Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Perfect Start to my Day by Val Tyler

For me, each morning begins with Radio 4. I miss a fair amount of news because my mind tends to wander in those delicious moments between sleep and wakefulness when I am at my most creative.

A few days ago, something was said on Thought for Today that took my attention. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the name of the contributor. On arriving home from the supermarket, he explained to his wife why he had only bought eighty-eight bread rolls. She was a little confused and asked how many he had wanted. He showed her the shopping list where it said, ‘100 rolls’. She explained she had written ‘loo rolls’.

I don’t know if this was true, I may have heard it on April 1st, but it made me chuckle. On thinking about it, I laughed some more. I’m not always so easy to please. My friend and I sat in stony silence on the sofa watching ‘Outnumbered’. To us, there was absolutely nothing funny about the show. Our spouses, sitting on the other sofa, were struggling to draw breath, they were laughing so much.

I have no idea what tickles one person and leaves another cold. I very much enjoy the re-runs of Morecambe and Wise, but have another friend who has never found Eric Morecambe funny. To me, he was the funniest man to have walked this earth.

My husband taught me to laugh after we were married. As a child, we girls were discouraged from laughing loudly. If we did, we were reprimanded for being ‘raucous’ and yet the boys were encouraged to throw back their heads and laugh heartily.

Laughter is joyful and I can never hear too much of it. It doesn’t matter what sets you off. My mother only has to think of her straight-laced grandmother falling in the village pond to make her helpless with laugher, albeit silently.

Laughter is the perfect way to start the day and so I would like to thank whoever told the anecdote about loo rolls. It was a perfect start to my day.

I will leave you with a Tim Vine joke that also makes me laugh.

“ – that’s a site for sore eyes.”


Daniel Blythe said...

I have heard that "loo rolls" thing before - I wonder if the Thought for the Day contributor got it off Mumsnet or similar? For me, the "Outnumbered" effect you describe is in evidence with "Miranda" - I can sit through a whole episode and maybe chuckle once or twice, but the rest of my family actually *guffaw* over it to the point where they are falling off the sofa.

My mother often tells me anecdotes about things that have happened to people in her village, and she can't get through them because she is laughing so much. She even says "We were all *falling about* when we heard, etc." At the end of the story, my wife and I will usually look at each other in stony silence. This makes her laugh and "fall about" even more. I suppose it helps if you know Mavis Bickerdyke or whoever is being talked about...

Susan Price said...

Agree about 'Miranda.' I'm puzzled because I like Miranda Hart when I see her on things like 'Would I Lie To You.' But with 'Miranda' I sit there thinking, 'When is this going to start being funny?'

I went to the theatre once to see an Ayckbourn farce. The whole audience around me rocked and wept with laughter and I could not crack a smile. A couple in the play decide for some reason to eat sardines on toast in bed. The lights come down on them. When the lights went up on them again as they finished their sardines, the woman said, "It's like being aboard a fishing trawler."
The audience around me were almost sick with laughter at this killer joke. I looked around at them, feeling about as far from laughter as I've ever been. Not my crowd, I feel.
It's a complete mystery, humour.

Susan Price said...

But Daniel's comment distracted me from what I meant to say, which is: How terrible to have been discouraged from laughing! And good for your husband, for teaching you otherwise.
I was obviously lucky in my family, where laughter and the ability to make others laugh was highly prized - so much so that I remember a time when my youngest brother was desperate to 'make a joke.' He kept pestering us with his attempts but couldn't quite grasp what made the difference between a plain statement and something funny. (Something some comedy writers also don't seem to get.) But he kept trying and I'm glad to report that, today, he often sets the table in a roar. So all that practice paid off.
Is this a stage a lot of children go through?

Val Tyler said...

I'm guessing humour is a very personal thing. I find very few comedy shows funny, and even fewer radio shows. Just like with you, Daniel, very often my straight face will set the family off laughing again.

I wondered whether the loo rolls joke was original. I've often been told a 'true' funny story only to hear it again from a totally different source.

I don't know if children tend to go through a stage of learning how to be funny, Susan. I'm guessing it's all part of growing up.

We did laugh when I was a child, it's just that we girls had to laugh silently. It never occurred to me at the time that anything was odd. It was only when I grew up and married that I realised how strange it had been.