Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, November 18, 2011


Elbows on the table, leaning forward, I wanted to know why Spouse's nose was sore.
Oh, he said, he and his friend had shared a joke together. A particularly witty joke, he reflected with fondness.
But the nose? Where did the nose come into the tale?
He'd been drinking Japanese tea at the time, he explained, and at the precise moment of punchline, the tea changed trajectory at great speed and poured forth from his nose.
That makes sense, I said, nodding. It makes sense.
There was a long silence then, and what I imagined would have been a perfectly suitable opportunity for Spouse to repeat the scene, minus the Japanese tea; but, oddly enough, he did not take it.
Tell me, I said at length, what was so funny about it.
Spouse took another moment to chuckle absently, his eyes misting up, then snapped back to himself again.
Oh, he said, I can't. I'm sorry. It was all in Sanskrit. I wouldn't be able to translate it.
I'll just have to take his word for it that it was full of hilarity, but I can't quite recover from the enormity of the letdown and the absence of a punchline.
Sometimes, I suppose, there is no straight, clear line to explain a thing.
It just Is, that's all. But if we decide to go looking for it, we'd better not be drinking tea at the time.

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