Thoughts from the Publisher

I grew up in a household filled with a lot of laughter. Dad had a quick wit and could trade quips with the best of ‘em. Mom, was (and still is) another story as she sports more of a wry/wicked sense of humor, relying on irony as her comic fodder.
Being quick to laugh, I enjoy a good joke and often depend on my humor to entertain myself and/or others and to sometimes lighten the mood of an uncomfortable situation.
Years ago I worked with a rather moody woman. Let’s call her Belinda. Although I tried to ignore Belinda’s sometimes irrational behavior, I was rather stuck with her– she was related to the boss. Let’s call him Fred. I worked around her and tried to be cordial, but sometimes Belinda was just impossible to please. If you remembered her birthday, she’d be mad that you’d reminded her; if you didn’t, she’d have her feelings hurt and sulk all day. Oh, brother! Talk about a crazy-making ordeal.
One day, after being out on sales calls all day, I returned to the office to find Fred and Belinda chatting while sharing an afternoon snack of cheese and crackers. I greeted them, put away my belongings, and after being invited to join them for a bit of a break, I did just that. I walked over and picked up the knife, cut off a corner of the cheese and popped it in my mouth. All of a sudden Belinda started screaming, “What have you done?! Do you realize how carefully we’ve been cutting that cheese to make sure it fit just right on these crackers?!” At first I thought she was kidding. Then I remembered, she doesn’t have a sense of humor. Thinking quick, I glanced at Fred and saw how mortified he was. I then responded with a surprised look while stating, “Oh, Belinda, I’m sorry. I didn’t know there were cheese rules.” Silence. Thank goodness my comment struck Fred’s funny bone and he began to laugh. A second or two later Belinda started laughing too. I think she realized how ridiculous she sounded and, as a quick save of face, Belinda said,” Oh, you know I was only kidding.”
Sheesh! That was a close one. Once more my humor saved the day. I learned a lot from that encounter and over the years I have tried to lighten many a heavy situation with laughter. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t it can certainly make matters worse. Nevertheless, trying to defuse a volatile state of affairs by being funny is a chance I’m willing to take…especially when I’m dealing with “cheesy” rules.

Letters to the Editor

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