with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Some Giggles and Jokes from the Road – Queen Wilhemina State Park, Arkansas

I need to share some very funny stories. While I feel like you are hearing more of our woes than our good times, I hope you aren’t. It’s all learning experiences, no matter how they look or sound, and we treat them as such. We often find humor in the bad stuff, like me thinking the real sound of the train on the hillside where we are currently camped was a tornado. That’s funny, as scary as it was for that moment. Anyway, here’s some real humor to lighten your day.

In Big Bend National Park, Texas, we stopped at the visitor’s center and checked out the possible sights to see. While perusing the books, a woman entered with two young children. We overheard her ask the ranger if there were many animals to see.
From behind the counter, dressed in a sharp ranger uniform, he stood erect and proud of his 60 plus years on the planet. He announced in a loud, commanding voice, “Many people do, but it’s highly illegal.”

Feeding a Ram in a Safari, photo by Lorelle VanFossenWe turned around to see the woman as stunned as we were. I thought quickly, trying to grasp what was said and what was really heard. Since the man had clearly made his pronouncement and that was that, I stepped forward to help out the poor woman. “Yes,” I said softly. “It’s against the law to FEED them, but there are a lot of animals to SEE here in the park.” I emphasized the SEE and the Ranger realized his error and laughed and then proceeded to talk about the animals in the park.

Brent and I looked at each other and tried to stifle our laughter. After the next two questions were answered with misunderstandings again, we realized that the man must be going deaf and was too proud to use a hearing aid. Before we could come to his rescue again, his wife, another ranger, came out and took his place gently, making no excuses, just accepting, answering the woman’s questions with ease. Ah, that’s love. Blind love, but love all the same.

We often remember that wonderful pronouncement of his. “Yes,” we often joke, “seeing animals is illegal, you know.”

My mother added to our wonderful funnies this past week. At Fossil Rim Wildlife Park in Texas, we stopped to admire and photograph many of the unique horned animals on the drive through safari. She asked in a confident tone, “Is that one whose leaves are deciduous?”

Lorelle's mother, Ramona, gives THE LOOK to a nosy giraffe, photo by Lorelle VanFossenBrent and I froze. We looked at each other and then at the trees, no different from other oak trees that cover much of the southwest, waited. We were terrified to answer her as we weren’t sure how we should answer.

A moment later we heard a snicker from the back seat and mom admitted, “I can’t believe I just said that!” We were relieved. Now the onus was off us and back on her. We didn’t want to be responsible for answering a question we didn’t understand. “Do their horns fall off?” she corrected.

Horns? Brent and I lost it. Probably scared away some of the gemsbok and antelope near us. Howled with laughter. Brent kept laughing, “Is that one whose leaves are deciduous. Yep, deciduous horns?” I had to grab a hanky. Luckily, mom joined us in laughing, but we could tell she wasn’t too thrilled with our hysterics over what she thought was a simple slip up. But we thought of the Ranger in Big Bend and roared with more laughter.
To this day, Brent’s eyes will water a little and he’ll start to giggle and announce, “Is that one whose leaves are deciduous?”

See, we do have some fun times.

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
Mark Twain

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