Friday, July 18, 2008


Viewpoint or perspective is partially created through experience and partially created through what we read or see in media. Whether positive, negative, or indifferent that viewpoint still has to sift its way through moods and circumstances. Experience includes what happens to those around us and how they react to their circumstances. A friend lost her breasts to cancer. Then she wore prostheses instead of having implants. One night she returned from the bedroom and told her husband that she had injured herself seriously. Concerned, he asked what had happened. She told him that she had dropped her boob on the floor and stepped on it. I am still laughing.

My father drives an old Ford truck that he calls “Budweiser” because it had a “Bud” can in it when we took it to him. He says he can’t drive it right now because it is in mourning. It just can’t accept that Budweiser has sold out to a foreign company. Besides, it has just enough gasoline in it to get to the filling station to get more motion lotion. He is driving a little personal scooter down to the post office every day or so to get his mail. The scooter is slow and maybe not as dignified as sitting up in the cab of a truck, but it gets the job done.

Mother invented a new kind of doughnut that she deep fries and Dad calls them “hooters.” The parents had no idea why their children and grandchildren were laughing about the “hooters.” We explained. Then Mom created a new kind of cookie roll and Dad called them “poopers.” Rolling eyes . . .Don’t ask.

Somehow it always seems to help us along in life if we can bend our viewpoint to the funny side—some called it warped, but I think of warped in a good way. No matter how bad things can get—and let’s face it, things can get pretty bleak—calling things something other than what it is can make life a little easier to accept. A wreck on the Harley was a failed attempt to straighten out a California highway; a horrendous hail storm was an opportunity to fill up cups for a cool root beer for the kids; a long drought is a good excuse for planting cactus.

We need some humor in this life almost as much as we need love. No, I can’t see the evening news person making jokes about the economy or the weatherman giggling when the heat index reaches 110 degrees. But I can tell you about the guinea hens that froze in the trees back in ’85 and then thawed in the trash cans where we pitched them. I would have felt sorry for the man who opened the lid and nearly fell over when they flew out, but I was too busy falling over laughing. Yes, the pipes froze that year and water went everywhere when it thawed, but I still just remember the frozen guineas and the man who opened the trashcan. That’s perspective.


Carla said...

You're kidding -- the guinea hens weren't DEAD? How can that be? (Love the image, though!)

npd said...

They were FROZEN. Or at least we assumed that they were frozen and dead. But they must have thawed in the trash can. The lake froze solid that year, so it seemed reasonable that the hens would be frozen since they were lying on the ground not moving. I suppose we could have done like the little boy and pssssst in their ears.

The man who lifted the garbage can lid to empty the trash was SO upset. I wondered if his underwear needed to be changed.

Writing Right said...

Just found your site!

I would love to use some of your entries to teach tone, point of view, and for other such lessons.

This summer I have spent quite abit of time looking for good blogs to use within my class so they will visually know what I expect when they, too, are asked to set up a blog for my class.