Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Little Laugh from Grandpa Lewis

This afternoon I spent some time on the Reader’s Digest website. I love Reader’s Digest, though I’m beginning to wonder if anyone else in their twenties subscribes to it. I just have a feeling that I’m not the target market for a magazine filled with ads for hemorrhoid creams and Medicaid. If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in a waiting room or sitting on your grandmother’s couch, you’ve probably at least picked up a copy of Reader’s Digest and maybe come across the monthly section they have dedicated to jokes submitted by readers. I went on the site today to submit some jokes for the section.

They weren’t my jokes. I’m terrible at jokes. They were jokes that Matthew’s late grandfather, Lewis, used to tell. Grandpa Lew died a little over a year ago back in Illinois. I didn’t get to know him very well because of the distance, but he was such a sweet, funny man. He had thick-rimmed black plastic glasses, bushy eyebrows, and one of those perma-grins that kind of says “I’m up to something”. I have to smile every time I see him in our wedding pictures, hunched over in his suit and tie and Sea World baseball cap. He was the kind of man that was always full of stories and music and of course, a timely joke.

I know Reader’s Digest is inundated with submissions so his jokes may or not be selected, but I think it would be so cool if his stuff were to be published. I’ll just have to wait to hear back from them, but in the meantime, here are a few clean selections from Grandpa Lew’s original jokes for your enjoyment.

-What kind of car would a missionary drive?
A convertible.

-Where do Tailors live?
On the outskirts of town.
Where should podiatrists live?
In the foothills.

- The wind was blowing so hard the other day that a hen laid the same egg 13 times.

-What expression must you never say when out hunting?
“I’m game.”

-This man worked for the circus and was shot out of a cannon. He went to the circus manager and said “I quit!” The manager replied, “You can’t quit. Where am I going to get someone of your caliber?”

-What do you call popcorn that has a lot of left over kernels?
Confederate popcorn

-What sound does a grape make when an elephant steps on it?
It whines.

-My wife was on a diet of coconut milk and bananas. She didn’t lose any weight but boy can she climb a tree!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Herman and the Second Life

By now, most of you have probably heard of Second Life. For those of you who haven’t, it’s basically a website where you create a character and build it a life; a second life, if you will, complete with income, housing, friends, and yes, even church. It’s unbelievable how into this thing some people are and the amount of money they pour into a fake life, but I’m not going to go into it. I do have strong feelings about the site and its users and what I feel are the philosophical, sociological, and spiritual issues surrounding it, but I’m not a rant-blogger. I’m not a rant-blogger because I don’t like to read rant-bloggers because they make me feel angry inside. I’m plenty angry as it is, so if you need something to get angry about, go to the website, check it out, and write your own rant about it. http://www.secondlife.com/.

All that to say that Second Life got me thinking the other day about what I would do if I had a second life. Not an online life on a ridiculous website, but another real life to try anything or go an entirely different direction then the one I’m living now. Kind of like when I was a kid playing Jeopardy! on my computer (yeah, nerdy, I know). I would tell the computer that there were two people playing, when really it was only me. I would set up my player “Kristie” and I would buzz in on all the questions I was sure I knew the answer to, and then I’d set up another player “Herman” or something and use him for all those questions that I wasn’t sure about. Herman was my second life. I could roll the dice with Herman and not put my real self at risk. If Herman got a question wrong, it was no big deal. It wasn’t really me, after all. It was just Herman.

It’s one of my favorite questions to ask people: what would you do if you had another life? But you can’t take it too seriously or else it’s no fun. I ask some people and they think about it so carefully you’d think I could actually grant them one. My list is long and seemingly random, and probably impossible to do it one additional life. I would like to try being a missionary, especially aboard Mercy Ships or something of the like. I would like to get a degree and become a high school English teacher or maybe go into advertising and marketing. I could move to Nashville and try to make it in the music business. I’ve always wanted to open a sandwich shop, and maybe serve breakfast too. Maybe I’d get one of those crazy spiky haircuts that look so good on some girls. The possibilities are endless.

It’s crazy when you start playing Marty McFly on your life and asking “what if”? What if I never did this or did that, how it would completely alter the course or your life. My biggest one is what if I didn’t decide to learn to play the guitar? I wouldn’t have found a niche in the youth group by joining the worship band. I wouldn’t have been drawn out and given confidence by the band’s leader. I wouldn’t have started writing songs. And most significantly, I probably wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to get to know Matthew very well, and go on to marry him. Where would I be without my guitar? Perhaps an unmarried English teacher with a spiky haircut.

All that said, no second life could ever compare to my first life. I am incredibly blessed. Matthew and I always say that if we ever won the lottery (which would be astonishing since we never play), we wouldn’t change a thing. Well, we would probably get a hot tub, but other than that, life is perfect. After all, you only get one. So here’s to living without regrets.

If you don’t mind putting yourself out there on the world wide web, I’d love to hear what you would do with your second life.