Dogwood by Suzanna Hawkins
One-of-a-Kind Original – 22kt Sterling Silver Pendant (1″)
on Silver Tone Chain (18″)
SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT
I believe that most people are funniest when they don’t mean to be. That said, I would like to relate an incident that took place several years ago at a large international conference in Atlanta.
It was tradition in this association that the incoming president’s wife be named as the honorary head of the women’s auxiliary and installed into this esteemed position at a luncheon attended by approximately two thousand women and a few hapless husbands married to women in the organization. I’m sure there have been more than a few women who did not relish taking on this task, especially in light of the fact that they were asked to address this luncheon from high on the podium, bright lights glaring and the flash of cameras making even the most confident a little uneasy.
On this particular day, the new first lady arrived dressed for the occasion in a bright pick-tweed suit, white suede high heels, carrying a very large pea green bag that matched a long scarf which she had wound around her neck and allowed to flow gracefully down her ample backside, and had topped off this astonishing attire with a coordinating green hat shaped like a pie plate and adorned with three shocking pink roses. This fashion statement of a hat, for some reason known only to herself, she had perched on her forehead, tilted low over her brow and held in place by an elastic band that attached to the hat on each side, went behind her ears and was covered by her closely cropped hair. This would not have been so amazing but that most of us who had known her through the years had never observed her wearing anything more elegant than a sweatsuit and Birkenstocks worn with casual confidence over socks. To say the least, we were all a little taken aback.
Our new leader approached the podium looking for all the world like the poor deer caught in the lights of an oncoming semi. She did manage to mount the steps, look out over the assembled luncheon and proceed to deliver her carefully constructed speech of acceptance with a good deal of grace and dignity. All went well for the first few sentences. However, as I was seated just to her left and slightly behind where she stood, I soon noticed that something strange was happening to the back of her head. The elastic band had started inching up causing the hair to rise and stand out along its path. If the hapless lady at the podium felt any of this, she gave no indication.
At about the same time the elastic started to move up from the rear, the hat began to move up on the front. A few of us watched in fascination. At first, it was just a fraction of an inch at a time. Almost hair by hair on the back side, and the hat on the front just shaded her eyes less and less, revealing a bit more of her face as the seconds ticked by.
The dear lady almost made it home free. She finished her welcoming, thanked all those who had played a part in the
transition of offices, and outlined briefly a list of accomplishments she hoped to achieve in the coming year. When she finished, she stepped from behind the podium and gave a slight bow. It was at this precise moment that the hat on the front and the elastic band on the back reached the point of no return. The hat flew off her head, sailed about fifteen feet and landed squarely on the ice sculpture that graced the head table.
There was a moment of stunned silence. We all knew that no amount of planning could have led up to this moment. No one could have orchestrated this amazing feat. It was a moment of pure comedy.
I feel sure that all of us here have found ourselves in situations beyond our control, totally out of our depth, have prayed that we be spared humiliation and discomfort, have asked that we be delivered safely back into our comfort zones.
I am quite sure this good lady also asked those things. However, here she stood, through no doing of her own, as prepared as she was capable of being, deporting
herself admirably, and she was undone by a hat.
I don’t recall much after the hat landed on the ice sculpture as the place exploded. Our new first lady had, figuratively, brought down the house.
I don’t think anyone can make up anything much funnier.
~ Sue Hawkins