A Couple of Short Ones

I’ve had a couple of stories that I wanted to share for quite some time (one of them was written down before I even kept a notebook of ideas for this site). I kept looking for the right moment or the right way to share them. The difficulty is that they are both rather short and it seemed like cheating or a cop-out to use them (I have no idea why I seem to think that some governing body will accuse me of writing too short a story). Then I realized what most people probably would have thought of right away. Just put them both in one post. So that’s what I did. Share and Enjoy.

In college, I had one professor who started life as a DJ (the kind on the radio, not the kind at clubs), but later earned a law degree. He started class one day by asking if anyone had any good jokes. I raised my hand. He called on me. I told a lawyer joke. It was suddenly no longer time for jokes. Unsmiling glares were very fashionable though.

He often conducted his class as if it were a courtroom. He like to keep everyone off-balance and try to trip us up with random questions. Not questions from the material, just random questions. I managed to avoid this treatment until one fateful day.

I have no idea of what class was about because my memory of it starts the moment he stopped calmly lecturing us as he wandered the room. He walked past my desk, then abruptly spun and slammed both hands on my desk. He leaned over until our faces were mere inches apart.

“What is the meaning of life?” He shouted the question. A few people jumped.

“Forty-two!” I yelled back.

He stared at me for a moment that stretched on too long. He blinked. Twice. He obviously didn’t expect an answer and yet I provided one immediately (literally just as he finished the question). I must have greatly interrupted his plan or train of thought because he slowly withdrew his hands and walked back to the front without a word. He face away from us as the rest of the class stared at me with something akin to wonder.

Then, as if nothing untoward happened, he turned around and resumed his lecture. But he avoided my area of the room. The real beauty was that I didn’t even have to think of an answer. Years of geeky reading had already prepared me for that, my finest moment in Mass Media Law and Ethics. Occasionally being a nerd pays off. Big time.

Our entire family was riding in the car one night when my daughter said something (I can’t remember what) that proved she was my child. I wish I could remember it, but what happened next is the thing I really can’t forget.

“You are so your daddy’s child!” laughed my wife.

“Why do you always say that?” asked my daughter.

“Because sometimes you are exactly like him.”

I smiled to myself. I smiled right up until I realized my daughter was pouting a bit in the back seat.

“What?” I asked her, “Don’t you want to be like Daddy?” After all, it seemed like one of the highest praised you could offer a child, though I do admit the possibility that I am the only one who thinks so.

She took a moment to answer, clearly collecting her thoughts. Then she opened her mouth and said, “Well . . . I don’t want to be weird.”

Chrisie erupted in laughter. I joined in because I honestly couldn’t contradict her. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.

© Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Leighton Brown is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information, please see the Copyright page.

About leighton

I could be considered a true Renaissance Man after having a long and storied (seriously, people actually tell stories about it) college experience and varied careers. I am also a shameless self-promoter (who did you think was writing this anyway?) who is prone to flights of fancy, an abundance of passion on any given subject, ,obsessive behavior, spontaneous storytelling (whether anyone listens or not), and making parenthetical references. I would also be thrilled if I heard someone use the word "raconteur" to describe me.
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1 Response to A Couple of Short Ones

  1. That is just too funny!

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