Thursday, January 24, 2008

Exaggeration du Jour

That picture is on the box containing this year's Maxine calendar, with a different cartoon for each day. It's a great gift from a friend who knows how much I love Maxine. Thank you, Pammie. I love you even more than her!

Remember the punch line above as you read on and you'll understand why I found it so appropriate to illustrate this entry.

There was a time when Mark Twain was compelled to inform the public, "The report of my death is an exaggeration." Strangely enough, I found myself quoting him this week, and thank heaven that I could. (Insert wry smile.)

It started on Sunday, when a friend from Bandon called me. The first thing he said when I answered the phone was, "I heard you'd died!" Since he often teases me about how hard it is to phone me when I'm on the Internet, I thought he was joking. I laughed, hah hah, and we went on with our normal conversation. I'd have thought no more of it except, on Tuesday, a friend here in Langlois called me up and said the same thing.

"Whoa!" I said. "Something is going on here." She didn't know where the rumor started but it was definitely a topic of conversation at the Greasy Spoon. I met everyone there for coffee Wednesday and we had a great time joking about it and celebrating our relief at being able to lay the rumor to rest. No one was more relieved than me, I'm sure.

Later, when I was at the market picking up groceries, Lee came over to me as I was examining the contents of the cold case, trying to decide which cheese to get. "I want to give you a hug," he said. "Great," I said, "but why?" And it turns out he was told I'd died this last Saturday. "Maybe I should have called," he worried. "Why didn't I call?"

Well, I thought about that and, you know what? I wouldn't have called either. When somebody tells me someone has died, I usually don't have any reason to doubt the information. Why would you call someone you believed was dead -- unless you had a really unusual long distance provider? And what are the area codes for Heaven and Hell anyway?

I'm awfully glad a couple of friends did decide to call, though. It gave me a chance to give the family a heads up so they wouldn't panic if someone called them with premature condolences. That aspect of the situation disturbs me. I can laugh about the rest of it but not that.

Ah well. This gives me an opportunity to attend my own wake. Yuppers. This coming Tuesday, some friends are going to be dropping in for one of our occasional venison biscuits and gravy breakfasts and I'm going to pronounce it a wake. We'll have a high old time celebrating Life, by golly, while we can all enjoy it. And that's no exaggeration.


The Old Guy said...

Now if only the gummint would get the word of your dee-mise and stop making you pay taxes. So happy to know you didn't a-Bandon us!

Jo said...

Dee,you know what this means, don't you? Nobody in your area reads your blog... Now that's a pity!

Dee said...

Bill, I'm gonna have to thwap you. Only because your puns are better than mine. (smile)

Jo, believe me, it would be a relief to know nobody around here reads the blog. I'm constantly trying to prevent myself from making remarks about some of the more unusual local characters that might come back on me -- because every now and then I discover somebody local *does* read me. On the other hand, it keeps me from making unkind commentary and that can't be a bad thang.

Anonymous said...

That's a Wake I'd willingly attend, Dee! I'd leave no stone unturned until I discovered the source of the rumour...

I was horrified a couple of years back to discover that a local read me, and have been careful since not to publish my friendly and mostly amusing nicknames for the characters about me. Which is a shame. For example, no-one in the world apart from Graham knows that I named our friendly mail-person 'Podgerina the portly post lady'. :-)

John B.

Bonnie said...

Good grief you see what happens when you hang out at home instead of hopping around the locals? lol

Dee said...

John, you can come to my Living Wake any time. No reason why we can't have more than one of those, right? Yes, I'm trying to track down the source but don't have high hopes of success. And your reaction to local readers is exactly what I meant. The character commentaries are not meant to be mean but could easily hurt or offend the targets. Which is not a Good Thang.

Bonnie, I hear you but the main reason I don't hang out at the Greasy Spoon is because it's a hot bed of gossip. I really like most of the individuals who are regulars there but just don't feel comfy with the unavoidable gossip sessions. [sigh]

Anonymous said...

Yup, I don't like gossip sessions, either. They give me the cold pricklies, even though an old friend laughingly said, "If they're talkin' bout me, they ain't talking about somebody else."

Hugs from Asia,
~ Sil in Corea

Dee said...

Sounds like, Sil, your friend is sort of saying, "It's my turn in the barrel." (grin) Unfortunately, when folks gather and gossip on a daily basis, everybody gets talked about, not just one or two. The misinformation that comes out of that is boggling. The sad thing is, most of these folks are generally kind and well-meaning. They just don't tend to evaluate the accuracy of the tales being told.

Mage And George said...

Just really glad to know you missed your own funeral but not the wake.

Kate said...

Whew! That was a close call! Enjoy your own wake -- not many people get the chance!

Festus said...

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when
24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began , he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebblesand poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls . He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of *sand* and poured it into the jar. Of course, the *sand*filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions-- and if everything else was lost and only they remained,
your life would still be full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and
your car."

"The sand is everything else--the small stuff . If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on
the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important
to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first --the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked."

"It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Dee said...

Thanks, Mage and Kate. I will most certainly enjoy the wake. (grin)

Fes, thank you! I had heard that story before but had forgotten about it. I'm so glad you threw it in here for all of us to enjoy. I love the message and I most certainly agree with the last line! Need a refill, buddy?

Festus said...

I could use a cup or two.
I am a grandpa again, Savannah Marie was born friday morning.