The Joker

–       A Catholic Priest and Rabbi were in a car accident. The Priest made the sign of the cross. The Rabbi did the same. Later, the Priest said, “Rabbi, I noticed after the accident, you made the sign of the cross. What was that about?” The Rabbi said, “Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch.”

Dad laughs at his joke.

Dad’s laugh is loud and contagious. As a child, I used it as a tracking signal to find him when I got lost.

He says,

–       It was one of the first high school reunions. It was in the gymnasium at the Victoria High School. We were all there. They had a cocktail bar and I was on the far side of the room.

–       She came in with her husband and stopped at the door. She said, “I really don’t see anyone I recognize but I know Sandy Ormiston is over there somewhere. I just heard him laugh.”

–       She came over and waited for me to laugh again and said,  “I maybe could forget your face but I couldn’t forget that laugh.”

–       I can’t remember who that was.

Like my father, my sneeze can shake our brick house and my laugh is the sounding of a fire alarm.

My laugh is so loud it gets me in trouble. It prevented a former yogi roommate from achieving enlightenment, for which I received yogic wrath. It is guilty of waking newborns, scaring toddlers and irritating bitter, nasty strangers.

–       Has your laugh ever got you in trouble?

I ask.

–       I don’t give a shit.

He says.

I went to the movies with Dad once. It was a matinee showing of My Big, Fat Greek Wedding at the University Cinema with him and Kristin. There were couples and small clusters of people spread out in the almost empty theatre. The force of the Ormiston laughter had every head turned in our direction. It was too dark to see the malice in their eyes.

–       When we owned the Coachman Inn, I used to be in there and the window would be open in the summer time and you’d here me laugh. This Indian came in. He sat at the bar and ordered a beer.

–       When I laughed, he said, “I heard you from the bus stop. I had to come in here to see who it is.”

–       After that, George came in every night after work. Him and his son lived just up the road.

George told Dad a story.

–       They took this big cedar log to Denmark for the museum. Him and his two sons were carving an authentic Indian canoe.

–       He said, “You know Sandy, it was a big log. We’d start at eight but then people would arrive at ten and start talking to us and we’d get nothing done from then on for the rest of the day.”

–       He said, “I wasn’t going to be there til I was a hundred.”

–       He said, “We came in on the Sunday with a chainsaw and just roughed it. We just got rid of the bulk.”

–       He said, “We still had a lot of hard work to do.”

–       The curator complained about him using power tools. George said, “I didn’t use any power tools. What are you talking about?”

–       He said, “It was a white man’s magic stick.”

Dad laughs.


About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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12 Responses to The Joker

  1. Betty Gene says:

    Love your stories and the pictures – I chuckled.

  2. The pictures are hilarious. Reading this I flashed back to your laughing as you sat at the table in the teachers’ room. My laugh is exactly like my sister’s – so much so that I feel like it is almost her if that makes no sense. We aren’t close – geographically or otherwise – but identical laughs. Biology, so interesting.
    My father, just a few years younger than your nightwear-modelling father, just bought a new car. He shouldn’t be driving anymore either really.
    – Karen

  3. I love your laugh. My family is blessed with the same larger than life quality (unkindred spirits call it ‘excessive’) in laughter and sneezing. Love your Dad’s “I don’t give a shit”. Inspiring.

  4. Jessie says:

    Now you’ve got the picture of your dad in his undies for your wall!

  5. lolo says:

    i love your writings & the fotos are fabulous!!

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