short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Use Wit to Solve Problems

Wit, in both senses of the word--quick thinking and humor--can do much to turn a difficult situation into a solved problem without encountering a lot of emotional stress. Wit can be used in very many situations. I know because nearly daily I end up in a problem situation.

One day, for example, as I reached the turnstile at Rosslyn metro station outside Washington, DC, I realized that I had forgotten my fare card on the train seat. There were machines aplenty--turnstiles, telephones, add-fares, but no way to get another fare card. Hm...

Figuring that humans would solve my problem better than machines, I approached the metro agent and asked, "What evil befalls a person who is foolish enough to leave her fare card inside the train?"

He laughed and said, "Well, that happened to be about 12 years ago, and I have been here ever since."

"Oh, my goodness!" I responded. "Your family must wonder what ever became of you!"

"I guess they must," he answered, and opened the gate. "I'd better let you go back to yours so that they don't wonder the same."

My dilemma seemed to bring a little fun into his day, and his witty retort gave both of us a laugh. Of course, with a friendly relationship established, he had no choice but to let me out. So, we both ended up with some laughter--and a problem solved.

My daughter, Lizzie, has used this technique well, especially with police officers. She really is a good driver, but things just seem to happen to her.

Once, as she was driving along, minding her own business, a furniture truck in front of her dropped a mattress onto the road. Thinking quickly, she detoured around the mattress and emerged onto the road on the far side--safely, she thought. Whap! She was rear-ended by the driver behind her who had ploughed through and over the mattress and into her. Instead of getting upset, she reacted with humor. When the officer on the scene asked her what had happened, she replied, "I was fine with the required, but unmarked, detour, but the guy behind me failed to turn right at the mattress. I guess he was tired and needed to hit the mattress."

Another time, she was exceeding the speed limit by a bit. At that point, she noticed red flashing lights in her rear-view mirror. As a young female driver, she was often stopped for various and sundry things by young male police officers, and after some laughter and flirting, they always let her off. This time, however, it was not a sundry thing. She clearly was in violation of the speed limit. She pulled over, and the police officer approached her car.

"Were you aware of how fast you were going?" he asked.

"Not until I saw you," she replied honestly.

After he finished laughing, he gave her only a verbal warning. Released (again) on a laugh!


Excerpted and adapted from a collection of vignettes I published, copyright 2003.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.