Monday, July 7, 2008

Funny story...

Have you ever been tipped over in a canoe?

After the first few moments of twisting and twirling in complete disbelief you come to the realization that you must now figure out which way is up.

What would you say if I told you I have discovered a figure of speech that evokes precisely this same emotion, minus the water?

Recently, while on an underground exploration of the Onondaga Caverns, our tour guild was asked why there was an outbound telephone, seemingly misplaced on one of the trails, to which she boisterously replied, "Funny story...last year a man actually had a heart attack down here and died..." Now eventually, yes, she did get to a small tid-bit of humor a few minutes into her story (nothing to write home about) but because of how she inappropriately began recounting the event I was practically bursting with laughter the whole entire time.

These two little words took a mildly amusing story from mediocre to full blown jocularity!

Now I've decided that I must start implementing this completely mind baffling phrase into my everyday announcements on a regular basis. Listen to how they spice things up:

"Funny story, I took a pregnancy test earlier today and you are not going to believe this..." or how about "Funny story, you know that rash that I thought was poison ivy..." or even, "Funny story, you know how I told you your dog ran away when you were 8 years old..." At this point, it helps if you also add some sort of whimsical knee slap or breathy laughter to make the amusement of said bad news more believable.

While you may simply be disguising something negative with a vail of optimism, perhaps by the time the devastating disclosure you've delivered sinks in our old pal "funny story" will just be a memory...or, at the very least, blacked out by trauma.

And while not all of our conversational companions may actually reach the top of the water, as not every "funny story" will have a punch line, we can at least hope that it will make the struggle for air a bit more entertaining.

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