Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Tried Not to Laugh

We were invited to the Elks Club (on Riverside) by my dear in-laws. Hannibal's was catering the mother's day brunch. We sat with our neighbors, Tony and Nancy.

Turns out, they had "a service" prior to the brunch. We all had to sit facing the huge King and Queen chairs up front..oh, and the huge antlers on a table. These people were dressed like waiters..but turns out they were the grand poopas and poomas of the Elks Club. There was an old guy up on the stage, all alone,..who would play the organ as if to punctuate the speakers words. I got the giggles about the time master dragon guy read an essay about how mom's are "silver-haired martyrs whose lot in life is to protect their children"..and then the organist began to play..wait for it...... lullaby baby. I tried to hold it know, where you cover your mouth but your shoulders shake really hard. My mother-in law sent a note to me and it said, "shut up..have a little respect for this silver-haired martyr". I looked over at her...she had her hanky over her mouth, her eyes were crinkled up with laughter..and were beginning to spill over with tears. It was a great moment..and I am saving the note!

I must say that I began to snort, chortle, and which point I excused myself and went rapidly to the bathroom. I'd looked over at Dave and his eyes were like slits..the organ sounding like soap opera music of yesteryear...the never-ending essay about mothers (none of which I could relate to). Tears were streaming down my face as I ran for cover...that's where the laughter goes when it can't come out. A few people in the hallway looked at me, saw my tears, and probably thought I was crying...but maybe not. They WERE in the hallway.

I found my soul-mate in the restroom. There she was, sitting there on the couch...tears streaming down her face. I I laughed, "you couldn't take it anymore either?" She said, "my mom died recently and this service is more somber than her funeral was. I wanted to put those antlers on my head and start dancing in circles". An older lady came out of a stall (she was one of those silver-haired moms) and stood there laughing with us.. as we all blotted our mascara, which was smeared at this point. We waited until we thought it was safe, and then made our exit. We entered the banquet room just as everyone was sitting down for brunch. My MIL and I looked at each other and started laughing again. What a great way to spend the morning!

PS. I just talked to my brother, who reminded me of this Elks Story where he single-handedly got the rules changed with regard to the "11th Hour" prayer and non-members.

He works for the same newspaper he did back then..30 years ago. His paper rented the Elks for some event so they were there when that prayer was said. Back then, my bro used to smoke a little weed with his beer. Apparently a grand dragon Elk poopa stood in front of (and slightly under) a huge pair of Elk antlers and rang the chimes. To John, it looked like the antlers were coming out of this guys head. Well, he tried to hold in the gufaws, but his stomach was shaking and hitting the lady in front of him..who was seated. She began to snicker. The snickers spread like wildfire. They were all kicked out and no one, except members, could attend the Elks club for the next three years...and only members (to this day) may attend the 11th hour prayer. Apparently his boss had to write a public letter of apology to the local Elks Club.

John and I are funny that way...
I peed my pants in Miss Boliches class (1st grade) and he had done it in the same class..two years before me. We enjoy making lasting impressions and long-term policy changes. From then on, if a kid raised her/his hand to go to the restroom...they could go, no need to wait for recess.


Hahn at Home said...

Ah jeez Mel, you made me pee my pants from laughing.

Eileen and Sue said...

That was great.. happy mother's day