Comedy Central . . . relatives visit

By Steele Coddington | May 20, 2009

William Wordsworth, in a beautiful poem, happily recalled his feelings watching a field of daffodils dance in the breeze.

“They flash upon that inward eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills . .
And dances with the daffodils.”

Recollections of things past that fill the heart with particular pleasure are the fleeting visions of scenes of family get-togethers. Most people I talk to aren’t as poetic in their recollections as Wordsworth, but express their enjoyment more robustly as “more fun than a barrel of monkeys.” Probably an apt analogy considering that most families, as in my own, have a slew of good natured kids whose antics can unexpectedly rock the boat with hilarious moments. In fun families there are more monkeys than rug rats … all it takes is a sense of humor.

It’s amazing how accurately animals can be used to portray individual and family characteristics. Teddy bears are always fun to be around, and pussy cats are okay, but kids are prone to get a little exuberant (given free rein) and like to display their knowledge of the animal kingdom with zoo-like labels of other families or kids as hogs, pigs, skunks, rats or dingbats. It’s good to impose verboten rules on such opinions, unless of course the victims really deserve it. If they do, it’s the duty of a parent to write an anonymous letter to them addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Dingbat” or whatever they resemble, suggesting ways to improve or move away.

The more I think about family get-togethers and the stories, expressions and comments that produce spontaneous laughter and guffaws, the more I realize that most comedy TV shows originated with writers who discovered that hilarious entertainment lived right in their own backyard. The deepest well and inexhaustive supply of comedy is your family and neighbors. I know I could do a series billed as “Call the police. The relatives are here.”

The highlight of our last family get-together had to be Aunt Maude. Better than Red Skelton or Laurel and Hardy, she bent over to pick up little Henrietta and the effort made her “cut the cheese,” to use a phrase the kids had just gleefully picked up from a corrupt neighbor down the street. To worsen the embarrassment, Uncle Max said it was loud enough to cause a blip on the Richter Scale. Aunt Maude, trying to quiet the rhubarb, blamed it on little Henrietta who would have none of it and pointed at Aunt Maude saying, “She let it, not me.” The mischievously evil boys, before order could be restored, started making noises with their mouths like they’d just eaten a plate of baked beans.

It wasn’t much fun for Aunt Maude, but the raucous scene has often “Flashed upon my inward eye, and made me laugh until I cry.”

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They're back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Part 2

These sentences appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services ...

The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.

Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I Will Not Pass This Way Again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Don't let worry kill you off – let the Church help.

The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing: 'Break Forth Into Joy.'

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24th in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.