Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

November 18, 2007


Sharing funny stories and eating potato soup made my day


          Family fun is often the best kind of fun. The other night nine of us sat around the table telling funny stories while enjoying a meal of potato soup and sandwiches. What fun we had.

          I know it sounds old-fashioned. Nobody cooks at home anymore it seems. The stove in many homes has not been hot for years. Everybody prefers to let somebody else do the cooking.

          Some folks bring a pizza home and sit in the front of the television watching grizzly gruesome kill nine people. The only conversation occurs during the commercials when the couch potatoes complain that there is never anything worth watching anymore. Still they watch it, vainly hoping it will change one day.

          Well there we were sitting around the table sharing funny stories and having another bowl of potato soup. No one seemed to care that the television screen was dark. Perhaps it was the pecan pie that kept us all together. Nobody wanted to miss getting a slice.  

          But I reckon the laughing we shared was the main thing that kept us together for well over an hour. Laughter is good for you. And like potato soup, laughter is healthy. We all need to laugh more that we do. It is good for the lungs, the brain, and one’s general well being.

          The laughing got started when one of my grandchildren described the hilarious breakfast some of us shared at IHOP. I stole the show by pouring coffee on my pancakes. Gales of laughter filled the room as I stared at my plate in disbelief, my face turning bright red.

          Our waitress was a jewel. Though she shared the fun my family was having at my expense, she saved the day for me. She said, “Hey, you are not the first person to pour coffee on your pancakes. I have seen several people do that. It happens a lot.” I felt better and left her a hefty tip.

          What amazed me was that a simple thing like pouring coffee on pancakes could generate so much laughter. One dumb deed quickly improved the health of my entire family.

          Our son Tim kept the laughter going by recalling a time last year when he decided to spend the night with his brother Matt and his wife Tammy. Tim found Matt at his church on a Wednesday night. Matt told him to go on to his house and he would join him later.

          Tim found the home locked. Unable to get in, he walked around to the back yard and sat down in a lawn chair. The chair collapsed around him and he had to roll over on the grass to get free. Matt showed up an hour later, embarrassed to find his brother having to wait outside so long.

          The only bed available for Tim was an air mattress positioned on an old bed frame. At 2 o’clock in the morning the air mattress suddenly went flat. Waking up, Tim tried to turn and get off the bed but at that moment the slats broke under his weight. His head and shoulders were trapped between the slats while his feet were dangling up in the air.

          We were dying laughing as Tim described his predicament. Before he could free himself he said he promised the good Lord that he would stay at the Holiday Inn the next time he came to see his brother. Giving up on the bed and the air mattress, Tim chose to sleep on a couch in the family room. However, at 4 o’clock he was awakened by a dog licking his face. What a night! And all because he wanted to be brotherly.

          Strange things happen to us in this life. We are not always amused by these experiences at the time. But in retelling such stories we find them a rich source of fun for ourselves and others. Add some potato soup and a slice of pecan pie and you have family fun at its best. But I still cannot believe I poured coffee on my pancakes! + + +