Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coffee capers!

I like to laugh. Sometimes I laugh at myself, and sometimes I laugh at my friends. Lots of times, my friends laugh at me. We seem to take turns.

Three days in the past week we've had rain here in SoCal. We get a lot more sunshine than rain, so we are unaccustomed to the simple things rain brings, like carrying an umbrella.

My morning routine was thrown off this week simply because my hands were a bit more full: an umbrella requires a whole hand!

As I left the house, I had an umbrella in one hand, a lunch pail, soft briefcase, coffee mug, and keys in the other. I have large hands, so I was able to navigate everything to the car. The difficulty came at open-the-car-door time.

I put the mug on the car roof and pried open the driver's rear door. Slipping my lunch pail and briefcase in, I then closed the umbrella, shook it off, tossed it in the back, and slid myself into the driver's seat. My glasses were slightly speckled, but I was otherwise not the worse from the light sprinkles.

I performed a three-point turn-about and started up the block. Several houses down I reached carefully for my coffee cup which was... not in the cup holder. Oops.

Realizing my mistake I slowed the car. The coffee mug was metal, and I expected that it lay in the road in front of my house. Just then I saw a silvery shape pass in front of the windshield, I heard a thump, and I watched coffee splash all over the front hood of my car.

Completing my stop, I jumped out of my car to retrieve my mug and its cover from the roadway. I was greeted by the strong smell of fresh coffee. Looking at my car, I also saw steam rising as the coffee freed itself into the atmosphere.

I shook my head, looked around for traffic, and climbed back into the car, mug in hand. I put the car in reverse and returned to the front of my house. I pulled out the garden hose and rinsed the fresh coffee off of my car. Duh!

Slightly wet, I turned off the hose, returned to my car and completed the journey to work... ooffee-less.

Later in the day, a coworker called me on my cell. My wife answered it, since I'd left it on the kitchen counter, next to my wallet. My coffee caper was not my only morning foible.

Who knew that umbrellas were so disconcerting? Or maybe it's just me.

* * * *

Later in the week as I was recounting my mishap with a co-worker for her amusement, she shared her own coffee caper.

During her morning routine she was putting together lunches, making coffee, and feeding her dogs. Her mother-in-law had passed away earlier in the week, and she was still in a bit of a fog. Duty called, even though part of her was processing the loss.

Whatever upsets our routines, umbrellas or bereavement, mishaps happen. That explains why she noticed, just in time, that instead of filling the coffee filter with coffee, she had filled it with dry dog food. Oops.

* * * *

Sometimes I laugh at myself, and sometimes I laugh at my friends. My bereaved friend found comfort in the laughter, and I was reminded that God must have a sense of humor seeing that we are so funny.

My coworker friend pointed out, "We were made in God's image. Is it so strange to think that we and God should share something so human as a sense of humor?"

I hadn't thought of that. Until then.

Perhaps that explains why, I like to laugh.


  1. First a cultural comment: Living in Oregon for some years I learned that guys don't carry umbrellas, they wear hats. Set a new trend: get a hat.
    A Biblical comment: A lot of the Bible becomes clearer if we realize that there is humor there. There are things that Jesus says that we can never understand until we realize that he was smiling when he said them.

  2. Although I am an umbrella-weilding pro, it's still super-annoying to have to carry it AND God knows how many other things at the same time.

    This spring I'm finally wising up, however, I'm buying rain boots. After years and years of my feet getting wet in'd think I'd have wised up sooner.

  3. Humor does help us with these little mishaps in our day. I have plenty of craziness to keep me laughing. My kids love to point out how I put the weirdest things in the fridge: mail, vitamins, box of pasta etc. Where my brain is some days, I just don't know. A good laugh is always healthy.

  4. Umbrellas cause such a fuss, that I don't even carry one... I come out a little worse for the wear, but I don't drop anything more than normal (:
    I had an incident like your coffee cup one, except mine was my phone, on a really busy street. My dad didn't find it nearly as funny as my friends did...

  5. @Dennis: Real men don't carry umbrellas? (That's just in Oregon!) I wrote a post about real men and baby wipes. (Golfers carry umbrellas: big ones.) In So Cal, you see more and more umbrellas in sunny weather: a testament to the growing number of Asians living here. They are shaping the culture, as non-Asians are getting in the act.

    @We_the_pieces: I never carried an umbrella when I was younger either: probably took it up in my late 20's. I came to prefer staying dry. Your phone foible sounds funny. Dads are less amused with broken phones, maybe... because... they end up having to buy new ones. It's funnier when there are no substantial monetary implications. (Maybe that's why your friends enjoyed it more.) PS: A few posts ago I shared a pic of a girl with a bat (statue), and a quote from Elanor Roosevelt... both taken at the softball complex at CSUF.

    @Saphron: Well, I'm far from a pro: I'm barely adequate. Good thinking on the boots. It's amazing how long it takes us to figure out some simple improvements, eh?

    @September: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste..." Seems like personal foibles might indicate we're wasting ours... or overloading it. But I'm like you, "A good laugh is always healthy." (And the scientists agree!)