IN THE VILLAGES: Hillbilly Hijinks, Wig Switching and Other Gut Busters

There’s just something about my personality that lends itself to humor.

It first appeared in first grade when I stood up and made faces at the teacher while she was writing on the chalkboard. I got caught, but I also made the other kids laugh.

In the eighth grade I discovered it was fun to make people laugh. It brought me such joy to see the smiles and chuckles replace frowns and tears simply because of the crazy antics I did during an oral book report. The class was laughing so hard the teacher gave me an A for creativity. The die was cast.

In high school I was always the life of pajama parties because of the naughty jokes I managed to commandeer and share with my girlfriends.

My sense of humor really evolved when I was working at IBM. I once glued a 50-cent piece to the floor in front of my office so I could watch people stop and try to pick it up. When wearing wigs was very popular, I convinced five gals in my office to switch wigs every hour just to see people’s reactions as they walked by – I must admit that was a good one!

Throughout the years, I seldom lost my sense of humor. It served me well not only when I was happy but also when I struggled with the aftermath of family death and a move from Vermont to Florida when I was 57 years old, alone and recently divorced. It also served me well when I had to work full-time after a 10-year retirement hiatus. Through it all, my sense of humor helped to heal me and helped break down the barriers of those around me.

Now I simply enjoy making people laugh and I quite often do so at my own expense — and yes, at the expense of some of my unfortunate but loyal friends.

Perhaps one of the funniest, and most public, displays of my quirky sense of humor was during a Villages Christmas parade several years ago when I was asked to drive my red Mustang convertible as part of the Single Baby Boomers (SBB) group. I asked my good friend and fellow SBBer Barbara Grimshaw to ride shotgun, and I think it might have been Barb’s idea (anyway, I’m gonna blame it on her) that we dress up as single, senior sexpots, hillbilly-style.

We had such fun dressing the part: blacked-out teeth; huge freckles; exaggerated hair, makeup and jewelry; and the ugliest clothes we could find in our closets. I might add, that wasn’t such a difficult stretch for me. We even made up signs that said, “Email me at,” and “Single? Call me at 555-1212.”

As I drove the Mustang along the parade route, both Barb and I played up our roles to the hilt. We’d point to unsuspecting men in the crowd and make the “call me” sign or we’d place one of our hands over our heart and wink at a guy. I still chuckle when I think about one poor man I chose to ply my attentions on. His face got very red and hugging his wife just a little bit closer, he vehemently shook his head back and forth yelling, “I’m married.” I remember laughing and retorting, “And your point is?” The crowd hooted and hollered at that one. I also remember another gentleman who shouted to his friends, “Only in The Villages!”

We had a ball that day and were on such a high because we knew we made thousands of people laugh.

The next time you’re feeling a little low or out of sorts, find a way to make someone laugh. It’s one of the best and easiest therapies I know of that will instantly make you feel better.


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