A Funny Speaker Looks at Funny Studies

I may make a living as a funny speaker, but I’ve got some smart thoughts about some stupid studies.

 

a funny speaker looks at funny government studies funny speaker A Funny Speaker Looks at Funny Studies paper2 e1452969540244

A Funny Speaker looks at “Funny” Studies

Some people wouldn’t see things the way I do.    Certainly other speakers, those that are motivational, inspirational, or informational.  But when you’re a funny speaker, you see funny things all the time.  Even in studies and government research projects that aren’t supposed to be humorous.  So since we have a federal financial crisis with massive deficit spending, I thought I’d weigh in on this subject and offer a suggestion that both the far left and the far right and everyone in between could agree on:  stop with the “studies”.  You know what I’m talking about, those massively expensive surveys and research projects, often federally funded, that end up telling us something we all know.

 

A recent one was the multi-million dollar study that concluded British Petroleum was mainly responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few summers ago.  Really?  Was there another prime suspect?  Was it Shamu?  I guess the fact that BP accepted responsibility for the disaster made the government somewhat suspicious, so they wanted to verify what everybody knew with a lengthy study.  Glad they got to the bottom of that mystery.

 

How about this one:  College Students Sleep Longer When Classes Start Later In Day.  This revelation ranks right up there with the discovery of gravity.  Who could possibly have known this?  Oh I don’t know, maybe anyone who has ever gone to college, or anyone who has known someone that went to college, or anyone who has heard about someone going to college, or anyone who is conscious. 

 

Contemplate this juicy research on the subject of weight loss:   

Diet and Exercise are More Effective Than Either Method Alone, Genetics Also a Factor.  WOW!  Now that’s an epiphany!  I’m fairly sure we knew the genetic connection.  Redd Foxx used to say, “follow an ugly boy home from school and see who let’s him in the house”.

 

And here’s another:  Forgetfulness Might Predict Cognitive Decline.  Isn’t this a redundant study?  I’m thinking that if I’m forgetting stuff more frequently, I might not be as sharp as I used to be.  In other words, I would be experiencing cognitive decline.  So not only does forgetfulness predict cognitive decline, IT IS COGNITIVE DECLINE.

 

Maybe we could just have a new cable television channel to showcase these studies.  I could host it.  Should we call it “A Funny Speaker looks at Funny Studies”?   No way, it ought to be named the “No, Duh” network.  But before we move ahead on this idea, we need to see if there’s a need.  We better have a study.

 

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker Hosts a Food Show. WHAT???

A funny speaker knows nothing about food, but still hosts a food show funny speaker A Funny Speaker Hosts a Food Show. WHAT??? food

A Funny Speaker hosts a Food Show

When you’re a funny speaker and emcee, you often get thrown into situations you never thought you’d experience.

Not too long ago I worked one of the coolest gigs I’ve ever had.  I presented a couple of programs for a food service wholesaler and also served as the emcee for cooking demonstrations during the two-day show.  And yes, for those that know me, I’m aware that you’re laughing.  A make a living as a funny speaker and would starve to death if I was a chef.  Pun intended.  The kitchen is foreign territory to me.  About all I can do is grill.  That’s because danger is involved. Give me a chance to lop off a finger or singe off an eyebrow and I’m all over it.  I just don’t know “food and drink”.  The only thing I know is that the best beer is the third one.

My job was to interview these professional chefs as they dazzled the audience with their culinary skills. And by the way, these guys were rock stars in this profession and also seasoned pros with a mic.  All were alumni of the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen”, so here’s a shout-out to my new pals Rock Harper, Kevin Cottle, & Van Hurd.  I wandered into this not knowing what to expect, but in the end mainly just sampled the food they were preparing. Turns out, I’m good at that.  I tried to stay away from trite statements like “wow” or “excellent” or “mmm”.  Instead I called upon my expert wordsmith skills and offered brilliant commentary like “nice” and “yum” and “goody, goody”.  I am a pro.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure they were impressed when I told them I thought the world’s most perfect food was the Corn Dog.  (Meat wrapped in a vegetable on a stick.  Does it get any better than that? I think not.)  Nor did they laugh when I told them that researchers had discovered the gene that causes obesity.  It’s Gene Schwindleman, the guy who invented cupcakes.

I tried to make this a learning experience for them too.  I gave them advice that only a non-chef would think about, but nonetheless important stuff.  Things like…when faced with a choice, always buy fruit instead of vegetables because when fruit rots you can make wine. Try doing that with asparagus.  Or when you cook Cornish Hens, blindfold your parrot if you have one.  You don’t want him to think he’s next.  And since chocolate can reduce the chance of stroke and boost your immune system, put chocolate on EVERYTHING!

These guys have inspired me.  Cooking is now cool!  In the past the only thing I could make was a dinner reservation, but now I’m turning over a new leaf of Romaine lettuce and going to learn how to operate more than a can opener.  Chances are it might be a while before I’m an expert though.  At this point I don’t even know what wine goes with cottage cheese.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

 

What Can Lift Up A Funny Speaker?

a funny speaker gets serious  funny speaker What Can Lift Up A Funny Speaker? baby hand

A Funny Speaker gets Serious

A funny speaker is supposed to make a joke about everything, right?  Not in this case. 

This will be a vast departure from any previous writing.  I have always attempted to make my newsletters uplifting.  When you make a living as a funny speaker, people expect that.  Humor does that.  But that’s not the only thing that can lift you up.

Our family experienced some tough times a little over a month ago.  My cousin’s son, who was named after my father, passed away due to complications from diabetes.  He was a young man with young children.  Two days later my niece and her husband lost their newborn baby.  A double tragedy.

Believe me when I say, I’m not writing this for sympathy or to call attention to myself.  It was the prose that my nephew wrote that provided the “lift” we all needed.  Despite being in his early 20’s, he has the wisdom of a thousand men.  When I grow up, I wanna be just like him.  I had to share it with you.  This is what he wrote about the son he had just lost:

We are truly blessed.  So much love and support for our little boy, it is phenomenal to say the least.  DJ came to us by the grace of God to enrich our lives in the time we had together.  He gave us a glimpse of what’s to come before Jesus called him back to Heaven, to keep those we have previously lost, in good company.  My love and shear appreciation of meeting my little angel significantly outweighs my sadness and pain from him leaving too soon.  I’m beyond thrilled at the quick impact he made in hearts and minds of others as well as myself.  The words I am expressing do not begin to do him justice.  I find comfort in knowing that he will guide me through the rest of my days on this earth.  One thing DJ taught me is that life is too short to not face head on.

Do your best while you’re here and everything else will fall into place.  He did just that and I am honored to call him my son.  It’s never goodbye, just “see you later”.  I did not lose a son, I gained an Angel.  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4″

I’m humbled.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker Looks at Road Construction

Funny speaker and road construction Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker Looks at Road Construction ROADconst

Funny Speaker sees Funny Signs

A funny speaker gets to travel a lot.  And that’s annoying after a while.  Particularly when you’re navigating road construction.

Most of my work as a funny speaker involves travel by plane, but lately I’ve spent more time than normal traveling by car.  I’m glad this happened when fuel prices spiked.  I have excellent timing.  Got that goin’ for me. 

I don’t know if it’s residual stimulus money or not, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much road construction.  A lot of the work was way overdue, like the other day when I saw a pothole in a pothole, a recent inductee into the “Pothole Hall of Fame”.  But some of the work I truly believe is optional, like those Round-Abouts.  Those are all the craze in Europe, but they just make me dizzy.  If I want to drive in a circle and turn left, I’ll enter a NASCAR event.

I’ve never seen so many construction signs and I think I could save the government some money.  Just buy two road signs that say “No Road Construction Ahead” and put them the two places in the country where there isn’t any work going on.  I haven’t seen those two places, but I’m sure they’ve got to exist. 

As you might guess, I’m constantly looking for funny stuff as a funny speaker, and road signs are a bonanza for this.  Like when there are several signs in a row and I’m faced with the dilemma:  do I read them together as though they are a story instead of independent signs?  Case in point:  I see a sign that says “Flagman Ahead”, then a few hundred yards down the road a sign that says “No Shoulders”.  Really?  I’m glad they hired him, but how does he do it?  And some of the signs make absolutely no sense.  I actually saw this sign:  “Lane Closed to Ease Congestion”.  What?  I’ve always thought that shutting down lanes helped traffic flow, didn’t you?  The only thing I know about lane closure is that it’s just a game to see how many people can pass you on the right and squeeze in before they hit the construction barrels.  This despite the fact that the “Right Lane Closed” sign was posted two miles back.

So here are my road construction truisms I assimilated after my last few thousand road construction miles. 

1.  Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work.  This is self-explanatory.  And you shouldn’t explain to someone that something is self-explanatory, unless you’re just wanting to imply they’re so stupid they might need an explanation.  So just forget that I said this was self-explanatory.

2.  Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you no matter how fast you’re going.  If you do, that space will be filled in by someone else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3.  The number of cones is inversely proportional to the amount of work being done.  Two miles of cones will often mean one pothole is being filled.  In these cases, it often takes more time to place the cones that to actually do the work.

So the next time you see more Orange Cones on the highway than you do Pine Cones in the forest, just remember you’re not really a tourist this summer, you’re a detourist.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker at the Post Office

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Funny Speaker at the Post Office

Going to the Post Office sometimes (0kay, every time) requires patience.  Particularly if you’re a funny speaker with a short attention span.

Every time.  Not some of the time.  Every time.   

I swear every time I go to the post office, I get behind THAT PERSON.  You know THAT PERSON.  You may be THAT PERSON.  They come in several forms. 

THE STAMP COLLECTOR:  Should I get teddy bears or daisies?  Do you have any Elvis commemorative stamps?  And everyone better get comfy if it’s close to a holiday, ’cause this is gonna take a while.  Come to think of it, it’s always close to a holiday.  Christmas stamps.  Valentine’s Day stamps.  National Cheez Whiz Day stamps.  So here’s a newsflash if you’re one of these people.  The recipient doesn’t care.  It’s a stamp.  It’s gonna end up in the trash.  But if you feel you’ve got to “theme” your mail, try to make a decision before I’m drawing social security.

THE BEST BUDDY:  These people have one goal:  become BFF with the postal clerk, regardless of how long it takes and how long the line is behind them.  They go on and on with one uninteresting anecdote after another.  Trust me, no one wants to know about Aunt Myrtle’s prostate surgery.  (Actually, that would be interesting.)

THE INDECISION MAKERThese people have been living in a cave and want to know every possible shipping option available.  “How much is insurance for $100?  What about $200?  Does delivery confirmation cost anything?  What about parcel post?  So what’s media mail?  Is this the flat rate shipment box?  How much more for priority?  How do I track it?  When will it get there?  Do dogs really bite you guys?  What’s the best remedy for gout?  And then…all those questions again with the next package.  Really?  While I’m waiting in line I could read a book.  Check that, I could write a book.

THE BULK MAILER:  This person has been packaging items for two months and is bringing in all 27 of them with hopes of a group discount.  Wrong answer, but thank you for playing.  How does this person with a loaded dolly always get there just a split second ahead of me?  Next time I run that red light.

THE BATHING OPTIONAL:  It’s just the post office, so personal hygiene is apparently not mandatory.  You’d think they could smell themselves.  The clerk can.  He’s passing out.  And don’t comb that hair either.  You wouldn’t want to disturb the nest of rabbits.

Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night will keep these people away from me.  I attract them like flies to honey.  So if you’re THAT PERSON, I’m gonna make a request.  Give me a break and head on over to the self-service kiosk.  You can buy a kitty-cat stamp there too.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker can be Motivated by a Check

A funny speaker battles the elements Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker can be Motivated by a Check SnowCar

Funny Speaker and Good Times

Being a funny speaker isn’t all fun all the time.  Particularly when you’re battling the elements and a fat foot.

Some of you know I’ve had my foot in a cast, and then a boot for a while.  I’m getting better, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to run a 10 flat hundred or dunk a basketball anytime soon.  But that’s probably because I couldn’t do those things before.

This has tested my patience at times though, like when I was in Fargo, North Dakota a few weeks back.  I included North Dakota in that sentence in case you thought I was talking about Fargo, Oklahoma, because who would go to North Dakota in the dead of winter, right?  That would be me.  I think it was because the client had a check.  Pretty sure that was the reason.

Crutches.  An open-toed cast.  A backpack.  Those are the key parts of this story.  Oh, and one other thing…the weather.  The high that day was gonna be 5 below.  That’s the high.  Toasty.  And they said it might “flurry”.  Well, it ended up flurrying for seven hours.  It was a major “flurry”.  These conditions were exacerbated by a constant 30 mile-per-hour wind.   Time for a picnic.  I’m gonna drive to Minneapolis because they’re gonna get all the way to 1.  Yep, 1 degree.  That doesn’t even sound like a temperature.  That sounds like the loneliest number.  Which is the way I felt.  Actually, I’m going to the twin cities because the client has a check.  Pretty sure that was the reason.  By now you’ve figured out I’m more a capitalist than a speaker.

I step out of the hotel to get to my rental car and catch a patch of ice and a gust of wind.  That’s an ugly combination when you’re on crutches.  As I lay in a fresh pile of “flurry”, it made me wonder how I ever thought playing in the snow as a kid was fun.  In case you’ve forgot, it’s cold.  It’s particularly cold on exposed toes.  I had bought a stocking cap to put over the end of my foot, but it flew off in the not-so-graceful, scissor-kick, pratfall.  It managed to land in the middle of some recently plowed dirty and wet snow.  Cold or cold AND wet?  Gonna go with just cold, so the stocking cap got left behind.

I have to take my gloves off to get the car keys from my pocket.  In those 1.2 seconds, my fingers turn to icicles.  Minimal dexterity.  So I drop the keys into a snowdrift.  This is the same snowdrift that has completely covered my car.  Like a dog getting ready to bury a bone, I’m trying to retrieve my keys by digging on all fours…actually three, ’cause I’ve got my frostbitten toes of my broken foot up off of the ground so they can experience the wind chill factor.  I find the keys just as I lose feeling in all my extremities.  As I remove my backpack, I drop it as well.  You HAD to see that coming.  I somehow open the door with my elbows and a wind sheer blows most of the seven hours of flurry into the front seat.  My car is now an igloo.  Nice. 

The drive to Minneapolis was delightful as all the snow started melting inside the car.  The only way I can keep my cast dry and out of the ice and slush is by propping my leg up on the dash.  This is not easy…and probably not safe.  And I’m not that flexible.  I pull a hamstring.

But I made it to the twin cities and guess what?  It had stopped flurrying and the client had a check.  That’s why I laugh about trips like this.  The check.  I’m pretty sure that’s the reason.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message.

 

A Funny Speaker and his Resolutions

Resolutions of a Funny Speaker Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker and his Resolutions Resolutions

Funny Speaker Resolutions

Just because I’m a funny speaker in the motivational speaking industry, doesn’t mean I can’t fail at New Years resolutions like everybody else

I’ve always thought resolutions were something that went in one year and out the other.  They’re soft goals that seldom get met because they just fizzle out over time.  And the bigger deal you make out of them, the bigger disappointment you will become to yourself and others when they fizzle.  And they will.  It’s just hard to set a goal and do it FOR A YEAR!  So my resolution as a funny speaker is to make more doable resolutions.  Here they are.

I resolve to not get frustrated when I hit a yellow light.  I’ll just leave the house one-half a light sooner.

I resolve to pay more attention when channel surfing.  I accidentally stopped on “Real Housewives of New York City” the other day and caught my first glimpse of living brain transplant donors.  And this is their sixth season????

I resolve to stop being such a tightwad by buying single-ply toilet paper.  What was I thinking?  It actually should be against the law to sell such stuff.  Totally ineffective.  I’ll spare you the grossness of this discussion, but if you’re thinking of trying to save a few cents, don’t do it at the expense of your behind.

I resolve to stop trying to pick up that little piece of persistent lint with the vacuum sweeper.  I know you do this too.  That little thing that is somehow intertwined into the carpet and instead of bending over and picking it up, you go over and over and over it with the sweeper.  First this way, then that way, then back the first way again.  Take a deep breath, stretch your hamstrings out, bend over, and pick the dang thing up.

I resolve to stop making fun of the “SLOW MEN WORKING” sign at road construction sites.  It was one of the first jokes I ever heard and I’ve never been able to get it out of my head.  If they wanted us to not make fun of it, they should’ve put a comma after “SLOW”.  Same with “FOR RESTROOM USE ESCALATOR”.  How about a little punctuation people!

I resolve to stop pounding keys and buttons when something’s not working or not going fast enough.  This applies to any remote control, touch screen, or keyboard.  I can’t seem to help myself.  Even when I approach an elevator and people are waiting and the “UP” button light is already on, I’m still compelled to hit that button again.  Do I have magic fingers?

I resolve to accept the fact that women are incessant bed makers.  Recently, I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and when I got back, my wife (who is nocturnal) had made the bed.  Men believe that if you’re going to be back within 24 hours, what’s the point?

I resolve to stop lying on the phone when somebody asks, “did I wake you?”  Here’s the truth:  I was sleeping.  I’m gettin’ old.  I take naps.  Sometimes I take a nap before I go to bed.

I resolve to continue my efforts to fight for a sarcasm font.  It would make writing this blog a whole lot easier.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

Even Funny Speakers have to Christmas Shop

bad gift ideas from a funny speaker Funny Speaker Even Funny Speakers have to Christmas Shop Presents

Funny Speaker Gift No-Nos

I’m not just someone who makes a living as a funny speaker, I’m also a champion procrastinator. 

So here’s my take on Christmas presents since there’s only a few days left to finish your shopping.  Well, that’s the woman’s perspective.  A funny speaker like me sees it a bit differently:  there’s a few days left before I have to start my Christmas shopping.  

I just don’t think shopping and men go together.  I’ve always believed that was one of the biggest differences between the genders.  Personally, shopping just drives me crazy.  I’m not a shopper, I’m a buyer.  My method generally has three steps:

1.  Grab a catalog.

2.  Go to the bathroom.

3.  Pick something out.

And I think the gender differences in shopping can be summarized this way:  A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn’t need, whereas a man will pay $2 for a $1 item he does need.  Bottom line, we’ve both got shopping flaws.

It’s also true that men prefer shopping online more than shopping in a mall.  That may be because there aren’t any naked women in the mall, but you can find a lot of them online.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.

So if you’re one of those procrastinators, don’t put your shopping off any longer or you’ll end up giving your mom some beef jerky from QuickTrip (personal experience).  And if you do that traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas” thing, here’s another twelve items you should avoid.

1.   An overdue library book.

2.   A box of chocolates that have been sampled.

3.   Any item that has a “clearance” sticker on it.

4.   Deodorant or fake hair.  These aren’t good gifts ever, ever, ever.

5.   A gift that you gave your brother earlier for his birthday.  Definitely if it was personalized.

6.   Granny panties.  Even if the person is a Granny.  Particularly if the person is your Granny.

7.   Knitting supplies to someone who doesn’t knit.  This is too busy of a time to take up a new hobby.

8.   A pound of ground beef.  Two words:  E Coli.

9.   An autographed picture of yourself.

10.  Anything from a garage sale.

11.  Statues of naked people.

12.  Pants extenders.

This isn’t the all inclusive list of no-nos.  There are thousands more.  These are just a few that haven’t worked for me.

Maybe I should start earlier?

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message  

Does the IRS hate Funny Speakers?

IRS hates Funny Speakers Funny Speaker Does the IRS hate Funny Speakers? IRSone

IRS and a Funny Speaker

I’m beginning to think that a career as a funny speaker “red flags” you for an audit from the IRS.

Why?  Well, you might not believe this, but I just completed my fourth audit in six years.  I didn’t mistype.  Four of the last six tax years I’ve been audited by the IRS.  I should have never changed my name to “Mark Teaparty”.  Okay, that’s a joke.  But at this point I almost have to joke about it.  Almost.

You probably think I keep getting audited because I’m trying to deduct absurd expenses or just not reporting income.  Nope.  Never been one penny of adjustment in any of my audits, except for 2007 when there was an error IN MY FAVOR!  Actually got a refund after that audit.  So why me?

I’m guessing I keep getting tagged due to some of my non-conformist answers during that first audit.

EXAMINER:  I’d like to see your records.

ME:  Great, I brought my Neil Diamond collection.

 

EXAMINER:  Some of these expenses look funny.

ME:  So laugh, I’m a comedian, they’re supposed to be funny.

 

EXAMINER:  Do you prepare your own taxes?

ME:  Yep, and business was slow this year so I only had to cheat a little.

 

EXAMINER:  Did you have any bad loans?

ME:  I loaned a friend of mine $15,000 for plastic surgery, and now I don’t know what he looks like.

 

As it turns out, most examiners are not zany madcaps. Who knew?

My examiner informed me that the “computer” does select audit possibilities, but the final determination is made by the “human eye”.  Now I know what Stevie Wonder is doing in his spare time.  I did ask why I keep getting audited.  She said it was because my travel expenses and car expenses were very high.  I then reminded her I travel for a living.  Of course I said that in the most respectful way I knew.  It’s important to brush up on your use of the word “sir” or “ma’am” for your audit (I learned that in my first examination).  The discussion of this travel issue made me realize that until the “Beam Me Up Scotty” technology is perfected, I can look forward to many more audits.  Goodie.

Each audit I always take away a little “gem” that’s worth remembering.  This time it was when the examiner told me the audit would be easier if I had a printed list of EVERY expense in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.  You can’t make something like that up.  By easier, she meant easier for her.  I think she discounted the fact that it would add a few hours to my tax preparation time.  About a million.  But I faked sincerity and said, “ma’am that’s a great idea, I’ll sure do that for my next audit”.  My fingers were crossed when I said that.

Just a simple request from a Funny Speaker Funny Speaker Does the IRS hate Funny Speakers? IRStwo

A Letter from a Funny Speaker

There was a lot of good news in this last audit though.  First, there was no adjustment…again.  Secondly, I was complimented on how organized and prepared I was.  Four audits in six years will do that to you.  By the way, do you know anybody that has developed a worksheet template for an audit?  Now you do.  Her compliment about me being prepared made the hours of audit preparation and actual examination time all worthwhile.  It was one of the most heartfelt things ever said to me and I will cherish it forever.  Oops, I’m faking that sincerity thing again, aren’t I?

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker Turns 60

60 is easy for this funny speaker.

A Funny Speaker poses with his girls Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker Turns 60 GirlsPosed

Funny Speaker with his Girls

My spectacular daughters threw a surprise 60th birthday party for me.   And yes, I’m okay with being 60.  Beats the options.  This party was the most creative and amazing function I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen a few.  The surprise, the videos, the game show, the banners, the photo booth, the Dee-Jay, the food…it was unbelievable.  I got to see so many dear friends and loving family members, but for me the focus was still on my kids.  I got unbelievably lucky with these two girls and have been thinking about them ever since that party.  It made me remember one of my favorite times with them.

Growing up, they loved to travel with me to gigs.  We’ve had some great trips over the last 30 plus years and since I was working, it was always like a paid vacation.  Theme parks, historical sites, nice hotels, even the Oval Office.  But nothing ever beat…room service.

There may be no greater traveling joy for a little kid than room service.  Pick up a phone, order some food, have it brought to you, and then just leave the mess for somebody else to clean up.  Can’t do that at home, unless you’re planning on it being your last meal.

My girls and I are at a nice resort at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and the room service has a feature that I’d never seen before, but is now commonplace.  It’s the card you fill out for breakfast room service and place outside your door the night before.  That’s standard practice now, but in the early 80’s hadn’t caught on yet.

Leah and Lindsay are 8 and 6 and think they’ve gone to room service heaven.  This is so cool.  Leah was reading and writing by then, and insisted on filling out the card.  Her sister Lindsay and I were placing our “order” with her.  As was normally the case when it came to food and the three of us, we couldn’t agree on anything.

One wanted whole milk, one wanted chocolate milk, and I wanted hot tea.  Orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice.  Muffins, toast, pancakes.  Bacon, sausage, ham.  Everything on the card was getting checked.  The only thing we agreed on was eggs.  Everybody wanted two eggs, so Leah wrote down “6” since there were three of us.

As Leah is reading and asking the questions to Lindsay and myself, I’m thinking that at some point in time the room service folks will need to know how many place settings for this order.  When Leah finally got to that question, I obviously said, “write down three”.

But here was the glitch.  The question didn’t say “settings”, it said “servings”.  I don’t know if I had “settings” in my head or if Leah misspoke, all I know is that I placed the card on the door handle and we all went to bed, unsuspecting of what lay ahead the next morning.

At 8 AM I answered the knock at the door and saw not one, but two men from room service.  With two huge carts that resembled flatbed trailers.  They were carrying three “servings” of everything.  Three milks, three orange juices, three pancakes, three hams, you get the picture…three of everything.  Except for eggs.  We had 18 eggs.  We could have fed a football team.  This was 1985 and room service cost me $145.  My girls were freaking out because they had been taught you can’t go play until all your food is gone.  They thought they were stuck in the hotel room all day.

Girls Laughing with their dad, the funny speaker Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker Turns 60 GirlsLaughing

Funny Speaker – Funny Girls

I’ll be honest, I don’t think I was laughing at the time.  The cost of breakfast was going to seriously cut into our go-kart budget, but I can guarantee you I laugh about that now.  Every single time I think about it.  If I’m having a bad day or think the sky is gray only over me, I go back to that morning in 1985.  I picture the look on the faces of those two men from room service when they saw me and two small children, and then one of them asked “are you all expecting company”?

It’s called a joy moment, a moment that will make you smile and laugh.  Dr. C.W. Metcalf, author of “Lighten Up”, says everybody needs a “joy list” that you can reference when your attitude isn’t right or you need a lift.  That’s some of the best and most practical advice I’ve ever read.  I refer to my list all the time.  I’ve got it with me 24-7 because it’s in my head.  It’s a huge list.  And this story is on it.  Right near the top.  Right next to my birthday party.

I love my girls.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message