Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.  Anon.

I just came across this old post and thought it bears repeating.  My life is great, rich and full of joy, and I hope yours is as well.  But laughter is good for everyone.  I hope this gives you a good chuckle.


This post has only the most tenuous link to sewing.  But some days tenuous is all I’ve got.

There has been a lot of illness among my elderly relatives.   Sadly, since this was first posted, we have lost both Aunt Aileen and Uncle Richard.  But life goes on.   We accept as God’s blessing the merciful  death of one and  peaceful death of the other.


When my Uncle Richard, 92,  healthy and fit, stopped by my home after visiting his hospitalized sister, my sweet Aunt Aileen, his sadness and depression were palpable.  I steered the conversation to the past, leading him to talk about his career as a restaurateur.   He and his long-departed wife spent many years as owners, managers and sometimes cooks for this restaurant.

Ahhhhhhh, I thought. A true, funny restaurant story should give him some distraction and a good laugh.

So I told Uncle Richard……..

After teaching for seven full days at Martha Pullen’s school in Huntsville, Alabama, I was tired and eager to get home to Florida.  I’m like a long distance trucker on these road trips.  With 650 miles to travel alone, I make every infrequent stop count–1) gas, 2) bathroom and 3) food —then back on the road.

Somewhere near the Florida state line, I stopped at one of those huge truck stops that could pass as a mini-mall.  On one side was a sub shop and a sit down restaurant.  A turkey sub sounded good to me.

Directly inside the door was a sub sandwich counter and a few small tables.  To the left was the large dining room of the restaurant.  I waited at the unattended sub counter for a few minutes then went into the restaurant to see if I could get some help.   Two or three tables were occupied with diners, but no wait staff or attendants were visible.

Tick tock tick tock…….I don’t wait well.  But I called up all my patience and gave it a little longer, a total of 6 minutes from my arrival.  I had my gas and bathroom break but no lunch.  I needed to get on the road!

So stepped behind the counter, washed my hands, put on a pair of plastic gloves and started on my sandwich.  I had the roll sliced, the condiments slathered on and had just plopped the meat, cheese and veggies on the bread when a lady came out of the restaurant shrieking, “What do you think you are doing?!?!?!”

Very calmly, I replied, “I’m making a sandwich, of course.  Since no one was here to do it for me,  I assumed this was a self-service shop.”

“Well, it is not!!!!!”  She wrapped up my sandwich, I paid her and then sat down at a table by the entrance. The Shrieker disappeared into the sit-down restaurant’s dining room and through a pair of double doors at the back, practically in the next zip code.

Just a few minutes later, two HUGE biker guys came in–you know, with doo rags on their heads, sleeveless tee shirts, bulging arms, big ring of keys on their Levis belt loops, heavy boots.  They waited just a minute then asked me if anyone was there.

Then I thought, you just have to get your laughs when and where you can.

I said, “This place is self service.  I made my own sandwich.  Just leave your money by the cash register.”

As they clumped back behind the counter and picked out their bread, I picked up my sandwich and walked quickly to my car.  But I was laughing then and chuckled as I drove for the next 200 miles, picturing a continuation of the scenario I had left behind.  I’d love to have stayed to watch The Shrieker take on those tough guys and give them what-for.  But as they say, “Discretion is the greater part of valor,” though I’m not sure valor is what I was going for.   Clearly, in this situation, discretion was the wiser choice.

Hearing this story, Uncle Richard laughed, too.  As he guffawed and chortled some more, I could tell it had been a very long time since he had had anything to laugh about.  But that day, for a little while, he did.

This YouTube video of a baby will make you laugh…..

Meanwhile, happy sewing.

18 responses to “Laughter

  1. Oh my goodness! You keep surpising me. I needed a good laugh this morning…..been up since 3…at least I got the sewing room cleaned and my stuff packed for the Children’s Corner School next week. Yes, I definately need that laugh. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You. did. not!! I wish I could’ve heard the shrieks!! What a great story!

  3. I have no doubt that’s true story! Just wish I’d been there!

  4. Oh Janice, that is too funny!!! But I can see you doing just that. I always enjoyed your funny stories at SOAF, sew a little and then we would have a story. Now you have another one to tell. I am trying desparately to organize my sewing room, it is in the biggest mess. Maybe I will have a pix to send you soon. Do you have a neat sewing room?

  5. Betty, it is so appropriate that your comment was in response to the “Laughter” post! Do I have a neat sewing room? Only in my dreams!!!!! But this summer, I have promised myself, it will at least get some order. I’ll post a picture later if you will. What do you say?

  6. Too funny! I’m thinking you don’t live too far from me. I’m outside Pensacola, Fl in Pace. 🙂

  7. I guess distance is relative–435 miles and 6+ hours from your house to mine is a little far for a coffee date. But at least we are in the same state. Don’t you love Florida?

  8. Susan Stewart

    I think perhaps Vivian takes after you? 😉

  9. Ouch! Susan, you know me better than I thought! You are not the first to note the similarities, but they were family.

  10. from a high school classmate: Loved it, Janice–my laugh for the day!

  11. from facebook: Hilarious!

  12. from Anne: The horse in the kitchen is always worth a laugh…

  13. my reply to Anne: Anne, that one still make me laugh. But I think it needs the demo and added Lousiana accent to be prime. That’s an in-person story and I just giggle when I think of all the times and places I retold it. Did you hear it in Australia or in Tallahassee?

  14. from Martha Pullen forum: What a great story, you’re so right, it does bear repeating. The video was cute too, try this one for a good laugh –

  15. Rheeta Booth

    Being family I Have heard this story before but it always brings a laugh because it is so Janice!

  16. Janice I think I have been in this place on one of my many trips to Florida with my sister. Thank you so much for this laugh today.

  17. Rheeta, I hope it doesn’t get old for you because you are likely to hear it again!

  18. Kay, there are so many similar places! Now that all the bikers have heard that they can make their own sandwiches, there is probably a new franchise called “Make your own SubWays!”

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