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Saturday, May 28, 2011
Pratfalling Into a State of Grace
All it took was a last-minute invitation to an early night out with friends, and, before I knew it, I found myself stripped of my metaphorical formal-wear and plopped down on a bar stool in nothing but my blowsy boxers and a pair of oversize shoes.
Whatcha gonna do but laugh?
Lately, I'd begun to envy people who seem to be able to shut off the valves that let pain into their lives. I can't seem to do that. It was getting me down.
Some time back in history, an old Greek, Aristotle, one of those dead white males, postulated there were two kinds of stories that served to tell the tale of every life. He named one story tragedy and the other one comedy.
In tragedy, a guy gets above his raisin' and gets knocked down a peg or two. In comedy, a guy gets above his raisin' and gets knocked down a peg or two, too. The difference is we write our tragedies in verse and our comedies in prose. Tragedies are reserved for the VIP's among us and comedies for the rest of us. One person may find himself teetering on a windswept moor, the other approaching a banana peel. The outcome for both is going to be a tumble and a bounce on the butt. The difference is in tragedy, that's the end of the story; in comedy, it's the beginning. Tragedy is lonely, comedy is company.
Last night I had company. I spent some time with friends who lifted me back up on my feet and dusted me off. Then they spritzed me with a stream of seltzer down my pants and slapped me with a custard pie.
The seltzer tickled, and the pie was sweet.