You Don’t Own a TV? What’s All Your Furniture Pointed At?

Sadly, this isn’t my quote. I wish it was. It would be nice to be this witty.

It came from that man genius Joey Tribbiani on an episode of Friends (and Tweeted by Scott Elias, an assistant principal in Northern Colorado… good luck on that doctorate degree).

Actually, I guess Joey didn’t really come up with it. Or Scott. It was undoubtedly from a writer on the show.No TV?  That's Crazy.

Most likely the writer in question was really skinny and quiet in school. I bet he (or she) wore black a lot, read a ton of books, and watched hours of TV. I am guessing he always got C’s and D’s in English. Every parent teacher conference likely ended with the teacher telling his parents… “If he would just apply himself.”

Some teachers may have even pegged him as a colossal failure. And look at him now. Living in Hollywood, writing for a hit TV show (although now possibly unemployed), and getting quoted in a major educational blog (yes, I mean this one…).

Turns out he was probably just bored in high school.

I have been thinking about hiring someone like this to ghost write my blog. Let’s be honest, they could certainly do a better job. Plus, it would free up some time for me (I am so behind on my naps).

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked how one becomes funny. What kind of question is that?

How do I know? And if I did, I am not sure I would have told them.

Seems to me this information could be valuable (as I write this, I am doing my best Dr. Evil laugh… mwahahahaha… which reminds me, I need a cat).

If I knew how to be funny, I might teach a class on it. Maybe start a website. Possibly even write a book or a blog. A guy needs paid after all.

Obviously this person who asked the question is not a reader of the blog. If he was he would certainly be asking someone else.

I don’t know what makes funny.

This conversation did get me to thinking.

Why are some people funny and others are not? Or is everyone funny, but we only recognize it if they share our sense of humor type?

Or are some people just cursed with a non-funny gene? Is it possible to go through life and be 100% non-funny? Maybe I should ask Carrot Top?

Should we take these people and teach them funny? Or should we drop them on an island out in the middle of nowhere (as if most islands aren’t in the middle of nowhere?) so they don’t drag the rest of us down?

I say this because I prefer students in school who are funny. There is just something about them that makes them interesting.

They seem to get it (and I have no idea what “it” is, but I recognize it when I see it).

These students are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously.

The ones that can make a joke and more importantly take a joke.

The ones that aren’t offended by every little comment.

These are the ones that I look forward to seeing in the hallway.

It seems to me that with funny comes a smile and a positive attitude. You can’t really be depressed and funny.

I am willing to bet that funny people even make more money over the course of their careers than people who aren’t funny (mental note: do an elaborate study on funny and money).

Maybe we should add a Funny Class to the list of things that we teach kids in school. After all, we teach them how to drive a car, act appropriately, play sports and countless other things.

One more class on the schedule shouldn’t be a problem.

Especially if the students make us laugh.

Down the line this could benefit all of us.

We would have a much more productive and a happier society (and possibly graduates who make more money… I will let you know when the study is complete… or maybe Scott could do it for his doctorate??).

Maybe, just maybe one of these newly-educated students in funny will graduate and take over this blog?

And I could nap. Seems like a win-win to me.

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Skiing Part I: The Day I Should Have Died.

As I sit in the middle of Wisconsin waiting to go skiing tomorrow (by the way, it is a lot warmer than it was in Canada), I am reminded of the time my wife tried to murder me.

Just for the record, that may have been the best and most interesting first paragraph that I have ever written.

Although the fact that I am here today kind of tells you how the whole “murdering” thing turned out. Crashing While Skiing Tends to Hurt.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have the opportunity to go skiing. Something about it costing money and we didn’t have any (the details are blurry, but that is the gist of it).

I always believed that skiing was something rich people did. It was right up there with polo, boating, going on vacation, and eating out (things were tough, what can I say?).

My wife (from here on known as “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”) and I got the chance to go skiing for the first time about 3 years ago. It was very exciting and a little nerve racking, but surprisingly not that expensive. I am still surprised that the cost is not that bad (better than gas, razor blades, and bottled water).

By the way, skiing does involve me buying gas to get to Wisconsin, but at least I don’t have to shave while I am not working. For those scoring at home; that’s Me 1 and Gillette 0.

That first time my wife and I got to go skiing, we had big plans to take lessons and learn everything that was needed to be successful.

As educators we know the power of knowledge. We were going to be excellent students and soak up every bit of ski knowledge that the instructor had to offer.

But the best laid plans. After arriving at the mountain (for real skiers a hill), we discovered that the next lesson would be in 30 minutes. We lack patience, so on to plan #2.

Plan #2 was to learn on the fly. Bad plan. It was more of a learn on the fall than the fly.

About 2 seconds into this adventure/certain death, I realized we had absolutely no clue as to what we were doing.

We started on the Bunny Hill (which should be known as the “everyone here is in pre-school except for you two old people who should get out of our way and go take some lessons hill”). I guess the name Bunny Hill is easier for people to remember.

After a few slightly successful trips, and by successful I mean no one was hurt (me, “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”, pres-schoolers, or innocent bystanders) she was ready for a bigger challenge.

I wasn’t as confident. I was pretty sure that I hadn’t mastered the sport when my only way of stopping was by throwing my body face first into a pine tree. At this point I didn’t know much about the sport, but I knew there must be a better way to slow down than eat pine cones.

On the upside, my breath did have a certain pine freshness to it.

But back to the murder. “The woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” called me out. She questioned my manhood and challenged me to go down the next run which was located right next to the Bunny Hill.

Looking back, there were several things terribly wrong with this idea. One, I couldn’t ski. Two, and more importantly, I couldn’t stop. Then the kicker. The run next to the Bunny Hill wasn’t the next run in the sequence of difficulty; it was the fourth. If you ski, I think I just heard you gasp.

For those who are new to skiing, you should work your way up from the easiest, to the second hardest, etc. Never, ever skip from #1 to #4.

We both work in schools, therefore we don’t listen very well. Evidently, we also didn’t look at the giant 20 foot map that shows the runs and their levels of difficulty.

So, we start down the nice “little” run next to the Bunny Hill. Turns out my troubles were just beginning.

I should have suspected something was wrong because this particular hill was called “The Devil’s Armpit ”. But as I look back on those 7 minutes (seemed like 4 hours and 22 minutes) of my life the name should have been a clue, but I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

As we started down the run it took me about 4 seconds to realize that I was about to die and I would always be known as the first husband of “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”.

She went down the hill slowly and under control. I on the other hand went careening down the hill at an estimated 1,400 miles per hour. Except when I crashed which happened 47 times that I remember. Somewhere about halfway down I think I sustained a concussion, so I may have crashed more but after several blows to the head I lost track.

I will never be able to apologize to all of the women and children who were kind enough to break my falls as I slammed into them.

As I barreled/stumbled/rolled towards the bottom, I could hear “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” laughing a little bit like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

I must have looked like the agony of defeat skier from Wide World of Sports, except much, much, much worse. I had snow in every part of my body (and I mean every).

At least it was cold enough that my tears froze. Nothing worse than a bad skier, except a bad skier crying and screaming like a bratty 2-year old child as they fly out of control down a hill that they have no business being on.

When I finally made it to the bottom, “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” and I realized that if we had taken a lesson they would have probably taught us how to use the ski lift so we could get back to the top.

Getting on the lift is another story (hence, Skiing Part I).

I had never felt this kind of pain. Parts of my body are still sore 3 years later. I can tell you when it will rain 72 hours in advance.

After making it to the top, I limped back to the car and then crawled across the lobby of the hotel. Once I pulled myself onto the hotel bed, I knew that I now had a better understanding of the pain of childbirth.

I should send my wife flowers for the whole birthing thing, but she did try to kill me. I think we will just call it even.

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