(Okay, maybe spicy food.)
So I have decided to inaugurate the first annual Belly Laugh Awards: wonderful people and things in my life that have made me laugh out loud and feel fantastic, over and over again. Here they are...
Funniest joke that wasn't a joke: I taught a crochet class to two pre-teen sisters this year, and here is a conversation we had:
Girl: "Miss Valerie, are you married?"
Girl: "Oh, you don't look like you're married."
Me: "Why do you say that?"
Girl: "You're all smiley. I saw my aunt last summer, and she was all smiley. Then she got married, and I saw her this summer, and she wasn't smiling anymore."
Seriously, I laughed out loud, reposted that conversation on Facebook, and it got about 60 likes. Amazing.
Funniest Halloween outfit: This or this.
Funniest animal: For my money, it's my rabbit. He's nuts. He gets so excited about lettuce that he becomes a trip hazard and also runs into walls. He looks through the staircase banisters at us dolefully with his ears sticking up like a bat. He runs down stairs with a full carrot in his mouth like a dog with a stick. He takes his apple slices over to a corner so he can be alone while he devours them. He jumps three feet into the air to sit on top of his cage, only to not be able to get down again. He hides in his hay box so we can't find him, then we see his bat-antenna ears poking up out of the cardboard. He is simply a very weird little furball.
Funniest sight out-of-state: The Minnesota Renaissance Festival "she-beast." It was worth seeing this monster in a leather bikini just to exchange looks with Burt.
Funniest use of a swear word: This is also a tie between pretty much every great joke in the movie "Lincoln," and something my scuba diving instructor said to our group. It was 50 degrees, we were diving into a manmade lake in Kankakee in October, and he was giving us a pep talk. It went something like this:
"Oh, there are no kids here, are there? All right, let's go, you crazy f*cks!!"Funniest new blog: Dog Shaming. I need to shame my bunny for eating pretty much every candle or piece of chocolate within his tiny grasp.
Funniest science-obsessed Facebook posts: Jamie V. Seriously, I don't need to follow any of the science groups on Facebook, Jamie gives me a feed of the best of them all.
Funniest Facebook one-liners: My buddy Pete B. Two crochet-related puns earned him this honor: stating that my jail ladies make "shank cozies" and suggesting that I crochet a "Pol Pot-holder."
Funniest baby: I was going to solidly pick my friends Ed and Amanda's baby Eddie, because he is so friendly and outgoing that he ended up saying "hi!" loudly to everyone in a restaurant in Bourbonnais, and pretty much any of his problems can be solved by clapping at him. But yesterday my law friends Chris and Lesley came by with their boy Emiliano, who loved my apple sauce so much that he was literally grunting and growling for it. Amazing. So that is a tie.
Best sense of humor in a crisis: This one has to be a tie between my parents. My dad was making jokes right up to the end, and my mom, sister, and I have had a lot of laughs since then. You laugh so you don't cry.
Consistently funniest G-Chats: Another tie: Tom D. and Keith G.! Here is a snippet from each:
me: if we are bringing our own food and whatnot, we're just going to go to a forest preserve and have a picnic
Thomas: well I hope Dave enjoys lime disease and being eaten by bears
Bud Light LIME
he brought that shit into my HOUSE, man!
into my fucking HOUSE!
where I live!
you sound like a mob boss that was attacked at home
"IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN"
"THE BUNNY WAS SO AFRAID OF THE BUD LITE LIME HE POOPED ON THE COUCH"
don't joke about poop today
someone shit their pants in my courtroom
me: yeah, goddamnit
we had to call a cleaning lady to wipe up the smear stains on the court room bench
Keith: over a traffic ticket or what?
she is old and whatever, but I'm telling you, if I get to the age where I'm shitting my pants and I'm unaware of it, just take me out back and kill me with a rock
Keith: ok, that got a literal laugh out loud
Funniest car ride anywhere: Brian B., to and from Keith's wedding in Wisconsin. Possibly the funniest few hours of my entire year. We covered the election, law school drama, and so much more. Here's to more travels, Mr. B.
Funniest person that I can't pinpoint why he is funny: Dave. I mean, I know why I think he's funny, because we have essentially the same sense of humor. And he's funny when he's trying to be, like when we watch bad movies or he complains about something or other about his work day. But he is also funny when he's not trying to be, like when he's really proud of making an omelette Julia Child-style, or when he pouts because I tell him he steals the covers (which he does). I make him laugh, too, of course, and I have said to him this year that the reason we will last for the rest of our lives isn't anything to do with love, intimacy, or even my cooking - it's that we can simply make each other laugh so consistently and about such strange, strange things.
I suspect that laughter had something to do with my parents' long marriage, also, and I know that I value humor so highly because my dad was such a funny, funny person. When I tell a great joke or one-liner, I know he passed this skill on to me, and when I throw my head back in raucous laughter, it reminds me of him.
Here's to more laughter in 2013.