It Was More Embarrassing Than Funny

March 29, 2015

Did you ever think about something and laugh at your own thought because you thought it was so funny and then feel compelled to tell someone why you were laughing?

Yep. Me, too.

I had a weekly newspaper column and my column was fairly serious so the woman in the Circulation Department had never experienced my offbeat sense of humor.

On this particular day, after I finished writing my column, I read my publisher’s column and saw that he was warning us that in a certain area of our county, the Health Department had found several cases of malaria. He said that because of all the rain we had been having and the heat wave that we had been experiencing, we had an influx of these infected mosquitoes.

I don’t live in a tropical country and so I figured that my publisher hadn’t verified the report before he wrote his column. This, in itself, was very disturbing because our newspaper prided itself on verification and accuracy. And even if my publisher hadn’t verified it, the newspaper supposedly had five people who proofread each edition before it went to press.

This was before computers came out on the market and my columns were always printed in longhand and mailed to the newspaper.

That day, I sat there grinning at the note I was enclosing because I said I had just been bitten by one of these mosquitoes and that if I should die this week, I would send in my column the following week. Then, still grinning, I put the note and the column into an envelope and mailed it. And completely forgot about it.

A couple of days later, I received a phone call from the woman in the Circulation Department telling me that she was so worried about me, and was I all right, and what does the doctor say??

It was one of those horribly embarrassing moments. For just the briefest fraction of a second, I almost wished it were true so that I didn’t have to admit that it was my sense of humor gone awry.

I stood there in the kitchen holding the phone to my ear, my face suffused in red blotches from embarrassment, and mumbled an apology for my stupid attempt at humor. What was even worse was that she said nothing.

It was a lesson learned. Sometimes, what’s in your head should stay in your head; not everything that you’re thinking should be shared.

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