Church Giggles

Muttley…a.k.a. my trying-to-be-silent laugh.

Darlene, my oldest BFF in terms of our years together, will be the first to tell you I am prone to the church giggles. She would know. She attended church with me from the time we were five and six. We attended grade school and high school together, so she will also tell you that I have a penchant for the library giggles. Next on this hierarchy are my giggle attacks whenever I’m tasked with being reverential and silent. This is an unnatural state for yours truly.

For example, there was this yoga class. Marovich, my other BFF since 7th grade, went with me to be supportive of our mutual BFF, whom I’ll reference as “Anonymous” for reasons you will see in a moment. Anonymous was in breast cancer recovery, so we gladly did anything she asked of us. But yoga is not my thing. There’s WAY too much silence. Like picking folks up from Midway Airport–Midway’s call letters should be changed to BFE, IMHO–you know I really love you if I agree to attend a yoga class with you. So there we all were…laying flat on our backs in this yoga class. Marovich was laying to my left. Across from the tops of our heads, Anonymous and her daughter were also laying there. About halfway through the class, the instructor asked us to grab our knees and squeeze them to our chests. We were doing as we were told when Anonymous grabbed her knees to her chest, ripping the loudest-ever yoga class fart, “like a bullet being shot from a pistol,” as Marovich would later recount. Just sitting here writing this, I’m giggling all over again. We tried collecting ourselves–Marovich and I–but it was GAME OVER. Anonymous and her daughter were also dying, which helped not even a little. Tears of laughter were rolling down my temples as I laid there shaking and hugging my knees to my chest. Every time I’d finally stop giggling, Marovich would start up again. And vice versa. It was an endless cycle of re-giggling. Then the instructor scolded us, which only made us giggle even harder. It was HORRIBLE.

I’m sharing this back story to help you understand how truly vulnerable I am.

So along comes Mother’s Day. Jack, my mom and I all went to church together. (Dave stayed home to paint his new cover for comic book creator Timothy Lim.) My mom sat between Jack and me. I think this was strategic on her part. She knows the two of us sitting right next to each other can be…shall we say…combustible? As an added bonus, and completely unplanned, one of my newer and hilariously funny BFFs was sitting in the pew directly in front of me.

Eventually, after much singing — we are Lutheran after all, so if there’s a sixth verse to a hymn, it will get sung — we progressed to the prayer portion of this Mother’s Day 2018 service. The visiting pastor was reading aloud all of the people’s names on the list that the parishioners had submitted to be lifted up in prayer. All was going well, when suddenly he announced that we should pray for Jim McNugget. Jack whiplashed his head to the right, looking at me, while I whiplashed mine to the left, locking eyes with him. Instantaneously, we were both doubled over, silently laughing. This was church, after all. I somehow managed to reign in the 10-decibel version of my laugh. Instead, I exuded more of this Muttley-style laugh, half silent, half sounding like a COPD patient with a gurgling, pleurisy-riddled lung. There may have been a snort at some point.

Our entire pew was shaking from our laughter. This was no easy task, given its robust, solid wood construction. Mom sat between us, stoic, completely oblivious to our shenanigans. Then I looked up and saw my BFF’s shoulders shaking in front of me. That made me giggle even harder. She relayed to me later that she heard me laughing and managed to hold it together, but then she spied from the corner of her left eye Jack all doubled over, mouth open in silent laughter, all red-faced. The visual was her breaking point. Thank God for small miracles that she couldn’t see me!

After church, my BFF and I analyzed the situation. Was there really someone in this world named Jim McNugget? Or was the pastor just hungry? Since our church service  ends around noon, this wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Could this have been his fast food Freudian slip?

Well, today we got our answer. The same person from last week was on the prayer request list for today. This week, he had a last name similar to McNugget. But it was not McNugget. And this did get me forming a future shenanigan. I do so enjoy seeing my BFF’s giggle-shaking shoulders in church. I may have to submit someone to the prayer list who wishes to remain anonymous. And that someone may get assigned a pseudonym for their last name…like Doodlesack. Or McCheese.

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LennyMud: The New Jersey Ceramics and Pottery Maker Who Shares My Sense of Humor

My friend Lisa’s birthday is today. Lisa is a delightful 2017 addition to what Marovich calls my “collection” of people. Together, we’re the mash-up, “D’Nisa.” While Lisa has many stellar qualities, I especially treasure her word play skills–par excellence. Her comment about the Christopher Walken Closet the other day had me dying. Lisa is one of the few friends who loves the Bob’s Burger intros and Burger of the Day titles as much as I do. Some make me hyperventilate in giggles. Just as with my bff since kindergarten, Darlene, or my bff since 7th grade, Marovich, Lisa is a joy to shop for–I just buy what I love, and I know they’ll love it, too (the exception being that with Marovich, lipstick shopping is officially OFF the table. Don’t ask.) So I was browsing online for Lisa’s birthday gifts and discovered this hilarious ceramics and pottery maker called Lennymud in New Jersey. If I made ceramics, this is exactly the stuff I would create. And then I read the owner’s bio. Now I want to be president of her fan club. (Weird coincidence — I may have called Jack “The Spawn” before.)

ABOUT LENNYMUD

Lenny is the name of my studio cat. I make the pots and Lenny breaks them: this way I never run out of shelf space.

Lenny is not for sale. Probably not.

I know my shop name makes me sound like a 50 year old man who smokes cigars, but I am a female who is sometimes told that she looks ten years younger than her real age. (My husband says the nicest things in the dark. When he’s drunk.) I am the mother to two, adorable children that I like to call The Spawn.

I like to make stuff. Sometimes I like to work with clay and other days I like to draw or paint. I work a busy day job– my Etsy shop lennymud.etsy.com is a hobby or perhaps a midlife crisis. You are invited to stalk me on my facebook fan page here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lennymud/179831098733257
or follow me at Twitter: LennyMud.

And yes, it’s ok if you call me Lenny.

Based solely on @LennyMud’s artisan output, she is just the sort of person D’Nisa would hang with, if she only lived closer. Here’s what I mean:

The Lionel Cheese Platter! Perfect for your next AA meeting!

For me, tea is just a beverage masquerading as lame coffee, but this mug could make me like it…

I mean, seriously. Who DOESN’T need this teapot?

 

#BeatTheHeatIn4Words

The trending hashtag today on Twitter is #BeatTheHeatIn4Words. It is wrong that I instantly thought of Dairy Queen? My 4-word suggestion: Dairy Queen Turtle Sundae. This is part of DQ’s “hidden menu.” I think it used to be on their regular menu, but ever since this confusing Dairy Queen-Orange Julius merger, things have gotten a little weird. But whenever I think of caramel, whipped cream and hot fudge, I instantly think of the Sister Wives.

You see, the Sister Wives and I made a commitment to each other long ago. Our lifetime of depriving ourselves of hot fudge and caramel sundaes in the name of chasing junior-sized clothing will officially end once any one of us is on our deathbed. When we’re ready to take that final dirt nap, we’ve all committed to each other that at least three of us will be administering hot fudge, caramel and whipped cream in one final, delicious cornucopia of calories, gently poured down the throat of the dying Sister Wife in a flavorful fare-thee-well.

Death by dessert.

Proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

 

It’s only fitting (since our clothes are fitting, due to extreme dessert deprivation). The only discrepancy will be Sister Wife Heather, who confounds me. You see, she doesn’t like whipping cream. (I’m saddened, just thinking of all the fun she must have missed in college…).

There used to be a really great series on Showtime called “HUFF,” starring Hank Azaria, Blythe Danner and Oliver Platt. Blythe played this salty, sassy, aging mother. One of her card-playing friends was on her death bed after a major stroke, so Blythe gathered up her remaining friends, went to the hospital and administered the final solution out of mercy for her friend. That touching scene, and that act of friendship, has haunted me since I first saw it. This was well before I ever knew the Sister Wives.

Call us morbid, but we discuss and refine this final chapter of our lives ad nauseam. We plot our final move to Oregon with the same level of care and detail that some folks put into planning their family vacations. The last time we were together, Heather sought my reassurance that I’d be okay with generic whipping cream. She was concerned that if mine was a sudden, imminent death, she might only have time to do rushed shopping in a gas station or 7-11 on her race to the hospital. I acquiesced. I might be so drugged up as to not be able to taste the difference at that point. I also agreed to Cool Whip, if things got really desperate. Hopefully, she remembers to pack a large spoon.

The Sister Wives’ annual “glamping” trip is coming up shortly. (Glamping involves air conditioned, fully furnished housing with cable TV in a campground setting.) I’ve drawn up the legal documents, and I’ve already identified the notary in Baraboo, Wisconsin. When it comes to these kinds of commitments, we Sister Wives are. dead. serious.