25 comments

  1. great story… for our wedding, the crowd laughed as we knelt at the alter for the prayer – only after I realized I had forgotten to take the “50% off” sticker from the sole of my wedding shoes.

    1. Hello Bill,

      Thank you for the compliment.

      Now, that is hilarious – 50% off sticker. I can imagine the snickers. The good news – it could have been worse. It could have been something doggy left behind 🙂

      Cheers!
      Eric

      Bargains are great buys
      Sometimes late birds get best worms
      Patience a virtue

      Their wedding dinner and dance was everything Minna and Austen had dreamed. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, they found themselves in the bridal suite—alone.

      When Austen ducked into the shower, Minna slipped into a come-let’s-be-naughty negligee. He came out and saw her lying on the bed.

      He slapped his forehead.

      ‘I’ve forgotten the Frenchie.’

      Minna gave a coy smile and held up a whole packet. Premium brand too.

      The following morning, over breakfast, she told him that she found the packet in his rented tuxedo.

      ‘I thought it was yours.’

      ‘No,’ said Austen. ‘Maybe the previous guy bought extra. Or he failed to score.’

      Minna gave Austen a playful slap to his wrist and said, ‘Or the rental did not dry clean the tux.’

      ‘Now, that’s gross,’ said Austen.

      ‘Well it smells nice,’ said Minna, ‘and tastes of strawberry.’

      And they laughed.

      ‘Finish your breakfast,’ said Austen, with a wink. ‘We’ve another hour before check-out.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Colin,

      Curious you are, I see. Hope not to disappoint

      Cheers,
      Eric

      Broke open cookie
      What challenges will I face?
      No more a challenge

      ‘Some things are best not known,’ said the grizzled woman with a skeletal face.

      ‘I’ve paid you,’ said Jun Ho.

      The North Koreans were pouring over the border and his unit has been mobilized.

      ‘Take back your money,’ she said.

      ‘It’s yours,’ said Jun Ho and got up to walk away.

      People on the sidewalk watched with keen interest. A fortune teller who refuses to tell fortunes would surely lose credibility and custom.

      ‘Very well then, sit down young man,’ said the fortune teller.

      Jun Ho sat down and prepared himself. He knew the news must be ominous and he was right.

      ‘On the 29th of the month, you will die.’

      Now looking back, Jun Ho regretted having pressed the old coot. But he had a plan—he would go AWOL on the twenty-ninth and return the next day. His unit was in full retreat and in the chaos, his officers will not miss him.

      But when the twenty-ninth arrived, Jun Ho could not get away. He spent the day in terror. Every time a shell whistled past or a machine gun chattered, he would panic, drop, and remain frozen. Very quickly, he gained a reputation for cowardice.

      When the dawn of the thirtieth broke, he sighed with relief.

      On 13th July, when his officers selected him for a patrol, he agreed without hesitation. He wanted to redeem his name and family honour.

      That day, Jun Ho was killed in action.

      13 July 1950 in the Gregorian calendar was 29 May, the 5th month in the Lunar Calendar—Geng-yin, Year of the Tiger.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Rabirius,

      Thank you for your visit and comment.

      Yes, that’s another way to view laughter—as a medium that swallows and renders harmless the more destructive emotions that seek to overcome us.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

      First among equals
      Puts out fires, dispels fears
      Life becomes pleasant

      ‘You can’t quit, you’re my top demon,’ said D’yavol. He picked up a spoon and tasted the soup. With a deep sigh, he turned and shouted down to the flaming pits. ‘Too bloody hot, and not enough salt.’

      ‘Sorry boss,’ shouted back the chief cook, Pointee Tail. His black skin gleamed in the waving orange light, and his pointed tail flicked this way and that. He yelled above the incessant screams.

      ‘Reduce the flames and drop a few more fat ones into the cauldron.’

      And with howls and cackles, the sweaty kitchen staff got to work with their pitchforks.

      ‘I can’t take it anymore,’ said Şeytan. ‘Humans don’t respect me. Once they feared me, now they laugh in my face.’

      ‘Is it that Father Vivaldi again?’ asked D’yavol. ‘Try the meat. Tender stuff. Lawyers.’

      ‘Yes, that same one,’ said Şeytan. He took a bite and made a face. ‘I prefer bankers.’

      ‘You know what, I think you’ve been doing this for far too long, you’ve lost your edge,’ said D’yavol. ‘My boys are cooking a new batch. Fat corporate types, fresh from Wall Street. The idea is to roast them while they’re still alive. You can’t get it any fresher and so tender, they melt in your mouth.’

      ‘I tried everything D’yavol,’ said Şeytan. ‘Spoke English backwards. Turned the neck around 360 degrees. Kicked and screamed. Spewed vulgarities. Even pleasured myself with a carrot. No go, they all laughed.’

      ‘Float above the bed?’ asked D’yavol.

      ‘Of course, that’s my specialty—’

      ‘Give me a moment, please,’ said D’yavol. He turned to the attendants below and shouted. ‘Hey, cook them alive. I don’t want to eat dead meat.’

      ‘Sorry boss,’ shouted back Pointee Tail.

      ‘Jeez, can’t get decent help, I tell you,’ said D’yavol. ‘What is Hades coming to?’

      ‘When I floated above the bed,’ said Şeytan, ‘do you know what that priest did? He opened the darn window and told me to fly out. And when I didn’t, he laughed.’

      ‘No killing of the possessed; against the rules. You can only frighten them.’

      ‘I know,’ said Şeytan.

      ‘And he exorcised you?’

      ‘Well, the humans were laughing. I’d to get out of there,’ said Şeytan. ‘Why can I not fly out and kill my human? Why? Why? Why?’

      Without warning D’yavol slapped the back of Şeytan’s bald head. He said,

      ‘What’s the matter with you? What does Lesson One, Chapter One say?’

      ‘Which book?’

      D’yavol again slapped the back of Şeytan’s bald head, and said, ‘Dummy Demon’s Guide to taking Possession of Humans.’

      ‘Oh, that one.’

      ‘Is there any other?’ said D’yavol. He handed the book to Şeytan and pointed to a page.

      ‘As long as humans fear us, we feed on that fear and grow stronger.’

      ‘Right!’ said D’yavol. He took a bite of the meat, chewed, and spat out. ‘Bloody politicians. They taste like poison.’

      ‘What do we do?’ asked Şeytan.

      ‘Now that this Father Vivaldi has found the secret, we have to give up this whole possession thingy. We can’t fight against laughter.’

      A year later, the Catholic Church announced that demonic possessions had ceased throughout the world.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Dear Lauren,

      First off, your recent post was filled with anxiety, and I hope all is well now.

      Thank you for your comment, positive words are tonics in themselves.

      God bless and keep you and yours well,
      Eric

      Calms, rebuilds, and heals
      Love and friendships grow stronger
      Nature’s health tonic

      Grandpa Caleb had always been careful with money. He put aside the empty tins and boxes to be used as storage containers and rubbish bins. On the rare occasion he dined out, he always had the restaurant pack the leftovers and would eat them for snacks. Even when there was only bones and gristle, he would insist on a doggy bag.

      ‘For my dog.’ He would say to the restaurant staff. No one knew what he did with the bones.

      He had never set foot in a hospital. But the day did come when, at age eighty eight, he was admitted.

      From the very first day, he started collecting medicine. He hid the pills and asked for more.

      ‘No, I did not receive them,’ he said, lying without batting an eyelid.

      The following day, he asked for cough mixtures and vitamins; then, rolls of plaster, bandages, and anything else the nurses would give him.

      By the end of the week, his table drawer filled with enough supply to restock his medicine cabinet at home.

      When his grandson, Jake, arrived to fetch him home, Grandpa Caleb secretly handed over a bundle. He had emptied his table drawer.

      ‘But Grandpa, the hospital will bill you for all this stuff.’

      The lady at the counter handed over an itemised bill. True enough, the bill included a sub-heading listing all the supplies which Grandpa Caleb received. But the last line item said “Discount” and the final bill excluded the cost of the supplies.

      ‘On the first day, our nursing staff had such a good laugh, the matron decided to let Mr Caleb Johnson have whatever we thought he could safely have.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    2. Hi Eric, thanks so much for your concern. Things are better now, but it’s ongoing for an unknown amount of time. If I’m repeating myself, please forgive me because I can’t remember what I’ve said to whom. 🙂 Anyway, I don’t want to clog up your post with my problems, so I’ll end here. But all is good right now. As to your reply, I love the word “tonic” used in this context. Another clever haiku and great story. I hope your weekend has been a good one. Hugs and blessings…

    3. Hello Lauren,

      Glad to know that all is well. And no worries about repeating yourself 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to pen kind words regarding my writing.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  2. As soon as I could read I kept up with the Reader’s Digest take on “Laughter Is the Best Medicine.” Great advice. Your family sure does practice it.

    1. Hello Ina,

      Reader’s Digest – you too? Same here.

      I’m quite a serious person but my wife, Lisa, has a funny bone, and I picked up after her.

      Have a fun filled weekend,
      Eric

      Children squeal and run
      Making faces source of fun
      Happy family

      Rashid liked to win, but he was not aggressive. When his daughter married, he decided to impress his son-in-law, Kadir.

      Their first weekend together, the family of four, including his wife, decided on a road trip into the Turkish highlands.

      ‘You drive,’ said Rashid.

      ‘Thanks, dad,’ said Kadir and he took the wheel.

      The women, seated behind exchanged knowing looks. After a couple of hours, they stopped at a rest room on a country road, and set off again.

      A pronounced rumbling noise followed them. The women stifled their giggles.

      ‘Must be engine,’ said Rashid.

      ‘But dad, the noise, it’s coming from the back,’ said Kadir.

      ‘Pull over.’ Rashid’s tone indicated he would brook no further protests. ‘And pop bonnet.’

      The two men peered into the engine compartment. Rashid harrumphed and having found the problem, he said,

      ‘Okay, I get knockometre.’

      ‘What is the problem?’ asked his son-in-law. ‘And what is a knockometre?’

      ‘You computer expert, I car expert.’

      Rashid went to the boot and rummaged through his tool kit. He returned with his knockometre.

      ‘That’s a hammer, dad,’ said Kadir.

      ‘For knocking. Knockometre. Now you watch.’

      Rashid gave the engine crankcase a few taps, and said. ‘Okay, now we go.’

      They bundled into the car and drove off.

      ‘See, no noise,’ said Rashid with pride.

      Kadir was impressed. He said, ‘You must teach me about cars, dad.’

      ‘Yes, I teach cars.’

      Rashid looked straight ahead. He spied his wife in the wing mirror. She was stifling a chuckle.

      Several tin cans, with strings attached, littered the side of road behind them. When they stopped at the rest room, Rashid had tied the cans to the back of the car, and removed them when he went to get his knockometre.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  3. It is so hard to be angry and laugh at the same time. Even the action of smiling when someone is feeling miserable can lift mood.
    Love the images and the haiku!

    1. Hello Sarah,

      That’s true isn’t it? I recall making faces at my children when they were angry. Very soon they melt into laughter and forgot whatever that was annoying them. The same magic works on adults—most of the time.

      Thank you for the compliment – re: image and haiku.

      Cheers!
      Eric

      One frame at a time
      Make choice: laughter or anger
      Laughter so much fun

      Early in their marriage Chase tumbled upon a simple technique to defuse the tension whenever he and Aubree had an exchange of words.

      He would walk to the refrigerator or head to the staircase or wherever, but always making sure Aubree saw his progress. He would adopt the Pink Panther gait and hum the tune as he moved.

      ‘Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum ba dum ba dum ba dum ba duuuuuuum~’

      When he reached the refrigerator door, or foot of the staircase, or the corner around which he planned to disappear, Chase would stop and wiggle his buttocks. Then, he would adopt his normal posture and go about doing things as if nothing happened.

      That usually triggered Aubree’s laughter and all the little annoyances would melt away.

      When the children, all four of them, arrived one after another, and when they were old enough, Chase taught them his Pink Panther routine. Sometimes, Aubree, and even Chase, would playfully smack their little buttocks and the children would squeal in delight and run. That usually led to noisy high octane chases all over the house. As they grew older, the children developed their own routines—from Elvis’s hip wiggles to Michael Jackson’s moon walk.

      Their home was always filled with the gaiety of laughter.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  4. I remember this episode when we were in second year of high school. We had a very strict teacher. Nobody squeaks when she steps in the classroom.
    There was one occasion when the class did poorly in a test. She marched in and we all received her usual tongue lashing, “All you Stamford Raffles can go stand in a corner or you can sit under the coconut tree and wait until the coconut drops on your head, or sleep until the cow comes home”, etc.
    After a full 10 minutes, tickled by her own words, she choked back her chuckle. The class starting laughing and she joined in too. We were spared further punishment that day.

    1. Hello Windy,

      Yes, I suppose once a person realises how ridiculous their words or actions, they end up laughing. And that is the best humour—to laugh with others rather than at others.

      I am glad none of you received punishment. No child wishes to do badly in tests. And that group laughter probably spurred all of you to do better than any amount of tongue lashing.

      Wishing you a happy weekend,
      Eric

      Laughing at oneself
      A mature and humbling trait
      Weak ones take cheap shots

      ‘You must always add acid to water,’ said Mr Zheng, the chemistry teacher. ‘This prevents a sudden release of heat and splashing which can be dangerous.’

      The children, gathered around the table in the science laboratory, gave Mr Zheng their undivided attention, as he selected a glass flask from an assortment of beakers, test tubes, and pipettes arranged on the table.

      ‘Or, is it water to acid?’ he asked himself.

      The children remained wide eyed, their focus now on the beaker of acid.

      ‘Stand back children,’ said Mr Zheng.

      He took a rubber head glass pipette and with great care—the children seeing his caution moved back even more—squeezed a drop of water.

      There was a splutter. Mr Zheng was taken aback, but recovered with a sheepish smile.

      ‘Goondu teacher,’ he said to himself, and the children laughed. Goondu meant silly or clown in Singlish slang.

      ‘Okay children, now you know,’ said Mr Zheng. ‘It’s always acid to water. And in case you forget, just remember goondu teacher.’

      The children laughed some more , and so did Mr Zheng.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    2. @Eric

      ‘You must always add [b]water to acid[/b],’ said Mr Zheng, the chemistry teacher. ‘This prevents a sudden release of heat and splashing which can be dangerous.’
      […]
      ‘Or, is it [b]water to acid[/b]?’ he asked himself. […]

      Something wrong there, I think, said he, while being quietly amazed at Eric’s prolific comments.

    3. Mr Zheng thanked you, and blamed Eric. Or, was it Eric who thanked you and blamed Mr Zheng? 🙂

      One of the two thanked Colin and said, ‘I was merely checking to see whether people actually read the comments before ticking like’.

      The other said, ‘Cut out the crap and own up to your mistake.’

      One of them cut the crap.

      But both of them said, ‘Thank you, Colin.’

      All the children laughed. ‘Goondus!’

    1. Hello Ian,

      You’re right. Some events that were once taken as serious, now come across as hilarious.

      Hope you continue to see humour hidden everywhere,
      Eric

      Levity with age
      Funny side of life revealed
      Time to pen memoir

      Julian and Chloe had been dating and her parents wanted to meet him. The big day arrived and Julian found himself running early.

      He had about an hour to kill, or so he thought, and ducked into a fast food joint. Half an hour into his soda, he realised the appointment was actually earlier than he had remembered. He grabbed his drink and rushed to the car.

      He parked along the street outside Chloe’s house and, as he got out, the drink spilled on his lap.

      ‘Hi, Jules.’

      It was Chloe at her door. Her parents stood expectantly behind her.

      Julian had no choice in the matter but to present himself with an embarrassing stain around his crotch.

      Chloe was shocked speechless but her mother pretended not to notice Julian’s discomfort.

      ‘Follow me, son,’ said Chloe’s father.

      Minutes later, an awkward and self-conscious Julian reappeared. Around his skinny waist was a tight belt that held up his future father-in-law’s oversized trousers. After a few moments of silence, they all had a good laugh.

      Though Julian joined in their laughter, he never spoke of the incident.

      Years later, when his eldest daughter brought home her boyfriend, to Chloe’s surprise, Julian related his story.

      Since that day, he never failed to recount his “wet pants” story at every opportunity.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Bill,

      I agree. A good tear-streaked laugh leaves one feeling light.

      Have a happy weekend,
      Eric

      No doctor, no gym
      Laughter, nature’s ready cure
      Fat man loses weight

      When Aiden, a successful business owner, proposed to Mia, a politician, he promised to keep her happy for the rest of her life.

      ‘I’ll make you laugh, every single day,’ said Aiden.

      ‘I’ll hold you to your promise,’ said Mia.

      He slipped a blue diamond ring on her finger.

      ‘Enjoy it while you can,’ he said. ‘I’ve to return it to the jewellers before three.’

      Mia’s face dropped long and her mouth parted. Before she reacted, Aiden landed a quick kiss on her lips.

      ‘Gotcha!’

      On their wedding day, Aiden turned out in a well-cut Italian tuxedo, and gleaming shoes. Mia wore an open back bridal gown that women would kill for.

      Throughout the wedding rites, the priest worked hard to keep a straight face. And Mia’s body shook, as if she was suppressing some emotion.

      Ripples of murmurs spread among the people seated in the pews. Everyone turned to one another but no one could shed light on what was going on. The altar boys were of no help either. They wore masks of angelic faces, made from gold foil.

      When the ceremony was over, the couple turned. Mia had laughter tears streaming down her cheeks.

      Aiden had slipped on a clown’s bulbous red nose.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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