“Stop laughing Janice!”

“Stop laughing Janice or you’re going to give yourself a hematoma!”

I’m not sure which was funnier: the Netflex series I was watching or Nurse Marsha of the American Red Cross fussing at me while I was donating platelets over the weekend. What I didn’t know before Saturday is that – while giving whole blood takes about 15 minutes – giving platelets takes about 3 hours during which both arms are pinned down. All the whole blood donation spots were full so I thought I’d give platelets.

I am an antsy person with itchy eyes. Between needing to scratch my eyes and laughing at episodes of Murderville, I was moving more than I was supposed to be moving.

“Stop laughing Janice or you’re going to give yourself a hematoma!”

First of all, no one calls me Janice. And secondly, I’d never been threatened with a hematoma before. This struck me as hilarious.

A lot of things are hilarious in everyday life. And in these days and every day we need to notice those things for our sanity.

I’ve been a pastor for almost 38 years and it’s been inspiring, joyful, exhausting, and funny. Sometimes the humor is dark. In fact, most of the time it’s dark.

I’ve experienced a ventriloquist funeral director, circus tent worship with wild animals trained to dance to organ music, a funeral soloist using karaoke to sing Celine Dion, a 21 gun salute with live bullets, a daughter of the deceased falling into the grave on top of the casket, and weddings with the following songs as processionals: I Love a Rainy Night, Feelings, and Stand Inside Your Love. I’ve been subpoenaed for accusing a man of pooping in the church parking lot (he wanted to sue me for defamation of character but it was tossed out in court) and someone from a 12-step group set up a mini-grotto on church property honoring me with photos he’d taken of me plus lots of candles.

As a mid-council leader I’ve had parishioners accuse their pastors of killing people, changing upholstery material without due process, and installing a swing set too close to the wrought iron cemetery fence.

Maybe this hit me all at once when I was lying in a recliner surrounded by other Good Deed Doers giving platelets on Saturday and Nurse Marsha singled me out. “Stop laughing Janice or you’re going to give yourself a hematoma!” But I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.

Exhausted People: it’s good for the soul to have a bout of doubled-over, tears-running-down-your-cheeks laughter, especially when you are trapped with no means of escape/connected to IVs. I strongly suggest it and yes, I got a hematoma in my left arm. It was totally worth it.

Image from the series Murderville which is one of the dumbest shows I’ve every watched, but if you are punchy or light-headed, it might be hysterically funny.

8 responses to ““Stop laughing Janice!”

  1. I laughed out loud when I read this – for many reasons.
    One was because, as a former employee of the ARC, I’ve given LOTS of blood, plasma and platelets over the years and had a fair share of picturesque hematomas to show for it. And yes, it’s hard to be pinned down for a several hours without the use of your hands!


  2. I learned about your blog from a good friend who is in the Presbyterian church. I am Episcopalian. I love your straightforward writing, no walking on eggshells, and your efforts to hold church goers and leaders accountable. Good for you. I wonder if in a future piece you might address some Christian’s’ fear of Muslims and the Quran. I have a close friend who is a fundamentalist who believes Muslims are trying to destroy Christianity. Thank you for your consideration.


  3. Please retire soon so you’ll have time to write your TV series and book(s)!!!


  4. thanks for the laugh…especially the upholstery upset…I’ve seen that.


  5. Hilarious! This is why so many clergy who serve cats have remained sane solely because of the FB group Clergy with Cats. We write funny, we see funny, we share funny, and are frequently brought to hysterical, ROFL. Then there’s the saga of the Canadian cats and the Vitamix. I’m sure that story added years to my life. Enjoy humor where you can find it, even if your arms are pinned down!


  6. Thanks for the tears rolling down my cheeks from laughter (and incredulity!).


  7. Thanks, Janice…..you are reminding me that I haven’t laughed that hard since the beginning of Covid…..and I need it badly….Maybe I should go give platelets….


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