Going to boarding school is a sure way to keep life interesting. Though I suppose it’s to be expected when you throw twenty guys of the same age and a dozen nationalities into a dorm in the middle of Kenya.
It was the sort of patriotism that gets one into trouble.
Upon discovering his England scarf buried in a suitcase, my friend decided to dance and proclaim his love of country to everyone around.
His trouble came not from the content of his shouting – a simple yet exuberant “England, England.” Nor did it arise from a rival nationality in his audience. Rather it was the manner of his celebrations.
I shall not soon forget the sight of my friend diving into the bathroom, bare naked save for the scarf, and my eighth-grade dorm mom covering her eyes in shock and disbelief.
My punishment was to chop wood. It wasn’t the first time.
Back in seventh grade, chopping wood was the default penalty. Didn’t clean your room? Chop wood. Late for curfew? Chop wood. Anything else? You guessed it.
With each offence, the quota doubled. I regularly chopped bundles of 100, 200, and 400 pieces. My roommate once did over a thousand. Piles of kindling would lay upon the altar stairs leading up to the dorm parents’ apartment.
That was back then. This time, I was older and more responsible. This time, my quota went all the way up to twenty-five.
I did thirty. Just for good measure.
I took my seat in the living room of my dorm parents’ apartment. It was Tuesday, and that meant we had a dorm meeting.
These meetings were a highlight of the week. I loved the jokes, stories and laughter. I enjoyed the break from homework. But most of all, I looked forward to dorm treats. And our dorm mom made the best treats: brownies, ice-cream, and homemade bread. The dining hall couldn’t come close.
I glanced at my watch. Strange. Where is everyone else? People should be here by now.
My dorm dad laughed. It was Monday. Dorm meeting was tomorrow.
I’m not entirely positive why he had been waving a plunger around. Something about an imaginary sword fight, maybe?
I’m not sure exactly how he managed to get it stuck to the mirror. Perhaps he was dueling himself.
I’m not quite certain what made him draw it back with such force and speed. Maybe he didn’t want anyone to discover his mistake.
All I know is there was a loud crash. A mirror shattered into a million shards. And he was in the middle of it all.
We wouldn’t let him forget the incident any time soon.
There once was a man named Serious
People thought him quite mysterious
He worked hard all day
Without a moment of play
He must have become delirious
Life is often solemn and weighty. There’s work to do, people to serve, and needs to care for. But there’s a danger in getting caught up in that seriousness.
For in doing so, you might miss out on the not-so-serious moments. Those are the moments that you look back on and can’t help but break out laughing. Those are the moments that create some of the best stories. Those are the moments that keep life interesting.
And they’re worth celebrating.
What about you? What’s a funny moment you’ve had (either recently or from your childhood)?