I am again feeling guilty. What is guilt, by the way? The synonyms are to be preferred over the definition: self-reproach, self-accusation, self-condemnation, feelings of guilt, guiltiness, a guilty conscience, a bad conscience, pangs of conscience, remorsefulness, regret, contrition, contriteness, repentance, penitence, compunction; shame, disgrace, dishonor. My remorse, by feelings of guilt, my self-condemnation comes from the fact that I have not been funny recently.
On this blog anyway. In real (and reel) life I continue to laugh and force others around me to smile and laugh but not on this blog. Tiny little shards here and there but not anything that would bring loud guffaws or a LOL. I suppose I could be forgiven because of the drones, the evidence that lock down did no good, my continuing preoccupation with the Islamic faith.
You: For a change Alexis, bring back funny!
Me: OK OK OK I shall hunt around and find something funny and bring it to you.
Well, as if by magic something totally funny did appear – The New. Yorker Humor section came to my rescue as usual. This was entitled Obituaries My Mother Wrote for Me When I was Living in San Francisco In My Twenties. Of course, the title intrigued me as I once lived in San Francisco. But, nothing in life is perfect and sometimes not to be repeated. I wrote the obituary for my mother, not the other way around. Of course, she died and I did not (as yet). If you want to read the absolutely great job I did just Google Jessie Elaine Dryburgh and up it pops.
Anyway I read one or two of them and did LOL even though it was still morning, I was barely awake, not had breakfast and only one instant coffee. I will provide one or two and then also give you the link so that you can guffaw to your heart’s content. Guffaw, a verb, means to laugh in a loud or boisterous way. It has some hilarious synonyms: laugh heartedly, laugh loudly, roar with laughter, hoot with laughter, laugh uncontrollably; roar, bellow, cackle, howl. So, go right ahead, roar bellow, crackle, howl at some of these obituaries. The author is Bess Kalb and this story dates back to April in 2016 – pre Covid days when dying in San Francisco could possibly be funny but unlikely. Here is the link to the entire funny article: https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/obituaries-my-mother-wrote-for-me-while-i-was-living-in-san-francisco-in-my-twenties?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker
Here is the first.” It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Bess Kalb, twenty-four, of San Francisco, formerly of New York. The cause of death was botulism from a homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam that was prepared by one of her housemates. The housemate, Aviva Something, holds a degree in—I kid you not—modern culture and media. She certainly had no formal training in sterile canning and preservation. If the kitchen in this “co-op” where the jam was prepared looks anything like it did six months ago, there is compost decaying right there on the counter next to the sink. Bess is survived by her brother, who once looked up to her.”
Funny!! “Bess is survived by her brother, who once looked up to her” If my brothers survive me it could be said about them as well. My two brothers once looked up to me but then I got to smart and truthful for them.
Then along came this one. “”We mourn the death of Bess Kalb, twenty-five, beloved daughter and sister, who passed away late yesterday while hiking in the middle of nowhere with no cell-phone reception. A product of Manhattan, Bess had no awareness of wild animals, so when she inevitably encountered a bear/coyote/mountain lion (apparently no longer nocturnal due to ambient city light, which she’d have known if she’d read the article I sent her), she may as well have had a giant sign around her neck that said, “DINNER.” It also could have been sunstroke that did her in. She had a fair complexion, like her mother.” Hiking in the middle of nowhere with no cell-phone reception with a sign around her neck that said DINNER. Go ahead bellow and hoot with laughter, I dare you!
Then this one, the third funniest obituary from Bess Kalb’s pen. “Our hearts are broken as we announce the demise of our daughter Bess Kalb, twenty-seven, who was taken from us by a Lyft driver. And dismembered. Despite learning at the youngest possible age never to get into a strange man’s car, Bess, ever the techno-optimist, decided to enter her home address into an app, hop into a Hyundai, and hope for the best. The family would like mourners to treat Bess’s death as more or less a suicide.” She was taken from us by a Lyft driver and dismembered – the death should be treated more or less as a suicide. Now that is FUNNY.
This one should be loved by the intellectuals, I know you are out there somewhere but probably not reading this blog. “Today we said goodbye to Bess Kalb, beloved daughter, sister, and former reader of serious books. After years living in the Bay Area, her brain essentially atrophied beyond the point of return, forcing us to make the brave decision to let her slip away peacefully. Shortly before the end, Bess spoke with genuine enthusiasm about a ted Talk—a pat distillation of a zeitgeisty subject spewed by some billionaire narcissist in a headset, accompanied by inaccurate line graphs. Weeks prior, she had used the word “impactful” in a sentence. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Bess Kalb Fund for Adult Illiteracy.” Her brain atrophied so we took her out of her misery, donations for the Fund for Adult Illiteracy should send you hooting with laughter.
The last entry is short and sweet. “Bess Kalb, twenty-eight, died immediately upon entering Burning Man with her new boyfriend, Travis or Trevor. There were no remains.” When I read that I almost wet myself. I have done that before, twice actually. Both times in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fortunately it happened right next door to the washer and dryer. I was later gifted with an entire box of Depends. Just in case it should happen again. The gift of diapers was from my father’s third wife who is five years older than I am. I have not read obituaries on either of them, so I guess they are still alive. That is not a joke. It is true, my father would be more than 100 – she 83.
I not only survive, but THRIVE in Abu Dhabi. My day? Although I had considered a visit to the Grand Mosque decided that I rather desperately needed a day IN. So it was breakfast at Costa, conveniently located in the lobby of this hotel (chicken and avocado wrap) with a flat white in a china cup. Corresponded with three men – two my Grandsons (well not my real Grandsons). One from Pakistan, the other from Bangladesh. Now if you have any idea of history, you will know that those countries were not exactly friends in 1971. The Pakistani man was my driver, the Bangladesh man is my driver. They are both SO very funny, but I am convinced that I made them funny (and they actually agree).
Pakistani Grandson was at the Grand Mosque with a guest. The following text conversation ensued.
He: I saw your photos on the blog. Fantastic
Me: The one with wings??
Me: I made it the screen saver on my blog. It replaced your picture, then the one with Fazza and the Me and My Eyes Poem. But now it is me with wings. I like me the best. Hahahaha
He: I understand. Hahaha
Me: How could you possibly understand? Even your Granny does to understand? I am laughing. At least your Granny is happy!!
He: Hahahaha Great thing you are happy.
Me: Happiest I have ever been. It is the faith and all the gifts Allah bestows on me. All praise to Allah. Allah takes away all of the bad people and things out of my life but leaves me the good.
He: MaSha Allah this is a good thing. God bless you.
Me: I am so blessed by Allah.
He: Thanks Granny!
Then to the roof of the hotel where the pool is conveniently located. Took a book, the Sons of Abraham and read several chapters but then decided to get in jacuzzi. There was a young man from Shanghai, China in the jacuzzi. We chatted, chatted and then chatted some more. I had been to Shanghai, we spoke of his life there, my travels, snippets of my life. He had been to the Abu Dhabi Louvre the day before and seen The Phoenix and Dragon exhibit. It was a fascinating discussion about cultures, the contributions that China has made to the world but how the country is held in such low esteem (by the USA particularly). Came back to my room, opened Instagram and their was Shiekh Mohammed, Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in China, at the Olympics. It was truly amazing. There I was talking to a young man from Shanghai in Abu Dhabi and there he was in China. Small world and all that. I did leave a comment on Instagram about my conversation in Abu Dhabi with a young man from Shanghai.
This from The National. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Saturday. The leaders discussed the long-standing ties between their nations and explored ways to strengthen the UAE and China’s joint comprehensive partnership, particularly across fields of investment and the economy. Sheikh Mohamed attended the opening ceremony of the 24th Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital on Friday at Mr Xi’s invitation. The president expressed his happiness at meeting Sheikh Mohamed.” Later I learned that the Emir of Qatar was also at the Opening Ceremony. Photographs of him resplendent in a well tailored suit which probably cost about a million dollars. He does look most handsome in it so guess it is worth the money. I do not receive my Middle East news from Al Jazzerra. Why? It is because it takes forever to download because of all the ads. Why the richest nation in the world has to sell so many ads on its very famous on-line newspaper is beyond me. I guess that is why they are the richest nation in the world.
The photograph was sent to my Bangladesh Grandson.
Me: Like my cute face mask? Hahahaha
He: (sent a voice message, so funny!). He does imitations of me saying OH MY GAWED. He said it twice Then said “She’s look very, very good Ma’am”
Me: Thanks but not like a Sheikha. Sheikhas do not wear stupid face masks. Well, I guess this one does.