A Story by Bob Deason
I am on my afternoon walk, letting my mind wander as I usually do while walking, and I start thinking about my friend Retha. As one of her birthday presents, she received a red, plush version of what is basically a blanket with sleeves in it. The name of this contraption is the “Siamese Slanket,” because it has four sleeves in it so that a couple can snuggle together while still eating popcorn (or something like that). However, when her son saw it, he put his legs through one set of sleeves and his arms through the other, and ended up wearing it like a toga, a la John Belushi in Animal House. As I let my imagination run away with her description of the scene, I start chuckling to myself. This quickly progresses to laughing out loud (LOL), and then to laughing so hard I have to stop to catch my breath (LMAO).
At this point in my walk, I am on an uphill section of my normal circuit, right in front of a pediatrician’s office. There are people in the parking lot on their way in to see the doctor, and some others coming out on their way to their cars. Imagine their surprise to see a heavyset man in his 50’s doubled over in the road. They can’t tell I am laughing, but it is obvious that I am having trouble breathing. They immediately think heart attack.
So two people come rushing over, and one person runs inside to get the doctor. They try to make me sit down on the curb, and I try to tell them I am OK, and that I am just laughing at a story. But that just makes the whole thing funnier to me, so I laugh even harder (ROFL). I try to explain, but since I am uttering phrases like Siamese Slanket and Toga Party, they assume that I am hallucinating.
Now the doctor comes out, and we know each other because his office used to be in our building. He says, “Bob what’s wrong?” I realize people are worried so I manage to compose myself a little and start to explain. Turns out the doc has seen the ads for the Siamese Slanket, and he thinks it’s hilarious that someone would put their legs through the second set of arm holes, and he starts laughing, which gets me going all over again. By now the first responders have figured out that I am not having a heart attack. I am merely a lunatic. So they grab their children (pediatrician, remember?) and beat a hasty retreat to their cars.
This happens to me sometimes. I start laughing at something, and it turns into a full-on, roaring belly-laugh. When it is over, I feel so good. I know it has something to do with the release of endorphins, but I just think of it as a release of stress. Laughter really is the best medicine (LOL).
photo by Bob’s dad