Funny bones and vaccinations

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, April 8, 2021

a disposable mask with a tears-of-laughter emoji wearing glasses superimposed on it

In the darkness of these Covid times it’s nice to have a chuckle or two. Just the other day, for instance, our longtime coffee companion Leanne Forest sent me an oldie but goodie that took me back to my teenaged years when I helped out in my father’s upholstery shop.

My job as a tack remover was to liberate customers’ chairs and sofas of their old, worn-out upholstery in preparation for their new coverings. Yup, I could really connect with Leanne’s headline item:

“Man shot 200 times with upholstery gun. Surgeons revealed he is now ‘fully recovered.’”

Ah, the joy of a good joke – and timely, too! This coming Sunday is known in many Christian churches as Holy Hilarity Sunday (or Holy Humour Sunday, or Bright Sunday). I’ll let another of our longtime readers, Jack Popjes, explain.

Jack is a Bible translator and writer famous – or notorious, if you prefer – for his sense of humour. He gave expression to his wit in his 2017 book, A Tickle in the Funny Bone (available on Amazon).

But “Holy Hilarity Sunday”? That’s the Sunday immediately following Easter. It’s in honour of the victory of the Light over darkness, “God’s Holy Joke, the Easter laugh,” Jack explains:

“Things had been going Satan’s way right up to the moment that Jesus’ scarred corpse rose to glorious life again. On Easter morning, God suddenly turned the tables and revealed that Satan had played into God’s hands,” Jack says.

“What a horrible surprise! Satan and his forces suddenly realized they were defeated. No doubt they smacked their infernal foreheads and groaned, ‘If only we had known!’ But they hadn’t. God in His wisdom had kept His age-old plan of redemption hidden from Satan.”

And thus, the contemplative darkness of Lent leading up to Easter is replaced by lighthearted humour to enjoy “the Cosmic Joke that God played on Satan.”

Jack sent me the following example of his Holy Hilarity humour for this Sunday:

“Back in the pre-Covid years, a pastor was greeting people as they left the Easter morning church service, when he stopped one man and said, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen you since Christmas, brother. You need to join the Army of the Lord and come to church weekly.’ The man leaned over to the pastor and whispered, ‘I am in the Army of the Lord, but active in the Secret Service.’”

Ah, an angel unaware!

Speaking of Covid, I certainly don’t want to trivialize what is continuing as a global crisis.

Our photographer/priest coffee companion, Fred Monk (former pastor at Cochrane’s St. Mary’s Church, now retired and living in Medicine Hat), learned that my wife Mary Anna and I were about to receive our second vaccination, and he thought he’d better give us a heads-up. He alerted us to an item about an elderly chap who had recently gone into the vaccination centre for his own second dose after an uneventful first dose.

“Afterwards on the way home he began to have blurred vision. When he got home, he called the vaccination centre for advice and to ask if he should go see a doctor or be hospitalized. He was told NOT to go to a doctor or a hospital, but just return to the vaccination centre and pick up his glasses!”


© 2021 Warren Harbeck

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