Finding Humor in Everything

24 Aug

It is interesting how a statement, a smell, or even a picture can instantly bring a memory to the forefront of your mind that you haven’t thought about in years. Well, this happened to me the other day.

I was reminded about an event that took place in college that instantly makes me start to laugh. This particular story took place my senior year. Two of my dear friends that had already graduated the year before had come back for a visit. Because I went to Biola University in CA, one of everyone’s favorite “free” pastimes was going to the beach. Cindy and Linda decided that it was high-time I tried my hand at surfing. Yes, I am a paraplegic in a wheelchair, but they knew very well that I was always up for trying something adventurous.

Going to the beach with a wheelchair is always an event in itself. After taking in the layout of the beach; you then strategically plot a course that will take you through as few sand dunes, towels and people as possible. This is because it may take 15-20 minutes just to convince the chair to go through the sand to your located spot. Even with the pushing and pulling efforts of able-bodied people, you will have to stop several time to take in oxygen. Needless to say, once you get there you don’t move anymore. It was decided that the best way to get me to the water was on the board. Then the hilarity began. I have no balance at all! So every time a wave would hit, I would fall off. Then we decide to put me on my stomach so I could hold on tighter to the board. Well, turning was no picnic either. My legs were acting like noodles trying to escape a pot. After this was accomplished, Cindy and Linda each got on either side of me and put an arm around my back to keep me secure so they could swim me out to deeper water. You see, I couldn’t paddle because my legs don’t work, and my arms were very preoccupied with holding on to the board. Everything seemed happy at this point but my face. It wasn’t happy at all!  Because we were heading OUT the waves were crashing INTO my face!

We were just about out far enough to start to turn me around back to shore when something completely unexpected happened. At that moment, one of the local surfers passed me on his way out to catch a wave. In the nicest way possible he said to me, “Lookin’ good! All you have to do it STAND UP!” Then he smiled, gave me a thumbs-up and was on his way. The amount of laughter between the three of us that was inspired by this statement should have made us drown. Thank goodness the surf board was there to save us. Poor guy had no idea that what he said was soooo funny! After we were able to calm down and catch our breath, I managed to successfully catch a wave and rode it all the way to the beach in time to mimic a beached whale waiting to be saved. You’d think this was the end of the story… but you’d be wrong.

About an hour later, after sunning for a bit on the sand we decided to prepare for our strenuous return trip through the ever unpleasant SAND! I had just gotten back in my chair and was picking up my stuff when the most ironic thing happened again. The same surfer happened to be passing by and was brought face-to-face with the words that he had said just an hour or so earlier. I will never forget the look on his face. I felt so bad for him. I thought his eyes were going to pop right out. All I heard was “Duuuuude! I am soooo sorry. I didn’t know you were in a wheelchair!”

It took a great deal of work to convince him that it was no big deal. We just thought it was funny! I didn’t remotely have my feeling hurt. Rather I was more flattered by his thoughtfulness (he was pretty cute as well). I wish more than anything this surfer would read this blog and realize that his ignorance has brought me years of laughter and nothing but pleasant thoughts of CA surfers! I hope this story has triggered your own unexpected humorous memories. You never know when a good belly laugh might be waiting just around the corner–or the beach!


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