Monday, December 11, 2006


Few people can make me laugh so hard it’s uncontrollable. My mom is one of those.

My mom took me, my sister and my sister-in-law to see “The Queen” on Friday night at the Broadway. I really liked it. I thought the plot would be more general, kind of like a brief biography of the Queen of England, but it was focused on that one week in 1997 when Diana died. It was sort of like watching CNN or BBC but getting to see behind the scenes as well.

Anyway, we went to dinner at an Italian place right outside the theatre afterwards. While we were waiting to order, my sister grabbed my hand noting a little blood blister on my finger and asked me how I got it. I said, “cracking nuts with a nutcracker.” My mom nodded with seeming sympathy and then said, “Yeah, cracking nuts is such a waste of time.”

I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair. There’s really no telling what will get me going. It usually depends on the context and who it’s coming from. I watched this segment on TV giving tips on how to cut calories. One of their tips was to eat food that takes work and slows you down, such as nuts in their shells. So the thought of my mom completely disregarding that concept in favor of the immediate satisfaction that comes from shoveling pre-shelled nuts in your mouth was funny to me.

The last time I remember laughing that hard was about a year ago. I was sitting in my living room early one Sunday morning and this commercial came on. It was an LDS “Family…it’s about time” commercial. I tried to find it on the internet somewhere so you could see it for yourselves, but I couldn’t. I’ll attempt to describe:

You see a small choir in a cathedral, dressed in choir robes, rehearsing for a concert. They’re conducted by a man who can tell one of the voices is off key. The camera zooms in on a little boy (about ten years old), identifying him as the culprit, although he is singing with all his heart and loving every minute of it. Annoyed, the conductor cuts everyone off and says, “Son…son, you’re singing the wrong notes!” (or something to that effect). He shakes his head in disapproval and asks him to step aside while the choir rehearses without him.

The camera follows the boy, head hanging low as he slouches on a pew, feeling rejected and ostracized from the rest of his family who can sing better than he can. After rehearsal, the conductor (who I’m guessing is his father) goes to the shunned boy, gently puts his hand on his back and gives him a fatherly look.

Cut to performance night – the choir is singing their number and they sound great. The camera pans to the boy who apparently was invited to join the choir again. Only he’s not singing. He’s just standing there silently while everyone else sings. At the end of the song you see his arm rise up with glee as he rings a hand bell. His smile is big and his father nods in approval.

Come ON! That kid wanted to sing; he didn’t want to ring a bell! The father should have let him sing anyway. At least one song with other little kids where the cuteness factor outweighs sound quality. That one had me going well into the program I was watching. I don’t even remember what it was. I just remember watching that commercial, laughing tears, and wishing someone else was there to see it.

I guess I'll insert a picture in here. I took this last night at the annual Rick Durham Christmas Party. It’s the only time all the Durhams get together. I think the party has grown to four or five generations now. We wear nametags. Mine has to say my name, my dad’s name and my dad’s dad’s name. That is the only way people will know where I fit in. So my name last night was Laura Tom Lowell.

You can see my niece Piper’s nametag on her back. We figured that was the only way to stop her from peeling it off and handing it to us. I think these nametags are genius for the little, non-speaking kids especially because they tend to get lost in that huge house. So if she wanders downstairs in the theatre or the game room or some stranger Durham carries her off, sets her down and forgets about her, someone can read her nametag and figure out which Durham family to return her to.

Her nametag skips from Piper to Tom, even though my brother Carter is her dad. Probably because no one knows who Carter is.


Abel said...

I think the video you're referring to can be found here. It's under the 2005-2006 releases titled Family Harmony. I agree with you on it. They should have let the kid sing.

laura said...


Thanks for that. I just watched it twice. You made my day.