sick woman! But Holy Hippos, Hilda! It simply boggles the mind!

And I’ve gotta tell you…I feel bad for poor, humble Hilda. There is no way that creature could have foreseen those particular consequences when she succumbed to the irresistible urge to yawn! Think of it! She’d no doubt seen Od’s high-flying acrobatics countless times! While he might have been keeping the crowd enthralled, Hilda was simply bored. Big deal! Once you’ve seen one bouncing, springing, leaping dwarf, you’ve seen ‘em all! She can’t be blamed for giving in to the urge to yawn. There was certainly no malice aforethought when she opened those massive jaws and inhaled. There was no way she could have known that that deep lungful of revitalizing air would be accompanied by a side order of dwarf. No way!

I, myself, have yawned and inadvertently inhaled a black fly in the spring of the year. I’ve inhaled a cookie or a bread crumb. Once, I even yawned in a piece of macaroni and whistled in panic for two minutes until the offending pasta was expectorated. But to the best of my recollection, I’ve never yawned and accidentally swallowed a circus star! Not a muscle man, nor a bearded lady…not even a dwarf. I am almost positive I would have remembered!

Almost positive!

Rest assured, now that I know such things are in the realm of possibilities, I shall make it my custom to cover my mouth each time I yawn. Without fail, and that’s a promise.

But Hilda didn’t have that option, did she?

Aw, heck. No, it’s not funny that Od met his demise in such a way. (It’s NOT! I’m sorry!!! I’m really TRYING not to snicker! I AM!) Ahem. Death is never humorous. But death IS unavoidable. And if you’ve gotta go--if you’ve gotta leave this earth in some manner—why not have it be in such a way as to inspire a smile in another? A laugh, a snort, even a chortle? Od was an entertainer, after all. He liked to ‘wow’ the crowds.

I’d say the man was a complete and absolute success. He left at the top of his game. After bouncing sideways.

That’s all I’m saying. Hehehe.


  1. Oh Karen - that's just too funny!!
    Does that make me a sick person I wonder ? Probably, because I'm still giggling.....
    Btw: did all the baby ducks in the top pic fall into the drain ??? Oh dear!!

  2. Hi there, Dozy!

    Hehehe. Yup, you're a sick person! Come on in, pull up a stump and rest awhile! (Thank goodness, I'm not ALONE!)

    Yes, the ducklings fell into the drain. But the bystanders rescued the little darlings and the family went along its merry way. I'll bet if you asked a duck to name the top ten ways she thought she would die, falling through a sewer grate would NOT be one of them! Hehe.

    Thanks for the read and the comment! I love seeing you on GAG!