Denise McDonald Dorman

Posts Tagged ‘Monty Python’

Yes, I Am 12…and Not in Dog Years

In Comedy, Dave Dorman, Denise Dorman, Humor, Life Observations, Practical Jokes, Pranks, Wall Street Journal, WriteBrain Media on January 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I‘ll admit it. I’m not the most sophisticated when it comes to humor. Frankly, I am 12.

Oh, I can grasp and laugh at Dennis Miller’s obscure metaphors 90% of the time–admittedly with a little help from Wikipedia. I revel in the clever comedy stylings of Christopher GuestMonty Python and The League of Gentlemen…but it’s the really immature stuff that sucker punches me. Blazing Saddles. Kathy Griffin. Pee Wee Herman.

What does it say about me that I can’t sit in a board meeting and hear the word “titillate” without smirking? When someone lets go of a squeaker in church, I’m a goner. I’ll admit, I even snuck in a quote about farting when the Wall Street Journal interviewed me a few years back. While I haven’t researched this carefully, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume I’m the very first.

Yes, I am 12.

This has made parenting a six-year-old boy an enormous challenge for me. My “pause laughter” button has never materialized. I spontaneously erupt at his every precocious declaration and sound effect. This is doing neither me, my husband nor my son any favors. I might as well be telegraphing, “Want to avoid disciplinary action? Just make that well-timed comment or fart sound!”

I’m so lucky to have a mature partner in this parenting endeavor–my husband Dave. That’s right. The comic book artist is the mature one in this dynamic duo. Who’d have thunk it? Like my BFF, the brilliant prankster Christina Bouvier whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Dave has somehow trained his facial muscles to hide his gut reaction. This comes in handy on occasions like last Friday, when our son informed us in his wide-eyed innocence that “cows have gutters.” Dave’s a true poker face.

Here’s just one example: Once upon a time not long ago, Dave and I stood together in a long checkout line at Lowe’s. Deep within the bowels of my hobo bag, I had forgotten about my new key chain…the one with the cursing man sound chip fob. I never meant to actually use it in public. It was one of those impulse buys I intended to use on Bouvier. It seems my wallet shifted inside of there and jammed the key fob’s talk button. “You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! Eff you, Eff you, Eff you!” the key chain chirped incessantly…and loudly. People in other checkout lines were staring me down. My purse was plagued with Tourette’s Syndrome, yet Dave didn’t bat an eye.

One day my son will be 12, and we will be equals.

 

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How I’ve Been Successful As A Mom

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on May 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Today, my young Paduan proved to me that he had graduated to Jedi Knight status… in the crucial art of practical jokery.

At breakfast this morning, my five-year-old insisted that I sit on a kitchen chair where he had gently placed his favorite fleece Clone Wars blanket, ostensibly to protect me from sitting down on a not-too-cold chair.  In retrospect, our kitchen chairs are upholstered, so that should have been my first red flag.  Something felt a little extra cushiony as I descended onto the chair….red flag #2. As the Whoopie cushion erupted into reverberating sound f/x that would have startled an elephant, I felt my heart grow 10 x larger, just like the Grinch’s after he experienced that first moment of true affection for mankind.  Every time my son makes me laugh like that, my heart grows a little more.

As we continued with breakfast, over Lucky Charms (his) and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (mine), fiercely debating the real appearance of the Abominable Snowman (he insists the Abominable Snowman has orangey red eyes, whereas I insist his eyes would be blue to match his icy environs), I had a revelation. If I kick the bucket tomorrow, I could go with the knowledge that Jack  has  learned the greatest life skill of all  – an imaginative,  killer sense of humor. It’s what’s gotten me through all of life’s challenges – many of which have been arrows hurling towards me this past 24 months, but my sense of humor has always remained intact, the impenetrable armor protecting me. And now I know it’s protecting my young Jedi Knight.

I shared this revelation during my daily phone call with best friend Christina Bouvier, who informed me that this was the real reason she gravitated toward being my friend in 7th grade – I was the naive, perfect foil for her practical jokes, plus I’m quick to laugh at anything funny, so I was her best audience. Now I’m Jack’s best audience, too.

I purchased Jack’s first Whoopie cushion when he was four. My husband Dave was appalled, but I insisted it was a rite of passage. I’m glad I persisted. In the past year, he’s learned the fine art of sarcasm and eyeball rolling from Dave, but he’s learned pratfalls, practical jokes and scatological humor from me.  That, and a few comedic lines from favorite YouTube videos.

When Jack gets just a little older, I will teach him the lyrics to my favorite song, a clever tune from Monty Python, which sums up my life’s philosophy, bright-eyed optimist that I am and will always be:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Words and music by Eric Idle

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin – give the audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the right side of life…
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the bright side of life…
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life…
(I mean – what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life…