2011.11.09 Is anything funnier than undergarments?

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I don’t read as frequently as I used to which is a sad situation for a woman who works in a library. Worse yet is choosing less than satisfying books so when I do have a little time to read I am stuck with something like “It Looked Different on the Model: Epic tales of impending shame and infamy.” 

That’s the book I had on hand after completing “Schuyler’s Monster” by Robert Rummel-Hudson. It’s a memoir about dealing with his daughter’s diagnosis of bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (a very rare neurological disorder). 

Somehow, after days of plowing through the agony of Robert coming to terms with his daughter’s disorder and fighting for her right to proper educational services, “It Looked Different on the Model” just seems trite and shallow and hardly worth the time. 

Maybe it’s just the mood I’ve been in while reading, but Notaro’s escapades in the dressing room trying to take off a blouse that’s stuck on her head and to her arms just didn’t make me laugh. And usually I find anybody stuck in their clothes funny. 

Well, that’s not altogether true. When I get my head stuck taking off a tight necked turtleneck, I get claustrophobic and start to yell and almost cry depending on how long I’m trapped. But when it’s trying on Spandex body squeezers in the dressing room with my daughter Rosie, I laugh hysterically.

From Midnight Musings, April 30, 2008, a couple months before Rosie’s wedding: 

I shimmied and I struggled, and I tugged and I sucked, and I huffed and I puffed, but I still could not get that thing to go past my upper thigh. Flesh oozed out over the waistband in quantities I didn’t even know existed. I was stuck at half mast, laughing uncontrollably at my predicament, thankful that the bathroom had been our first stop.

Rosie was laughing just as hard—until other customers entered the otherwise empty changing room. And then she went into silent laughter mode which just made me laugh harder every time I looked at her. 

The sight of myself in the mirror was even funnier—half-naked cross-legged woman struggling to pull up an impossibly tight straight jacket device—and then Rosie came from behind and yanked it up, breaking the logjam.

“The package says it’ll make you 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds, but I think it took you a lot longer,” she said.

That episode was probably one of the funniest in my life, ranking right up there with the bathing suit fiasco while on vacation with Rosie and Maddie six years ago.

From Midnight Musings, August 3, 2005:

On our last night in Puerto Rico, we stayed at the Hilton in San Juan. Maddie had found a great rate on the Internet and it was the perfect ending to the trip. After a late afternoon and evening in Old San Juan we hurried back to swim in the huge stunning pool. I hurried the girls along, since, for once, I was dressed first, clad in my new two-piece bathing suit (pink tank top, black bottoms) and bright blue sarong worn as a skirt.

Rosie and Maddie stepped into the pool first and as they told me how wonderful the water was, I undid the knot on my sarong and opened the cloth out from my body, ready to drop it on the lounge chair and walk into the pool.

With a look of shock, awe and amazement, Rozee pulled me up short.

“Mom! You’re wearing your underwear!” she said. Sure enough, there I stood—pink bathing suit top and my big old white underpants...

But, back to the books...

So, imagine how excited I was to learn that David had finished the book he interloaned recently, “The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson, the same guy who wrote “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” which was made into a movie. David had mentioned snippets here and there as he was reading it and it sounded intriguing.

How intriguing? So intriguing I read more than half of it Sunday night. I couldn’t put it down. It’s kind of the literary equivalent of choosing the wrong meal in a restaurant. David almost always orders the better meal and I sit there eyeing it with great regret all through dinner. His books are almost always better than mine. Or at least more surprisingly substantial and meaty.

Hmm, which should worry me more—that my funniest moments in life have to do with undergarments or that I work in a library and can’t pick out satisfying books?

need help on the ending...

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