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Don't Stop Laughing Now: Stories to Tickle Your Funny Bone and Strengthen Your Faith

(Paperback - Dec 2001)
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Overview

The best of the best stories, one-liners, and jokes from some of today s funniest Christian speakers and best-selling writers This new book, like its best-selling predecessors, is packed with the kind of smiles and smirks, chuckles and giggles that thousands of readers have come to love and expect. It includes some of the funniest stories from today s Christian writers like Barbara Johnson, John Ortberg, Mark Buchanan, Patsy Clairmont, Becky Freeman, Chonda Pierce, and more. Whether the topic is kids, marriage, pets, church, parenting, aging, or life s most embarrassing moments, the writers will help you keep life in perspective by revealing their own foibles, follies, and failings. Realizing that laughter and faith can go hand in hand, they offer real-life anecdotes that will keep your world in balance even and especially when life gets tough."

Details

  • SKU: 9780310239963
  • SKU10: 0310239966
  • Title: Don't Stop Laughing Now: Stories to Tickle Your Funny Bone and Strengthen Your Faith
  • Series: Women of Faith Bible Study
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
  • Date Published: Dec 2001
  • Pages: 239
  • Weight lbs: 0.67
  • Dimensions: 8.34" L x 5.68" W x 0.68" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: CHRISTIAN LIVING
  • Subject: Topic - Religion

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Psst . Has Anyone Seen a Table I Can Crawl Under?

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse. -Lily Tomlin

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. -Jennifer Unlimited

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. -Catherine Aird

Inevitably, the funniest stories are usually the ones we tell on ourselves. Sometimes these stories are down-right embarrassing. But once we put away our punctured pride and dust off our damaged dignity, they can become an endless source of amusement. The ability to laugh at ourselves is surely a sign that all is well with our souls.

Humbled by a Pine Tree

Stan Toler

Many years ago, I was privileged to serve as the first pastoral staff member of John Maxwell at Faith Memorial Church in Lancaster, Ohio. John, a noted author, lecturer, and former senior pastor of the Skyline Wesleyan Church, has been my mentor for more than twenty years. He has guided me in matters of leadership, preaching, evangelism, and church growth. And from time to time, John, who is an excellent golfer, has felt the need to mentor me in the great game of golf.

On one rainy fall day many years ago in Lancaster, I was working on a project when the intercom buzzer sounded. "Toler," the booming voice of Maxwell said, "let's play 18!"

What a welcome diversion! I thought to myself. In a matter of minutes, we loaded our golf clubs into John's 1972 Ford Pinto and hurried to the nearby Carrollwood golf course. Since it was raining steadily, the course was not crowded and we were able to tee off immediately.

For the first five holes, it appeared that the Maxwell Mentoring Course on golf was working. "What a great game-thanks for asking me to come along," I said to John.

As we approached the sixth tee box, I courageously asked John to loan me his three-wood. He was proud of his new clubs and most willing to share them with his prized pupil. I stepped up to the tee box and took a practice swing. Feeling ready, I swung mightily at the little white ball.

To this day, I don't remember whether I actually hit that ball, but what I do remember is the club slipping out of my hands and sailing twenty feet into the air. Embarrassing? You bet! And if that wasn't humbling enough, the three-wood landed in a pine tree. Maxwell was in a state of utter disbelief.

"You just threw my new club into a tree!" he cried. "How on earth are we going to get it down?"

Mustering all the confidence I had, I said, "Give me your shoe." Obediently, John sat down on the cart and handed me his golf shoe. I carefully aimed his shoe at the club and gave it a mighty heave, expecting it to knock the club out of the pine tree. To my dismay, his shoe got stuck in the same tree.

Undaunted, I said, "Give me your other shoe." Again, without arguing, John handed his other shoe to me. Taking better aim, I tossed his shoe at the club, and missed again! Can you believe it? The second shoe stayed in the tree also.

As the drizzle started to become a downpour, Maxwell stood up and said, "Toler, you big dummy! No, wait a minute-I'm the dummy! Stan, give me your shoe!"

In a spirit of cooperation-and fear-I took off my shoe and handed it to him. And why not? He had a three-wood and two golf shoes in that pine tree. Taking careful aim, he threw my shoe at the club. Up it went, approximately eighteen feet in the air, and missed everything. Feeling more confident, I picked up my shoe and tossed it at the club. It missed the club, but as it fell downward, it knocked one of John's shoes loose. In the process, however, my shoe got stuck in the tree. John immediately grabbed his shoe that had fallen to the ground and clutched it defensively. Now neither of us had a complete pair of shoes, and still the golf club was stuck in the tree.

By this time, several other golfers had passed the sixth tee, observing this Laurel and Hardy comedy routine. Remarkably, most did not speak or offer to help us. (Can you blame them?)

When every effort had failed in retrieving the golf club, my esteemed friend finally climbed the huge pine tree and personally retrieved the club and our shoes. At that point, it began to thunder, and the rain was coming down even harder. The only thing left to do was quit for the day and go to the clubhouse for hot chocolate.

Feeling embarrassed and helpless, we drove rapidly across the course to the clubhouse. As John opened the door, the room became silent. And that's when paranoia instantly gripped us. Sure enough, the other golfers had told on us! As we stood in the doorway, laughter erupted like you've never heard.

We shut the door, turned right around, and went straight home. And believe me, it was a long time before we played golf there again.

The Almond Joy Incident

Cathy Lee Phillips

It all started with a simple glass of water. It was Day Fourteen of my Weight Watchers diet, and I was doing great! I'd lost seven pounds by carefully keeping track of my food exchanges. For two weeks I'd successfully avoided hamburgers and cheesecake. I was following the regime religiously in all areas but one-I simply couldn't drink eight glasses of water a day. Impossible! I could never get further than glass number six. I spent the rest of the day trotting to the nearest bathroom.

Nevertheless, on this particular Saturday, I was determined that nothing would deter me from consuming the prescribed eight glasses. Nothing! So I panicked at 11:36 P.M. when I realized I'd only had seven glasses of water. Only twenty-four meager minutes until midnight. Could I do it?

Despite the late hour and the danger of bladder-related sleep deprivation, I braced myself for one more glass of water. In the kitchen I grabbed a glass and sliced a fresh, juicy lemon. The nightmare began when I opened the freezer for a few cubes of ice. It was lying there, innocently tucked behind a few stray cartons of frozen yogurt and two packs of Weight Watchers frozen lasagna. How it got there is still a mystery. I only know that my eyes grew wide and my heart beat wildly.

An Almond Joy! Two simple bits of coconut, each bathed in milk chocolate and crowned with a large crunchy almond, swaddled in a beautiful blue wrapper. An Almond Joy!

Rationalization was easy. I'd been on my diet for two weeks and had lost seven pounds. Surely one simple candy bar wouldn't harm me. I probably needed the sugar in my system after not having had any for, lo, these fourteen days. And it was an awfully hot night so the candy bar would be especially cool and refreshing. Besides, it wasn't as if I'd been looking for an Almond Joy. On the contrary, the Almond Joy had found me!

Best of all, my husband, Jerry, was sleeping soundly. He would never know. No one would ever know. It was all so perfect. Surely it was God's will that I eat this Almond Joy!

Grabbing the candy bar and my number eight glass of water, I raced for the sofa. I crossed my legs underneath me, aimed the TV remote, and found a MASH rerun. Perfect! Quite deliberately I unwrapped my newfound treasure from its bright blue cover and held it aloft. Life was suddenly very exciting.

The candy bar was frozen but not too firm against my teeth. It was cool and sweet. And it was all mine. No one would ever know that I'd surrendered my diet for this piece of heaven that had so unexpectedly entered my life.

I ate it all. Every bit of coconut, every dab of chocolate, every crumb of almond. And because I had something to eat, it was so much easier to drink my number eight glass of water.

Turning off the TV, I placed my empty glass in the sink and popped the bright blue wrapper in the trash can. Risking a mouthful of cavities, I didn't even stop to brush my teeth. I fell asleep with the taste of Almond Joy still dancing in my mouth.

My husband, a pastor, awoke early the next morning to put the finishing touches on his sermon. While I slept soundly, he puttered in the kitchen, toasting some bread and pouring himself a tall glass of orange juice. Emptying the carton, he opened the pantry door and reached for the garbage can. The bag was full. As he bent to remove it, Jerry discovered the remains of a bright blue Almond Joy wrapper perched atop the other miscellaneous garbage.

What is this? he thought to himself. He didn't remember eating a candy bar. And knowing I was religiously following the Weight Watchers diet, he was puzzled by the object that had somehow found its way into our garbage can. Clutching the wrapper to his chest, he walked quietly back to the bedroom where I slept, unaware of the trouble at hand.

"Cathy," he nudged me gently. Opening one eye slowly, I looked into his loving face. He smiled at me. I smiled back. Was he feeling romantic at this hour? And on a Sunday morning? Then, almost immediately, I caught sight of a familiar bright blue piece of paper in his hand. Could it be? Jerry dangled the wrapper above me, a clever smirk on his face.

"Do you want to tell me about this?" he asked. The smirk grew larger.

It wasn't that my husband noticed every pound I gained or lost. He loved me regardless of my weight or the number of Almond Joys I might consume. I knew that without question.

It was the smirk.

That arrogant little grin told me that my late-night escapade was no longer my little secret. I'd been found out.

So, why not just admit I'd found an Almond Joy and, in a moment of weakness, had eaten it? I knew I should have told the truth, but in the heat of the moment I panicked. I can only blame my actions on the "sinful" chocolate in my stomach and the smirk on my husband's face.

"The candy bar belonged to Ray Lathem," I blurted.

Ray Lathem, a good friend of ours and member of our church, lived across the street from our parsonage. Recently Ray had been placed on a strict eating program by his doctor, so he and I often shared our dieting successes and failures. I knew, therefore, that Ray would understand my Almond Joy experience. I would tell him about it after church and we would have a good laugh together.

"Last night, Ray Lathem knocked on our door," the lie began. "He'd been craving a candy bar all day but knew his family would never let him have one. Finally, he couldn't stand it! In a moment of weakness, he ate an Almond Joy he'd hidden in his truck. But he didn't know what to do with the wrapper. If his wife found it, she'd know he'd abandoned his diet. So Ray sneaked out of his house and knocked on our door. He had one simple request: Could he place the wrapper in our garbage can? What could I do? Of course I would let my friend and fellow dieter place the wrapper in our garbage can," I concluded with great emotion.

"That's your story?" Jerry's smirk filled the room.

"And I'm sticking to it," I replied, rather proud of the creativity I'd exhibited at such an early hour. I pulled the blanket over my head while Jerry, chuckling loudly, returned to his sermon and orange juice.

I put the story out of my mind until 11:35 A.M. when Jerry, beginning his sermon, reached inside his pocket and held the familiar wrapper before the entire congregation.

"Ray Lathem, does this belong to you?" the voice from the pulpit inquired.

Ray and his wife, Leila, were in their usual pew. Confused, Ray looked innocently at Leila, begging to be believed.

Knowing I had a sense of humor and had agreed to having the details of my life shared with the entire congregation, my husband relayed the story and then thanked me for providing the perfect illustration for his sermon entitled, appropriately enough, "The Devil Made Me Do It." The congregation laughed and laughed. And they kept laughing.

In fact, Ray laughed the loudest, delighted that I'd included him in my elaborate tale.

Afterwards, many people came up to me saying I was a good sport for being able to laugh at myself. And, before the day was done, more than two dozen Almond Joys had been brought to our home by sympathetic friends who themselves had fallen off the diet wagon at least once. With his wife's permission, I shared the goods with Ray Lathem.

During his sermon, Jerry shared the passage in Numbers 32 in which Moses told the Israelites their sins would find them out. Jerry said our sins would always find us out sooner or later too.

Mine sure did. I just pray I can learn to limit my sins to Almond Joys.

Icebreaker SOS

Sheri Rose Shepherd

When a group of women get together for a retreat without their husbands and children, there's no telling what will happen. At one particular gathering, the planners decided to have an icebreaker game before I began my presentation. They divided us into Group A and Group B and had a contest to see which group could turn in the most items from their collective purses.

First they called for lipsticks, and we all dug around in our purses to fish out our Cantaloupe Blush, Pouty Persimmon, or whatever, and passed it to the front. The next category was receipts, then breath mints, and so on down the line. The sides were pretty evenly matched, and by the final round the score was tied at nine points each. Whoever won the next round would be Purse Scavenger Champs, with bragging rights for the whole weekend.

I was in Group A, and we smelled victory right around the corner. We were pumped. The moderator prepared to announce the last category, pausing for dramatic effect as we sat with hands poised over our pocketbooks. "And now the championship category is . tweezers."

One of my teammates in the back of the room pulled a pair of tweezers out of her bag and, instead of passing them, launched them toward the front, since time was an essential element of going for the gold. The tweezers flew through the air to where I sat in the front row and stuck like a blow dart in the back of my head. When I turned to see what happened-was the other side attacking us?-the tweezers fell out of my scalp, bounced off my shoulder, ricocheted off my lap, and ran my hose from knee to heel.

Of course it was now time for me to speak. Bloodied, battle scarred, and with no time to repair the damage (at least we won!), I took my place at the lectern. To my left was a big speaker box. "Is this in your way?" I asked the audience. "Yes!" they all shouted. Trying to be useful, I began loosening the clamp on the stand so I could lower it. Unfortunately, gravity had other plans. With a hair-raising screech, the speaker cabinet slid down the stand and pinched my hand. My eyes bulged. My heart pounded. My hand throbbed.

Continues.

Excerpt


Chapter One

Psst . Has Anyone Seen a Table I Can Crawl Under?

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse. -Lily Tomlin

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. -Jennifer Unlimited

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. -Catherine Aird

Inevitably, the funniest stories are usually the ones we tell on ourselves. Sometimes these stories are down-right embarrassing. But once we put away our punctured pride and dust off our damaged dignity, they can become an endless source of amusement. The ability to laugh at ourselves is surely a sign that all is well with our souls.

Humbled by a Pine Tree

Stan Toler

Many years ago, I was privileged to serve as the first pastoral staff member of John Maxwell at Faith Memorial Church in Lancaster, Ohio. John, a noted author, lecturer, and former senior pastor of the Skyline Wesleyan Church, has been my mentor for more than twenty years. He has guided me in matters of leadership, preaching, evangelism, and church growth. And from time to time, John, who is an excellent golfer, has felt the need to mentor me in the great game of golf.

On one rainy fall day many years ago in Lancaster, I was working on a project when the intercom buzzer sounded. "Toler," the booming voice of Maxwell said, "let's play 18!"

What a welcome diversion!I thought to myself. In a matter of minutes, we loaded our golf clubs into John's 1972 Ford Pinto and hurried to the nearby Carrollwood golf course. Since it was raining steadily, the course was not crowded and we were able to tee off immediately.

For the first five holes, it appeared that the Maxwell Mentoring Course on golf was working. "What a great game-thanks for asking me to come along," I said to John.

As we approached the sixth tee box, I courageously asked John to loan me his three-wood. He was proud of his new clubs and most willing to share them with his prized pupil. I stepped up to the tee box and took a practice swing. Feeling ready, I swung mightily at the little white ball.

To this day, I don't remember whether I actually hit that ball, but what I do remember is the club slipping out of my hands and sailing twenty feet into the air. Embarrassing? You bet! And if that wasn't humbling enough, the three-wood landed in a pine tree. Maxwell was in a state of utter disbelief.

"You just threw my new club into a tree!" he cried. "How on earth are we going to get it down?"

Mustering all the confidence I had, I said, "Give me your shoe." Obediently, John sat down on the cart and handed me his golf shoe. I carefully aimed his shoe at the club and gave it a mighty heave, expecting it to knock the club out of the pine tree. To my dismay, his shoe got stuck in the same tree.

Undaunted, I said, "Give me your other shoe." Again, without arguing, John handed his other shoe to me. Taking better aim, I tossed his shoe at the club, and missed again! Can you believe it? The second shoe stayed in the tree also.

As the drizzle started to become a downpour, Maxwell stood up and said, "Toler, you big dummy! No, wait a minute-I'm the dummy! Stan, give me your shoe!"

In a spirit of cooperation-and fear-I took off my shoe and handed it to him. And why not? He had a three-wood and two golf shoes in that pine tree. Taking careful aim, he threw my shoe at the club. Up it went, approximately eighteen feet in the air, and missed everything. Feeling more confident, I picked up my shoe and tossed it at the club. It missed the club, but as it fell downward, it knocked one of John's shoes loose. In the process, however, my shoe got stuck in the tree. John immediately grabbed his shoe that had fallen to the ground and clutched it defensively. Now neither of us had a complete pair of shoes, and still the golf club was stuck in the tree.

By this time, several other golfers had passed the sixth tee, observing this Laurel and Hardy comedy routine. Remarkably, most did not speak or offer to help us. (Can you blame them?)

When every effort had failed in retrieving the golf club, my esteemed friend finally climbed the huge pine tree and personally retrieved the club and our shoes. At that point, it began to thunder, and the rain was coming down even harder. The only thing left to do was quit for the day and go to the clubhouse for hot chocolate.

Feeling embarrassed and helpless, we drove rapidly across the course to the clubhouse. As John opened the door, the room became silent. And that's when paranoia instantly gripped us. Sure enough, the other golfers had told on us! As we stood in the doorway, laughter erupted like you've never heard.

We shut the door, turned right around, and went straight home. And believe me, it was a long time before we played golf there again.

The Almond Joy Incident

Cathy Lee Phillips

It all started with a simple glass of water. It was Day Fourteen of my Weight Watchers diet, and I was doing great! I'd lost seven pounds by carefully keeping track of my food exchanges. For two weeks I'd successfully avoided hamburgers and cheesecake. I was following the regime religiously in all areas but one-I simply couldn't drink eight glasses of water a day. Impossible! I could never get further than glass number six. I spent the rest of the day trotting to the nearest bathroom.

Nevertheless, on this particular Saturday, I was determined that nothing would deter me from consuming the prescribed eight glasses. Nothing! So I panicked at 11:36 P.M. when I realized I'd only had seven glasses of water. Only twenty-four meager minutes until midnight. Could I do it?

Despite the late hour and the danger of bladder-related sleep deprivation, I braced myself for one more glass of water. In the kitchen I grabbed a glass and sliced a fresh, juicy lemon. The nightmare began when I opened the freezer for a few cubes of ice. It was lying there, innocently tucked behind a few stray cartons of frozen yogurt and two packs of Weight Watchers frozen lasagna. How it got there is still a mystery. I only know that my eyes grew wide and my heart beat wildly.

An Almond Joy! Two simple bits of coconut, each bathed in milk chocolate and crowned with a large crunchy almond, swaddled in a beautiful blue wrapper. An Almond Joy!

Rationalization was easy. I'd been on my diet for two weeks and had lost seven pounds. Surely one simple candy bar wouldn't harm me. I probably needed the sugar in my system after not having had any for, lo, these fourteen days. And it was an awfully hot night so the candy bar would be especially cool and refreshing. Besides, it wasn't as if I'd been looking for an Almond Joy. On the contrary, the Almond Joy had found me!

Best of all, my husband, Jerry, was sleeping soundly. He would never know. No one would ever know. It was all so perfect. Surely it was God's will that I eat this Almond Joy!

Grabbing the candy bar and my number eight glass of water, I raced for the sofa. I crossed my legs underneath me, aimed the TV remote, and found a MASHrerun. Perfect! Quite deliberately I unwrapped my newfound treasure from its bright blue cover and held it aloft. Life was suddenly very exciting.

The candy bar was frozen but not too firm against my teeth. It was cool and sweet. And it was all mine. No one would ever know that I'd surrendered my diet for this piece of heaven that had so unexpectedly entered my life.

I ate it all. Every bit of coconut, every dab of chocolate, every crumb of almond. And because I had something to eat, it was so much easier to drink my number eight glass of water.

Turning off the TV, I placed my empty glass in the sink and popped the bright blue wrapper in the trash can. Risking a mouthful of cavities, I didn't even stop to brush my teeth. I fell asleep with the taste of Almond Joy still dancing in my mouth.

My husband, a pastor, awoke early the next morning to put the finishing touches on his sermon. While I slept soundly, he puttered in the kitchen, toasting some bread and pouring himself a tall glass of orange juice. Emptying the carton, he opened the pantry door and reached for the garbage can. The bag was full. As he bent to remove it, Jerry discovered the remains of a bright blue Almond Joy wrapper perched atop the other miscellaneous garbage.

What is this? he thought to himself. He didn't remember eating a candy bar. And knowing I was religiously following the Weight Watchers diet, he was puzzled by the object that had somehow found its way into our garbage can. Clutching the wrapper to his chest, he walked quietly back to the bedroom where I slept, unaware of the trouble at hand.

"Cathy," he nudged me gently. Opening one eye slowly, I looked into his loving face. He smiled at me. I smiled back. Was he feeling romantic at this hour? And on a Sunday morning? Then, almost immediately, I caught sight of a familiar bright blue piece of paper in his hand. Could it be? Jerry dangled the wrapper above me, a clever smirk on his face.

"Do you want to tell me about this?" he asked. The smirk grew larger.

It wasn't that my husband noticed every pound I gained or lost. He loved me regardless of my weight or the number of Almond Joys I might consume. I knew that without question.

It was the smirk.

That arrogant little grin told me that my late-night escapade was no longer my little secret. I'd been found out.

So, why not just admit I'd found an Almond Joy and, in a moment of weakness, had eaten it? I knew I should have told the truth, but in the heat of the moment I panicked. I can only blame my actions on the "sinful" chocolate in my stomach and the smirk on my husband's face.

"The candy bar belonged to Ray Lathem," I blurted.

Ray Lathem, a good friend of ours and member of our church, lived across the street from our parsonage. Recently Ray had been placed on a strict eating program by his doctor, so he and I often shared our dieting successes and failures. I knew, therefore, that Ray would understand my Almond Joy experience. I would tell him about it after church and we would have a good laugh together.

"Last night, Ray Lathem knocked on our door," the lie began. "He'd been craving a candy bar all day but knew his family would never let him have one. Finally, he couldn't stand it! In a moment of weakness, he ate an Almond Joy he'd hidden in his truck. But he didn't know what to do with the wrapper. If his wife found it, she'd know he'd abandoned his diet. So Ray sneaked out of his house and knocked on our door. He had one simple request: Could he place the wrapper in our garbage can? What could I do? Of course I would let my friend and fellow dieter place the wrapper in our garbage can," I concluded with great emotion.

"That's your story?" Jerry's smirk filled the room.

"And I'm sticking to it," I replied, rather proud of the creativity I'd exhibited at such an early hour. I pulled the blanket over my head while Jerry, chuckling loudly, returned to his sermon and orange juice.

I put the story out of my mind until 11:35 A.M. when Jerry, beginning his sermon, reached inside his pocket and held the familiar wrapper before the entire congregation.

"Ray Lathem, does this belong to you?" the voice from the pulpit inquired.

Ray and his wife, Leila, were in their usual pew. Confused, Ray looked innocently at Leila, begging to be believed.

Knowing I had a sense of humor and had agreed to having the details of my life shared with the entire congregation, my husband relayed the story and then thanked me for providing the perfect illustration for his sermon entitled, appropriately enough, "The Devil Made Me Do It." The congregation laughed and laughed. And they kept laughing.

In fact, Ray laughed the loudest, delighted that I'd included him in my elaborate tale.

Afterwards, many people came up to me saying I was a good sport for being able to laugh at myself. And, before the day was done, more than two dozen Almond Joys had been brought to our home by sympathetic friends who themselves had fallen off the diet wagon at least once. With his wife's permission, I shared the goods with Ray Lathem.

During his sermon, Jerry shared the passage in Numbers 32 in which Moses told the Israelites their sins would find them out. Jerry said our sins would always find us out sooner or later too.

Mine sure did. I just pray I can learn to limit my sins to Almond Joys.

Icebreaker SOS

Sheri Rose Shepherd

When a group of women get together for a retreat without their husbands and children, there's no telling what will happen. At one particular gathering, the planners decided to have an icebreaker game before I began my presentation. They divided us into Group A and Group B and had a contest to see which group could turn in the most items from their collective purses.

First they called for lipsticks, and we all dug around in our purses to fish out our Cantaloupe Blush, Pouty Persimmon, or whatever, and passed it to the front. The next category was receipts, then breath mints, and so on down the line. The sides were pretty evenly matched, and by the final round the score was tied at nine points each. Whoever won the next round would be Purse Scavenger Champs, with bragging rights for the whole weekend.

I was in Group A, and we smelled victory right around the corner. We were pumped. The moderator prepared to announce the last category, pausing for dramatic effect as we sat with hands poised over our pocketbooks. "And now the championship category is . tweezers."

One of my teammates in the back of the room pulled a pair of tweezers out of her bag and, instead of passing them, launched them toward the front, since time was an essential element of going for the gold. The tweezers flew through the air to where I sat in the front row and stuck like a blow dart in the back of my head. When I turned to see what happened-was the other side attacking us?-the tweezers fell out of my scalp, bounced off my shoulder, ricocheted off my lap, and ran my hose from knee to heel.

Of course it was now time for me to speak. Bloodied, battle scarred, and with no time to repair the damage (at least we won!), I took my place at the lectern. To my left was a big speaker box. "Is this in your way?" I asked the audience. "Yes!" they all shouted. Trying to be useful, I began loosening the clamp on the stand so I could lower it. Unfortunately, gravity had other plans. With a hair-raising screech, the speaker cabinet slid down the stand and pinched my hand. My eyes bulged. My heart pounded. My hand throbbed.

Continues.

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