It has occurred to me that some of my posts on the blog are about quite serious matters, so perhaps I should lighten up in a new blog and tell you about the writing I have produced that is on a lighter note and that has also had the widest audience: an anecdote in Reader’s Digest. For years, my wife Manjula encouraged me to submit a humorous story that I had told her to Reader’s Digest to see if it would be published. I thought about her suggestion but put it aside for a long time. But one day, I finally said, “Why not?” And I submitted the anecdote and it was published in the magazine. I will retell the story in this blog as follows:
I was a recruit in the Marines at San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot going through boot camp. One day after lunch, my platoon of recruits was standing at attention outside the mess hall. When at attention, your arms are to be straight at your sides and not moving, and your body should also be straight, upright, and motionless. A fly circled my face and decided to light on it. I fought against the impulse to wave it away, as I was at attention and not allowed to move any part of my body. Finally, after the fly crawled around on my face, it became unbearable, and I quickly raised my hand to wave away the fly. My DI (drill instructor) caught me in the act and yelled at me, “Recruit, don’t ya know you’re at attention and not supposed to move!” I responded, “But sir, there’s a fly on my face!” To which the DI replied, “Hester, you’ve had your lunch. Now let the fly have his!”
I hope you have found this anecdote as humorous as Manjula and I did. It is a true story and appeared in an issue of Reader’s Digest in its “Humor in Uniform” column. Perhaps I should insert more such humor into my writing. What do you think?