And then there's...we'll call him "Jack" and his wife, "Jill." Names changed to protect the innocent.
Jack and Jill are a bit...let's say, "loopy." Odd situations just seem drawn to these two, and they delight in telling the stories, even when the stories make them look rather silly. Jack is generally the one looking silly, but he joins in the telling anyway, laughing along at the absurdity.
For instance: Jack, retired now, used to work as a guidance counselor at the local high school. For a school function, members of the faculty were asked to bring a dish, potluck-style. Jill would be busy all day and would have to meet Jack at the school. So she made a nice salad that morning, covered the top with foil, and instructed Jack to bring the foil-topped bowl to the school with him as their offering.
That evening, Jack and Jill met at the school, had a nice time visiting with other faculty and families, and finally made their way to the buffet line. Halfway along, Jill noticed a bowl with some sort of old-looking meat in it, covered with that lovely coating of white fat that a roast grows after being cooked and placed in the refrigerator. She wondered who on Earth could have brought such a thing, and others were whispering about it too.
Later that evening, as everyone packed up to leave, Jill looked for her salad bowl but couldn't find it. She realized she hadn't seen her salad on the way through the buffet either. Sure enough, when questioned, Jack had to admit that he must have grabbed the wrong bowl. Instead of Jill's lovely salad, he'd grabbed a week-old leftover roast from the fridge. The next day, when teachers in the lounge were discussing the previous night's potluck and wondering who brought that awful leftover roast, Jack piped up and cheerfully admitted that he & Jill had brought it.
The silliness didn't end after Jack retired, either. Retirement for Jack is filled with part-time work driving charter buses and working at a local community college. One of his tasks, early in his career at the college, was to find an activity for students for an upcoming event. His research led him to the website for a virtual car racing game - the player would sit in a simulated car, complete with steering wheel and pedals, and "race" in a realistic, 3-D environment. The site provided a demo of the game on the website, though the makers pointed out that it wasn't nearly as good as the real thing. Jack tried the demo, and became increasingly impressed and excited about the game. Finally, he ran out of his office and gathered several coworkers. "You've got to see this website! It's amazing!"
Having gathered his coworkers into his cramped little office (thankfully, there was a breeze from an open window), Jack proceeded to play the demo again. His coworkers watched for a few minutes, getting more and more confused. Finally, someone asked, "It's cool, Jack, but what's so exciting about it?"
"Can't you smell that?"
His coworkers glanced at each other in confusion.
His coworkers glanced at each other in confusion.
"The cars! This is the coolest computer game I've ever seen - you can even smell the cars!"
After nearly choking themselves with laughter, his kind coworkers finally pointed out that someone was burning something at a construction site not far away, and the smoke smell was coming from the cracked window.
Lest you think I'm unfairly picking on the male half of this duo, Jill has had her own "little adventures" as they like to call them. Perhaps the most memorable one involved a mall near the state capital that had received rave reviews from several of Jill's friends. Jack was driving a charter bus to the area, so Jill and her daughter (both die-hard shoppers) decided to ride along one day and check out this heralded mall.
They got into the city early, and Jack dropped them off in front of a little strip mall. None of the stores were open just yet, so Jill and her daughter sat in the food court and ate breakfast. The food court wasn't very big, but they figured all space had been reserved for the many stores they'd heard were in the mall.
After breakfast, they walked around the mall...and around it again. They visited every store, then visited many of them again. By the time Jack finally showed back up at five o'clock that evening, the pair had been in nearly every store several times and were on a first-name basis with half the mall's staff. Climbing back into the bus, Jill complained, "I don't see what the fuss is about. That is the smallest, most boring mall I've ever seen."
Jack gently turned her back toward the building and pointed out a much taller, longer building behind it. "This is just a strip mall. The big mall is right behind it."
The silliness of their escapades of course appeals to the comic soul in me, but it's the gentle good humor with which they meet these adventures that leaves me longing for my own silly adventures with a partner who can take them with equal humor.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get the leftover roast out of the fridge. I have a potluck to go to.