Strange things have always struck me as funny.  Some of those times of hilarity have caused me to pee my pants, have tears running down my face, sore stomach muscles from excessive belly laughter and well, sometimes moments of awkwardness with others.  One such moment was with the eye doctor I went to as a kid growing up in my small town.  Small towns are their own unique and quirky beasts, but this man helped perpetuate that.  He lived about 2 miles out of town on a stretch of road where a grouping of ranch homes dotted both sides of that country mile.  He was the father of a boy I had gone to school with since Kindergarten.  When I say father and son were matched bookends, I really mean it.  They didn't have age enhanced photo technology back then (like they use on "America's Most Wanted" or the back of the old milk cartons showing missing children), but if they would have my schoolmate was destined to look just like his Dad, Dr. T, in 20 years.  Dr. T was a cub scout master (wearing all the regalia that comes with it - scarves, badges, black socks, shorts with 15 pockets that carry all the required compasses/matches/canteens/whistles etc...).  His son, was of course a cub scout also.  Dr. T was obviously a very smart man to become an optometrist.  Anyone with initials after their name had some major intellegience.  He was though, in real life, exactly the mental image of a grown-up geek.  His office was in the basement of his house (again a quirky small town phenomena).  You would park in his driveway or be dropped off by your parents and picked up later, descend the outside stairs to his basement and be greeted by elevator music, a weird basement smell and feel, a Gideon Bible with Bible storybook, "Humpty Dumpty" magazine for kids and an array of eye related pamphlets about diseases intended to teach and frighten at the same time.  It was always too quiet in there for me and before I ever got called back to the exam room I was already worked up to uncomfortable.  I didn't hang in the same circles as Dr. T's son.  That kid read the encyclopedias in kindergarten.  And I think he grew up to be a molecular scientist or the National Director of the Boyscouts.  He was brilliant at 5.  I, on the other hand, am still looking for my brilliance.  Dr. T called me back to the "inner sanctuary" - examining room.  Oh no, not the eye exam!!  I knew what was going to happen, tried much self-talk about serious things, fought the feeling...but couldn't stop.  He would swing that "better 1, better 2" machine up to my eyes and begin.  So would I:)  Quietly I began to giggle inside while simultaneously telling myself to stop.  He no doubt began to see my skinny kid body shake.  He pressed on with the exam ignoring the fact that I was virtually going to explode with laughter.  It happened as he pulled the "better 1, better 2" machine away and did the visual, up-close eye exam where his face was less an inch from mine.  He contorted his own face and cocked his head from side to side as he peered into the back of my eyes.  He was serious about eye stuff and breathing heavily while doing it.  That's it my giggling began erupting slowly in spurts at first.  But, the more I focused on his nose, loud breathing, head movements, the basement, etc.... the more I laughed.  Finally it just shot out of me.  There was no control to be had.  Dr. T would pull away from me without saying a word and sit and wait for me to stop laughing.  No words were spoken by either parties, except a small "sorry" from me.  Some exams we repeated that scenario a couple of times - his quirkiness causing me to laugh, stopping the exam, waiting for me to regain emotional control.  The next time I went I tried all over again to keep my mind slate blank, but the movie would start all over again.  "Better 1, better 2?" 


  1. never stop laughing! laughter is contagious and filled with the powerful stuff that dissolves the mire of monotony in your brain!

  2. I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard!