Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Let's laugh away the Monday morning bluesChris Burns
Laughter is an antidote for overcoming Monday morning blues. In spite of the heaviness of our personal economic and social circumstances, laughter provides a respite for unwinding. Monday morning blues are as perennial as the grass and it matters not from whence one springs, almost everyone suffers from it, but some more than others. Even so, it still fascinates me how so many people get the blues. It also saddens me that no matter how hard they try, they just never seem able to shake the blues. And never mind the pleasant prelude that Sundays bring, for some people, Mondays are like old locomotives; they require plenty cranking-ups, jump-starts, pushing and heavy diesel fuel to get rolling.
And forget what the experts say. They have invented all sorts of wacky and acutely lumpy explanations for the cause of Monday morning blues. They blame anxiety, poor social skills, fatigue, boredom, workplace phobia, lack of rest, excessive sex or the lack thereof, school, alcohol, constipation, deregulation, and just about everything they can lay hands on for this common phenomenon. And then, economists have spent years attempting to quantify the costs of Monday morning blues on worker productivity and company profitability.
Well, I am no expert on the subject, neither can I speak authoritatively on ways to overcome Monday morning blues, but I do have perspectives and experiences of my own to share. To begin with, hardly anything gets me down. I find humour in everything, yet I take life seriously. I just do not worry about simple things I see people fussing about. As I see it, life is too short to encumber one's self with a potpourri of woes that quite rightly should be left alone. Strangely, some people go out of their way to worry about things - things that ought not to bother them.
Thank goodness for laughter, and luckily it's free, and there are as many things to laugh about as there are stars above and sand on the seashore. This may matter little to some people, particularly churchgoers who take their faith and spirituality so darn serious that even if one lights a firecracker and places it at the softest of spots on the anatomy they will not budge. Some of them take church so seriously, they even transgress without knowing. And although frog says, "What is joke to you is death to me;" these transgressions can be seriously amusing.
And talking about churchgoers, and without making light of anyone's ecclesiastical commitment, have you ever heard an illiterate pastor preach? Well, most of them get their messages correct, even as they depend on a "reader" to feed them words from the Bible. Usually, they have a strange way of shouting as though God is deaf, and without regard for their uvulas that usually turn mauve. Anyway, one Sunday I skipped my own church and visited a Pentecostal Tabernacle. Shouts of "Praise di Lord" and "Hallelujah" filled the air; the rhythm of the drums was pulsating and caused young girls and boys to quiver in spiritual gyrations, even as the pastor shepherded his flock.
Unaccustomed to the loud noise and confusion, I took a seat in the back pew. After a long prayer, the pastor announced the scripture on which he would deliver the message. He commanded the reader thus, "Read, mi Sista, read". Sister Brown adjusted her spectacles, shifted her hat, cleared her throat and began reading. "And the Lord said..." but just as she was about to read what the Lord said, her microphone fell and she unwittingly remarked, "Rahtid". The pastor, unconsciously picked up on her remark and said, "And the Lord said 'rahtid'. Yuh see wha mi a tell unno, di lord vex, 'im vex; suh till 'im seh rahtid, read along mi sista..." By this time, almost everyone was keeling over in peels of laughter, but it did not deter him; he was not amused, and admonished the congregation about idleness.
But that was mild in comparison to what took place at a Church of God crusade meeting. Sista Bridgette was assigned a permanent seat close to the rostrum by the pastor. However, she left the seat to go to the ladies' room. By the time she worked her way back through the pews, another woman had already captured her seat. Sista Bridget, a soft-spoken dame, pleaded with the woman to vacate the seat, but to no avail. The woman insisted, "Mi nah move; yuh seat deh inna yuh toilet not 'ere; suh mi nah move."
Sista Bridget preached like Peter and prayed like Paul for the woman to vacate the seat, but she did not budge. All this, while the woman spitefully chewed a piece of gum like how jackasses chew wild cane. Without much notice, Sista Bridget lost her temper and blurted: "Hey, dutty gal, ol' vampire, goat tief, prostitute, rum head, evildoer, mi a beg yuh, in di name of the lord, git up outta mi seat." The transgressor sprang to her feet, raised her hand, straightened her bosom, then with hands akimbo and shaking declared, "Go weh, lef' mi husband and come pick up yuh underwear weh yuh run lef' a mi yaad. Yuh a gwaan like yuh a saint. But evil inna yuh bosom, iniquity inna yuh heart and fire under yuh belly."
But as awful as that in-church tracing match was, it was still no match for Sista Mavis's last message. Sista Mavis was a fixture of sorts on her church choir and was allowed to deliver the message every second Sunday. However, she fell out of grace with Pastor Williams' wife and the pastor decided to "read her out of church". Unknown to the pastor, Mavis got wind of his strategy and so she carefully planned her last message which she entitled "Filth". Mavis began her message with her usual multi-tiered greetings and salutations. She then segued into the core of her message, but with a vengeance: "This church is full of filth. Gimme a' Amen. Gimme a Hallelujah. There is filth everywhere. Filth in di pew; filth in di choir; filth pon pastor; oh yes, filth up here and filth down there...." But, just as everyone thought she was getting off her "rockers", came a little boy with a water hose. And, like a firefighter, he sprayed water all over. Say what you may, memories of these events can certainly prevent Monday morning blues, and no matter what, laugh about something today. Try it, nuh!
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