Chuckle

Chuckle: (n) a quiet or suppressed laugh

He drove me crazy (even though that would not require many miles of journey.)

He was a theater critic who came out to watch my show, and even though I settled my inner being by insisting that I would not glance his
way, my left eyeball seemed to deny the commitment and wander over to view his reaction.

I was hilarious–at least as hilarious as I ever get.

I was on–which is merely the opposite of off.

The audience was with me–though you’re never quite sure how much of it is sympathy.

He just sat there. He didn’t smirk. It was like someone had bet him that he could remain emotionless during the entire affair.

I had never met him before, but I hated him. Not with a ferocious anger, sprouting a rage of violence–just a normal, temporary, human hatred, which could be assuaged merely by the introduction of a simple compliment.

After the show he came backstage to see me. I was surprised. I thought the next thing I would receive from this fellow would be his review, in which he used as many synonyms for “mediocre” as possible.

But turns out he thought I was hilarious.

I had to ask him, “Did you ever laugh?”

He frowned at me as if concerned about how much I might have hurt myself falling off the turnip truck.

“You don’t have to laugh out loud to chuckle inside,” he explained. “I am an internal chuckler, who simultaneously admires the material that amuses me.”

I stared at him, but decided not to pursue the conversation, since at this point, the outcome was in my favor.

But as I considered his insight, I realized that I often watched things on television or at the movies, and would tell people how funny they were–yet I wasn’t really sure my face exuded anything other than a death growl.

All I can say is, you can feel free to chuckle, even if it’s done inside your closet of appreciation.

But thank God–oh, thank God–for those who spill and spew their laughter.

 

 

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Anno Domini

dictionary with letter A

Anno Domini: (adv) full form of AD. Latin, literally “in the year of Our Lord.”

I had to chuckle one day when I found my car keys after a few moments of nervous speculation on their location.

I am so damn mortal. I am peppered with inconsistencies, flaws, foibles and even little festering afflictions.

Yet sometimes I feel it is my right or even mission to shake my little fist at the heavens, complaining of some minor infraction. (Even if my objection happens to be about a major issue, my fist still doesn’t grow much in comparison to the magnitude of the Universe.)

We are told that a man was born in Bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago. Not only did his birth aggravate local magistrates and set in motion an upheaval in the Middle East, which transported his ideas into the whole world, but we have also decided to meter time from before and after his birth.

And even though agnostics and atheists rail against the life, attitudes and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, we have no other experience or teachings that have spanned so much time and left so much influence.

  • We have Buddha and Confucius, who were predecessors, but certainly did not eclipse the influence.
  • The gods of Olympus died out pretty quickly.
  • And Mohammed was born several centuries after Jesus.

There was something proclaimed in the small 100-mile radius of Nazareth, his stomping ground, that stirred the conscience in the body human and still awakens us to the need to love one another.

Although I am not comfortable with many of the tenets of religion and theological practice, it is very difficult to doubt the impact that a carpenter-turned-preacher had on our world.

Was it his life?

Was it his death?

Or was it the fact that he simplified all the over-wrought musings of the generations of time into “loving the Lord your God and loving your neighbor as yourself?”

 

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Anesthesia

dictionary with letter A

Anesthesia: (n.) drugs or gases designed to create insensitivity to pain prior to surgical procedure.

It occurred to me while standing in the breakfast aisle at the local supermarket.

In previous years, I complained about going shopping and having rude little children point, giggle and laugh at me simply because I was a fat man.

On this day, what crossed my mind, standing next to the Honey Nut Cheerios, was that I couldn’t remember the last time that I had such a confrontation with a little one in the marketplace. I wondered if it was because our children had gained a new sensitivity and had ceased to mock unusual people.

Without being too cynical, I seriously doubt that. There is certainly as much prejudice around today as in any other time.

So it baffled me a little bit.

But then I realized–the secret to this absence of ridicule did not lie in the children, but rather in me.

  • I had stopped looking for the pain.
  • I had ceased to probe the room for disapproval or listen for the slightest chuckle.
  • I had learned to go about my business.
  • I had accepted the great anesthesia of confidence and peace of mind, to free me from the need to be pricked and probed until I screamed out in displeasure.

Maybe the kids are still laughing. But I am dull to their critique.

Maybe when I come zooming by, they poke each other, point and giggle at me. But I am already gone.

The glory of anesthesia is that necessary surgery can be done to our bodies without us fighting the treatment.

May God give me the anesthesia of soul satisfaction so the surgery that He needs to continue to do to my heart … will be painless and profitable.

 

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