When is the last time you laughed so hard you literally had tears running down your face? It doesn’t happen often. It’s the most glorious feeling in the world when something sparks an uncontrolled outburst of laughter. I have to share a story that made my sides and my cheeks hurt. I could hardly breath – no exaggeration! My sister-in-law told this story a few weeks ago – she heard it from one of her friends.
A friend of a friend living in London (this is key) had a dog that died. She called the vet to ask about how to properly dispose of the dog in the crowded, paved-over city of London. The vet advised her to bring the dog down to the clinic, where they could take care of everything for her. How was she going to manage that? It was suggested she could just put it in a bag of some sort and get a taxi. Apparently that was too expensive, so she opted for stuffing this not-very-small-now-dead dog into an old suitcase and taking the underground instead.
All went according to plan, until she arrived at her destination station, and was faced with a long staircase up to street level, with no escalator, or lift, in sight. If you’ve been to London, you know what I’m talking about. She was struggling up the stairs, when a friendly gentleman (or so it seemed) offered to help carry the case up the stairs for her. Goodness me! It’s rather heavy. What have you got in here then? The only thing she should could think of, which might explain the weight of it, was computer equipment.
No sooner had he heard that it was computer equipment, than he bounded up the remaining stairs with herculean strength and disappeared into the crowded street. Imagine his surprise when he opened that suitcase!
If you research this on the internet, you’ll find the story retold in various forms and labeled as an ‘urban legend’. No matter. None of us knew that at the time. The telling that early morning in our sleepy group of ladies brought us all alive and filled us with care-free laughter. It was precious.
This story reminds me of the adult short stories by Roald Dahl I read in my 20s (for example, Collected Stories Everyman’s Library or Switch Bitch). Each one of them has a zinger ending that delights and surprises. Great entertaining vacation reading, if you’re looking for something different.