For those that know me, joking around and making people laugh is kinda my M.O.
I literally try to bring some laughter to most, I said most, situations.
Most of the time, it works beautifully.
When it doesn’t, boy does it not.
We all are hearing and seeing the reports of people coming down with the Ebola virus.
Very scary. Because of the unknown.
A no joking manner.
Malaria is also, not funny.
Yet, a joke about malaria backfired huge on me about 14 years ago.
I was going swimming at the YMCA one day and one of my friends said he would like to go. I had a pass where I could take a friend for one day and hang out at there.
I go to the front desk at the Y and sign my friend up. Since I go to this Y all the time, I knew everyone, very well, who worked the guest counter there.
I fill out the form for my friend to go swimming and there is one section that asked, do you have any diseases?
I wrote in the box, my friend has “Malaria, but I think it is just herpes.”
The ladies at the front desk laughed at this. I mean really laughed.
We all looked like this.
Anyway, we finished laughing and my friend and I, proceeded to the pool.
We were in the pool for about 45 minutes until I see this lady, followed by 3 men, come sprinting out to the pool.
We are on the other side of the pool and they can’t see us but I can see them.
4 people has now turned into 8.
Scouring the pool like Columbus looking for land.
Immediately, I knew why they were out there.
To get me and my friend.
What I didn’t realize is that all the ladies at the counter, all got off work and a new shift came in and someone actually did their job, looked at the guest sheet of those swimming and saw that one of the people had “Malaria.”
“Oh man, this is not good.”
“Are you Joe Dubin?!?!?!”
“Is this Ed?”
“GET OUT OF THE POOL. YOU HAVE MALARIA!!”
“CLEAR THE POOL NOW. HE HAS MALARIA!!”
I get out and tell the lady, it was a joke. A simple joke. I even said, “I think it was herpes anyway.”
“That is not funny. Get out of the pool. You will be kicked out of here forever!”
“EVERYONE GET OUT OF THE POOL. WE HAVE A CASE OF MALARIA HERE. HE HAS MALARIA. GET OUT OF THE POOL.”
The pool was packed too. Saturday afternoon, middle of the summer.
As the lady kept screaming MALARIA, no one moved. Which to this day, still makes me laugh.
No one was going to let malaria stop them from swimming.
After pleading my case to the lady, I knew it wasn’t going to get better.
Finally, the Director of the Y came over and calmed everything down.
I apologized and said I was sorry and actually complimented the lady for doing her job.
I am not kidding, this is exactly how she looked and looked at me.
We left the Y and I waited about a week before I went back. Wouldn’t you know it, Mimi was working the front desk. I gulped and said to myself, just go.
“Hey You! How are you? Going swimming today?
“OK, have a great day.”
Scans my card and it was like nothing ever happened.
Something else never happened too.
No jokes about Malaria.
Thank God for the Titans now.