Light Notes

My 'I Love Lucy' pratfall lives on

Laughter is the best medicine. But sometimes it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

That’s why I keep a little box of sweet mints hidden in a corner of my purse. The tin reads Lucy’s Predic-a-Mints with a picture of one of my favorite TV actresses, Lucille Ball.

The difference between her and me is that her I Love Lucy predicaments were imaginary. Mine are not. Still, people like to rerun my episodes, often accompanied by peals of laughter.

That’s what happened on New Year’s Day with no way to change the channel.

To clarify, I have “some splanin’ to do” so here’s the story: We traditionally have brunch -- at least for the past 10 years -- with a group of friends who meet at John and Vickiy’s. Theirs is a spacious home where the dining area flows past the sunken living room and on into the kitchen area.

It’s a great place to entertain -- especially when I show up.

“Remember the year Lucy..." the crowd begins to roar as they relive the unforgettable moment, the storyteller’s face beginning to contort with laughter.

“Twice!” John reminds with two fingers while his napkin wipes a flow of tears. Understandably, the other guests are hysterical at the remembrance, too.

Really, I have to admit the incident a couple of years ago has been a picture I’d like to forget -- an indelible recollection of the time I decided to help clear the table after the meal. And that’s certainly what I did.

Somewhere between the dining room and the kitchen, I forgot the proximity of the sunken living room. Suddenly, I found myself launched into space, still clinging to the china and silver.

All eyes turned to see Lucy heading for a predicament.

But like a true comedienne, I quickly brushed the egg off my face, laughed at myself and picked up my shattered self-esteem. Friends returned to their dining chairs.

Still the worst was yet to come.

On the way back from the kitchen, stressing and preoccupied over my faux pas, I passed by the sunken living room again.

You guessed it. Lucy was in a predicament -- again.

Evidently, my friends’ memory of that scene is worthy of an Emmy. And as a reminder of my hi-jinks, each year an orange cone with a tall flag attached stands vigilant between me and another plight. It’s a great conversation starter, at my expense.

Even so, the laughter we all shared on the first day of 2009 delivered a healthy dose of joy.

I think this natural remedy is God’s way to cure just about anything that ails you -- even an embarrassing predicament.