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Comedy Isn't For Everyone

At the pool last night Maddie met two older girls, fifth graders who were, of course, incredibly cool to Maddie. They were kind girls and allowed Maddie to attach herself to them for most of the evening. They played games with her and paid attention to her – to an extent. But after a while enough was enough and they paused on the other side of the pool to hang out and gossip, big-girl style.

Maddie, desperate to get their attention back, climbed out of the pool, stood at the edge, and said, “Hey, guys! GUYS!” The girls looked up politely.

“Watch me!” Maddie shouted. “I’m going to say ‘Mickey Mouse’ in slow motion!”


This was so completely out of left field that I couldn’t look away. Maddie melted into a slow-motion cannonball, saying “Mickey Mouse” like one of those slo-mo stop-action sequences in a movie, her body folding down like a weary French mime disenchanted with the cynical world. The whole thing was such a non sequitur that a belly laugh erupted out of me, delighted and caught completely off guard.

Maddie popped up, face beaming, looking expectantly at the big girls who had turned back to their gossip session. Her face fell. Then she heard me laughing and turned towards me, storm clouds gathering.

“Maddie!” I said delightedly. “That was really funny!”

“I wasn’t trying to be FUNNY,” she wailed. “I was striving for HUMOR.” And she swam off.

I have no idea what that means, but apparently I owe her an apology for misinterpreting her art.


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