The night before I started working at the shop, I made a decision. I would make people laugh.
I had always been able to make my family laugh, but I don’t think I was really thought of as funny until after I left school. At that time, being young and somewhat lacking in the old confidence department, I rarely made people laugh because I almost never spoke to them. Which would have been fine if I was anything at all in terms of physical comedy. My humour, however, needs a voice.
Anywho, I was going to make people laugh for one basic, soul-saving reason: I thought, if a time came when I would be brought in to cover a shift, I didn’t want anyone’s face to fall at the sight of me. And so, I set about making lots of coffee and telling jokes.
Occasionally, there might have been cake.
It worked out quite well, and now I do it all the time. I need to think that people find me funny. I can’t guess what else they think, but funny should be in the top five things about me. Frankly, it should be in the top one things about me.
So, when I got to the Legion, I was in the habit of being funny. Again, I’d probably have to cover shifts here and there, didn’t want the ‘Oh-God-it’s-her’ face, and didn’t want to laugh at my own jokes. Alone.
There was one chap who would never laugh. I assumed he was just too serious to find me humorous. Not that he didn’t get me, just – maybe he didn’t see the point.
And then, one day, during a very serious and starchy meeting, something happened.
I was in the process of planning a new venture in conjunction with the Branch, I was putting on a film for Remembrance, and planning ahead for the morning I’d set off the maroons to mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
With all these plans afoot, a friend described me, during the meeting, as the social secretary. And I heard myself reply, “Sounds like I have a very exciting venereal disease.”
The chap who never laughed practically fell over.