Many years ago, my first boyfriend told me I was “easily amused,” which is true, and as it turns out, becoming truer as I age. The bar for entertainment keeps dropping, and with the help of Ken, who is also easily amused, we are finding new lows in daily delights.
A lot of our amusement comes from our cat and dog, and lately, posing a giant plastic rat with our animals. The animals know it isn’t a real rat, which is unfortunate, but they don’t mind us piling it on them as they sleep.
Enjoying such stupidity opens up life’s magic in all corners. We find ourselves laughing at the taste of the new oatmeal-dark chocolate granola bars, a cartoon on facebook about bluetooth representing men and wifi representing women, the way our son vacuum-mouths out the contents of the refrigerator (interspersed with bouts of mild rage), a crocus breaking through the grass, and all manner of things babies, small animals and acrobats on the internet can do.
I do want to clarify that all this doesn’t mean we don’t think critically; quite the contrary actually. The more easily amused I am at watching the cat watch a giant plastic rat, the more honed my senses seem to be for questioning potential meanings in a poem I’m writing or an article I’m reading. I think this works for the same reason it worked for me to intersperse writing my dissertation with reading tabloid magazines. In any case, life — as well as the tabloids — is full of pregnant aliens, flying saucers in the kitchen, and plastic giant rats, and why not enjoy them all as easily and fully as possible?
As I get ready to post this, Ken picks up a piece of junk mail from a local funeral home — a survey asking “How old are you?” and other questions. “Hand me a pen,” he says, laughing. We crack up over the question, “Are you aware that prepaid funerals exist?” Easily amused? Definitely.