Week One. LJ Idol. Buckle your seatbelts.
Jayus–From Indonesian, a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.
Back in the dark annals of history, I was the Baptist minister’s daughter. I went to youth group. I was on the youth group puppeteering squad (until I quit), Teen Choir (until I quit), and Praise Band (yeah, quit that too). I was also that kid who, literally, laughed and whispered in the face of danger; that is, my mother sitting in the choir loft.
But I laughed a lot.
Look, I’m perpetually twelve. If you leave the door open just a crack for sexual innuendo or fart jokes, I come crashing in like the Kool-Aid man. I giggle every time I change The Toddler’s diaper and he looks around, waving The Hubs off, “Watch out! Poop!” I almost choked on an Altoid when I was fifteen and said to my mother, who was wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt, “I thought there was a stain on your shirt, but it turned out just to be Pooh.”
I have a professional job in a professional setting, kids. Scary.
In the middle of church, one fateful Sunday, my father was discussing prayer requests. He was talking about my friend Greg’s mom, who had cancer. He thanked church goers for praying for her and sending food over for the family.
My other friend, Candy, leaned over and what my ears heard was, “My mom pooped for her.”
I died. Literally, right there, I laughed so hard that I almost had to excuse myself to leave the sanctuary and take a pee. I said, “Your mom what??“
She looked at me like I had fourteen heads. “She cooked for her. What did you think I said?”
“That your mom pooped for her!”
Yeah, got in trouble for that one. “Heather. I could see you from the choir loft. You were laughing. In church. Didn’t you see me looking at you?”
Yes. Yes I did.
Ultimately, the biggest Sunday morning church service laugh riot happened with the same two cohorts, Candy and Greg, who (as a side note) I’m friends with to this day. We’re much older now, but once upon a time, we were approximately sixteen or seventeen years old. Sitting in church. Misbehaving. (“Heather. Can you not see me from the choir loft?”)
My dad was talking about getting into heaven, as is often the case in church. He was discussing the church pews and the small, gold plaques that are on the ends. These said plaques dedicate the pews to church goers who…I always assumed sat in those pews, but I guess it was just attended the church. Anyway, he said, “Your name doesn’t have to be on a pew to get into heaven.”
Greg leaned over. “Who would name their kid that?”
I looked at him. “What?”
“Onapew. Who would name their kid that?”
I cannot adequately describe the mixture of horror and pain that overcame me–pain from the uproarious howl of laughter that I was suppressing in my lungs. “No no no no, not Onapew. On. A. Pew. Your name doesn’t have to be On A Pew in order to get into heaven.”
He looked at me, slowly shaking his head. “I know. But I still don’t understand who would name their kid that.”
Over lunch, my dad asked me exactly what we’d been laughing about. I explained and, he too, howled. So, it was only fitting that when I had to determine my screen name on AOL Instant messenger, I chose the name Onapew. Because, despite the fact that no one should name their kid that, I’ll make it my internet pseudonym and meet my husband under that moniker.
And, yes, I still giggle in church. And, “I thought there was a stain on your shirt….” still makes me laugh inappropriately hard.