Last night I was looking through some old journals, looking for funny stuff. I have a lot of journals. I have shelves downstairs full of notebooks that would remind you of the guy in Seven, but my handwriting is not as neat and I’m not crazy. And my humor is better, although I’d say he was wholly incapable of levity.
I read a lot of goofy stuff last night, but the funniest story I have happened to me back in 2002. It made me laugh yesterday as hard as it did then. It may be one of those “You had to be there” things. You can be the judge of that.
At the time my sister, M., was living in Elko. I can’t remember why, but she came to visit us with her daughter, S., who was four years old at the time.
M. was laughing when we went out to help them unpack the car. Apparently when they were just passing the Western side of Wendover, S. screamed. The new doll she had been holding on her lap had opened its eyes.
It was, of course, one of those baby dolls whose eyes open when you sit them up. She apparently had not known this and it freaked her out in a manner that did not please her greatly. It was a fairly normal looking toy, not like this one, which I could understand being afraid of:
The doll spent the final 100 miles of the drive in the trunk. I laughed and asked S. if we were going to bring it inside. She said no in the plainest possible language, the hyper-emphatic “no” that only four-year-olds are capable of.
We spent the evening messing around and playing games. Later we all went to bed, we in our bedroom, they in the guest room. About an hour later I got up to get a drink. To get to the kitchen I had to pass by the living room.
S. was standing at the window, staring out through the blinds, which she was holding open with two fingers. She was starting out at the trunk of their car.
To say that she looked solemn would be to say that the sun’s surface is mildly warm. She had the look on her face that all the people staring through the crenelations in The Return of The King had when the orcs were dragging the siege towers towards Minas Tirath.
Grim resignation. Numb horror. Impassive shock.
And then she spoke.
“Good night…blinking baby.”
Then she turned quickly, as if she could sense my eyes. But I was already in bed, waking my annoyed wife up to tell her the story that she would blearily fail to see any humor in until the next morning when she had regained her wits.
It was funny. The end.