A few days ago, I pulled Robert Fulgum’s book, What in the World Have I Done, from my cupboard bookshelf, and read the best story I have read all week.
Fulghum is the author of Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. (1988) His book stayed on the best-seller list for two years.
In his What in The World book, he told the best story I have heard all week.
He had offered two college boys on his street a ride to work. He asked what they were doing besides school and work.
“We’re eating a chair.”
A chair! They were eating a chair. The college professor had given them an assignment to do something unusual, something they had never done before, and to write about it.
“This is going to fry the professor.”
They bought an unfinished chair and, so far, eaten the back and one of the rungs.
Every day they shave off a fine dusting of wood and add it to their morning granola. At night they sprinkle some on their salad. They asked a doctor if it was dangerous, and no, it wasn’t in small doses. They may not get it all eaten by the theme due date, so they have asked if others would help them and found a willing bunch.
To further carry on the conversation, Fulghum asked what else they were doing.
Well, they have been running around the lake each morning to keep in shape. However, they were tired of running in circles and decided to see how far they would go if they ran in a straight line. They got a map of Washington (they live in Seattle) and were mapping out a route. When they almost reached Portland, Oregon, they decided it was boring and chose a European map. Now they are finding interesting things to do along their trail. And they are seeing that large tasks done in small doses can get the job done.
Fulgrum stopped worrying about the younger generation.
Inspired by Fulghum’s wanderings, his speaking with people, and finding funny tales, I decided, last night as I set off for the grocery store that I would buy groceries and find something funny.
I asked the solemn-faced kid who checked out my groceries if anything funny had happened that day. Nope. Nothing funny.
So, I walked down to the live-wire lady with white hair and a limp, who was nearly always laughing and was manning the empty self-checkout line. I asked her if anything funny happened that day. “Not today,” she said, thinking, “but something happened yesterday.”
“What?” I asked.
“A lady came into the store with no pants on.”
“Really? Was she completely naked, or did she have underwear on?”
“I don’t know. We scanned the store but couldn’t find her. Does that story suffice?”
“Great. Thanks. You saved my day.” Thumbs up, I exited the store.
Not that funny, but fun.