Laughing for Survival

The only way to survive is to have a sense of humor.

American comedian and actor, Bob Newhart, was born on this day in 1929.

Last Thursday, I was at the preview night for Firehouse Theatre’s production of INVALID. It’s a modern take on Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. It was crudely hysterical. I’m not so sure I’ve heard that many fart jokes since middle school.

Warming up the crowd was Slash Coleman from the RVA Laugh Club. Slash gave us a mini laughter yoga session. It was a good prelude to the show.

INVALID runs at Firehouse Theatre through September 29.

This past weekend, I accomplished many things. All along those lines of Getting Things Done. I won’t rattle off the list to you here. (drop me an email if you really must know), but among the things accomplished was giving away the boys’ play fort to someone who could use it. At 29 and 18, our boys have more than outgrown the fort.

I built the fort twenty-three years ago, for our oldest son’s sixth birthday. Let’s be clear, I am not a carpenter, and I have no marketable building skills. If you need another list, I can send you my list of household projects of things needing repair or replacement. Most will require professional help.

But, I took on the task of building the fort. We purchased the kit from Lowe’s and had it delivered to the house where we were living at the time.

I assembled the fort while my wife and son were visiting family on spring break. If memory serves me correctly, I took the week off from work to have plenty of time. I rented the necessary power tools, and got to work.

I assembled the first side. Then I disassembled the first side and reassembled it correctly.

Midway through the week my wife and I had this conversation?

WIFE: So, how’s it going?

ME: It’s taking longer than I thought because of the trips to the library?

WIFE: Library?

ME: I ran out of swear words and had to go look up some new ones.

That’s a true story.

But, I got the fort together in time for the birthday party that weekend.

When we moved into our current house, my brother loaded it up and transported it here. When the youngest was around eight or so, I added swings.

That took fewer swear words.

The fort was well loved over the years.

A few years back, when we were hosting the neighborhood Christmas party, I fulfilled my dream of decorating the fort like a gingerbread house. I had collected icicle lights, and candy cane striped rope lights and more. We had it lit up and had a cozy fire in the fire pit.

It was about 70 degrees in the middle of December. But it looked good.

More than once, the fort has been damaged by falling tree branches. The last time, I didn’t bother with repairs.

Why am I telling you all of this?

On Saturday, I posted the fort on Facebook Marketplace. Responses were almost instant.

On Sunday, a nice young man and his friend (brother?) came and picked up the fort. He said that he was getting it for his four-year-old daughter and that he could make the repairs. As he was leaving he mentioned that he also had three nephews who would play on the fort.

To me, that was a win win.

I’ve been wanting to clear that space in the yard.

(A friend asked me what I planned to put there…nothing…)

I didn’t need money for the fort. I just needed it gone.

In fact, the older son asked how much I paid him to take it away.

I’m on sort of a tear to get rid of the stuff that we don’t need or can’t use. Sadly the fort being gone didn’t clean out the garage, but I’m making progress there as well.

Having too much stuff is no laughing matter.

I’m not sure I’m laughing about the fort being gone.

But, it’s a good feeling.

And hopefully very soon, a four year old girl and her cousins will find lots of laughter on a well-loved play fort.

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Cover Photo by Raúl Nájera on Unsplash

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