Everything Fun
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Everything Fun

A-Musings

It beats the alternative…

Photo by Lucy Green on Unsplash

Early in my career, I received my annual performance review and one of the comments about me was that I was “easily amused.”

Now, that offers a bit of a conundrum, as it wasn’t clear whether the comment was meant to portray a strength or a performance issue. I took it as a compliment, of course. The description stuck with me through the years; many others made similar observations and I noted the accuracy of the description myself. I AM easily amused and glad for the levity it provides.

On occasion, this blog will highlight the random experiences I find amusing. And much has done so in the last few days.

First, partly coincidence and partly amusement, is the propensity of critters to find their way into my books and social media. I tend to read several books at a time and found it quite odd to note that strong supporting characters in two of them were birds. A sleek young raven named Jack kicks off Berndt Heinrich’s A Year Alone in Maine Woods. I love to read books about strong souls who spend significant quality time in the woods. And so far, this book does not disappoint. Jack is a loquacious young fellow, and the author spends quality time finding roadkill for his meals.

The second bird, a puffin named Neil, plays a notable role in a series of books by Jennie Colgan, called the Little Beach Street Bakery Series. Now before the quality of my reading preferences is assessed, I will point out that I save these “feel-good” novels for special occasions, after reading a very serious or substantive book, or at Christmas time. Now I haven’t known many puffins in my life. Actually none. But this fellow is a piece of work. He crashes into a window on a Cornish island, injures his wing, and after he heals, decides living with an incredible baker beats finding true puffin love and living in the wild. There’s more to the stories but I will leave it at that.

The coincidence of reading about these two birds at the same time is fascinating.

Finally, we have Walter the cat. Walter has stolen the show in two ads by Chevrolet and is becoming a social media star. Walter is a badass cat who loves the outdoors. His owner simply can’t understand why people are so obsessed with Walter because he’s just a cat. Here is a link to the new ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJvx9vjZ3ww. Given the arctic air and enormous storms this winter, we all can vicariously be like Walter and revel in the outdoors.

Speaking of reveling, winter and outdoors, our neck of the woods faced “Snowpocalypse” this week with news and weather sources screeching their warnings of doom, gloom and of course, snow. And ice. And rain. Let’s throw in thunder snow somewhere in there. While a large swath of the country did get whacked, and heartfelt support to those who are impacted, Michigan did not. The projections were up to 20 inches according to “the models” in some areas, but generally averaged at about 12–18, then 10 to 12 inches. The reality was more in the realm of four to eight inches, with a few exceptions. So what happened with the sophisticated modeling? Well, according to one meteorologist, “the system kinda shifted south.” Mind you, people take these warnings seriously; some practically panic. Many schools and businesses announced closures well before the storm even commenced. The photos of endless lines of grocery shoppers and empty shelves in supermarkets confirmed these realities. Yet many Michiganders awoke this morning, looked around and shook their heads. “Uh, it’s winter,” they said. Walter would have been unimpressed, that’s for sure.

Finally, sometimes amusement starts as a horror show, until an issue resolves itself and one can find the humor in the situation. Such was the case for my attempt at blissful sleep last night. I awoke with a snort at about 3 a.m., thanks to an odd humming noise. First question: Why do so many of us wake up for all sorts of reasons at 3 a.m.? I wandered about seeking the source of this irritating noise, with no luck. So back to bed I went, pondering tinnitus and potential failures of the furnace, before reminding my mind that this avenue of reflection was not necessary, particularly at this hour. About 30 minutes later, I awoke to a more familiar noise, the annoying beep of a smoke detector in the bedroom. Second question: Why do smoke detector batteries always seem to fail in the middle of the night? I turned on the light and looked at the unit. It didn’t even have a battery in it, but it was connected to the system, so I simply yanked the unit out and put it on the desk. Problem solved, and perhaps that was the origin of the strange humming sound.

Back to bed I went. Five minute later, the battery-less detector beeped again. And again. I yanked off the covers, stomped over to the unit and decided that what it needed was quality time in the great outdoors. Irritated, “Everyone, and thing, should enjoy more fresh winter air,” I thought to myself. Third and final question: Why is it that inanimate objects can take on obnoxious human-like qualities when we are frustrated with them? Third time’s the charm, however, and the rest of night was fairly peaceful, except for the unresolved humming noise. In the clear sunny day of the frigid new morn, I had a good chuckle about the whole situation. I mean who throws smoke detectors out the front door in the middle of the night?

I guess I do.

So there you have it, just a few little vignettes that caused amusement this week. It felt good to write about them and hopefully others will seek a little amusement as well. It sure beats the alternative.

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Everything Fun is a place for anything related to fun: festive stories, humorous expressions, creative tangents, pick-me-up poems, and other shenanigans that make us feel good.

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Betsy Hayhow Hemming

Betsy Hayhow Hemming

Betsy Hayhow Hemming is an author and leadership coach. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction. www.betsyhemming.com.

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