Humor is in The Ear of the Beholder
A while back, I was an educational keynote speaker for the South Georgia Community Action and Head Start in Moultrie, Georgia.
Arriving at dinner time Sunday night, I went to Applebees for a bite to eat before checking into my hotel. Ordering a beer with my meal, the waitress says, “We don’t serve beer on Sunday.” Thinking it was just a Chick-fil-A type of thing, I substituted a cup of coffee.
I stop at a Shell Station on my way to the hotel. Putting some bottled water and a single beer on the counter, the clerk looks horrified. “You can’t buy beer on Sunday in Moultrie. If you go up the road a piece, you can buy it in Tifton.”
As I say, “Thank you, I don’t care to invest that kind of time.” I notice we’ve been joined by two Moultrie policemen. The taller of the two says, “We don’t drink alcohol on Sundays in Moultrie.”
“Oh I bet people drink alcohol in Moultrie on Sundays. They just have sense enough to buy it on Saturday,” I said.
That was a mistake. The other asks, “Where you from?”
“Well that’d ‘splain it.”
“That smart Yankee mouth of yourn. You down here on vacation?”
I go, “If I was taking a vacation in south Georgia, I’d go to Tifton where I could get a cold one on Sunday night.”
Another mistake. I was the only one who thought that was funny. That is until the next morning.
I have a piece explaining that just because you have thoughts about a subject doesn’t mean your thoughts are based in reality. I open this with, “I’ll have a beer after a show, but my wife, Twyla doesn’t drink, neither of us ever did drugs, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.” During my keynote on Monday I said, “I’ll have a beer after a show, unless it’s on a Sunday night in Moultrie, Georgia, then I’ll be drinking Coca Cola just like the rest of you.”
The room erupted. I told them the story about my encounter at the Shell Station, saying, “Only in south Georgia could an Oklahoman be considered a Yankee. You know we weren’t even part of the Union when you had that squabble with the North.”
Noticing at least 98% of the audience was African-American women, I finished with, “And you ever notice the only people who use the word Yankee are white men?” The room exploded.
Laughter truly does matter.
Known as the “World’s Cleanest” comedian and speaker, Kent Rader helps people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress. Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and co-stars in The Baby Boomer Comedy Show, Clean Comedy For People Born Before Seat Belts.
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Known as the "World's Cleanest Comedian and Speaker," Kent helps people and associations learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress and building successful, profitable organizations.
Kent graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri with a B.S. in Accounting. He survived five years in public accounting and twelve years as C.F.O. and C.E.O. of hospitals before becoming a professional speaker in 1997.
Kent is the author of the stress reduction book "Let It Go, Just Let It Go" and co-stars with Jan McInnis in the Baby Boomer Comedy Show, "Clean Comedy for People Born Before Seat Belts, Safety Helmets, and Facebook.
He has been heard on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Sirius Satellite radio.
Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and has been seen on Comcast's comedy show, "Who's Laughing Now." His clean, stand-up comedy DVD-CD titled "Kent Rader: The Grand Wizard of Comedy" was released in 2014.