Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Smacking FRED: Laughter with a Friend
I just finished having a good, long laugh. And I really needed it, too. Sometimes, it’s easy to get bogged down… over-run with work and responsibilities and deadlines. When we need it most, we often don’t take the time to laugh.
I was working on three projects, at once. I was trying to post to my blog, Grumbles and Grins. I was writing a letter to a government agency. And I was trying to finish up a novel that I was writing in collaboration with four other authors. I am not a good multi-tasker… and my brain isn’t what it used to be, either. I consider myself lucky to be able to concentrate on one writing task at a time, and disaster usually occurs when I attempt to leap-frog back and forth. In the novel I was working on, my main character was aiming a revolver at an agent from the rogue organization, Thessalonians Five, and she was topless, too. (It’s a long story… I was trapped into that position by the writer who came before me, and there was NOTHING I could do!) But in my letter to the Augusta organization, I was the concerned citizen asking for an opportunity to speak to their Board of Directors. Heaven only knows what I was posting to GAG, but suffice it to say that if I hadn’t proof-read my letter to that venerable environmental organization, I would have been perceived as a crack pot. One does NOT discuss the effects of cold air on bare flesh when one is trying to be granted an interview! (Or does one? Never mind… I’ll try that next, maybe, if my first attempt doesn‘t work.)
Anyway, I was getting grumpy. I was getting stressed. And then, a notification popped onto my screen telling me that an email had arrived. I growled and gritted my teeth, sure that any email must be some new task, project, or assignment.
Luckily, I was wrong.
It was a note from Colleen, aka Dozy, from New South Wales, Australia. Dozy and I met on the blog of an Australian author who was having a ‘Name that Caption” contest. She popped over to GAG, commented on some of my stories, and then asked for advice about what to say at her son’s upcoming wedding. To make a long story short… I wrote her a poem to read at his reception after gathering tidbits of information from her about his life, his likes and dislikes, his idiosyncrasies and his hobbies. Due to that collaboration, a wonderful friendship was born.
Dozy’s note was full of passion; passion about the mundane chores which awaited her on her Sunday off. Clean the litter box. Take the pooper scooper to the back yard and clean up behind the dog. Hang out the wash as it was clouding in. “Exercise” her vacuum. Catch up on receipts and bills and invoices, and complete some dreaded work on FRED, her computer. Her note was peppered with ribald words which are usually filled with asterisks, if one is going to be bold enough to write them instead of mutter them under one’s breath. After reading Dozy’s accounting of her glamour-filled day, I began to feel better. It’s not just ME, I realized. Everyone has days when they’d rather stay in bed and pretend the sun never rose.
I read her words and felt her wry discontent. I thought about my own day. The pee spattered toilet seat I unwittingly sat on. The cat vomit left at the foot of the stairs, which three Peases walked past without ‘noticing’. The $75.00 it cost me to fill my truck. The slow internet when I was in a hurry, and the kids who were in a hurry when I was trying to work slowly and methodically. The embarrassing typo I hadn’t noticed before sending out a letter to the editor of the newspaper. (If it gets printed that way, rest assured that it was a “public” meeting I spoke at. Who ever thought an “L” was such a vital letter in the alphabet? After all, it only has a value of one point in Scrabble!)
Yes, I felt Dozy’s annoyance. It mirrored my own. And she had let loose with me; her friend. What a healthy way to deal with what rankles! Sharing angst with a friend is, absolutely, a sure-fire cure for what ails you.
I decided to give it a try, myself.
“Hey, Dozy! Smack FRED, will ya?”
“Consider FRED smacked!”
I could almost hear her palm hit the monitor from 10,000 miles away.
“Was it a good one? Give him one for me! With a baseball bat!”
“I don’t have a baseball bat, but I have a cricket bat! I’ll go get it!”
“You smack crickets, down there? We consider crickets to be lucky. I have an ‘office cricket’ that I’m very careful not to step on…”
“Nah, woman! I mean the ball game, cricket! I used to play when I was younger!”
Of course, discussing our advancing years brought another round of irritation, and we went on, bantering back and forth about the stone cold facts regarding the aging process. Not only were we venting and cheering each other up, but I learned something, too.
Apparently, going braless does NOT pull the wrinkles out of one’s face.
Hehehe… yeah. That woman can make me laugh. And you know something else? She never, ever has a typo! She’s one amazing fiend!
Oh, fine, Dozy! Be a stickler for the truth! THIS is my desk as of five minutes ago... how embarrassing. Hehehe. You're a brat, you know it? And I love you s**tloads!