Big Red Balls

S Ralph

By: Shannon Ralph

My daughter is a better person than I am. As a matter of fact, she is a better human being than any of the other four people living in my house. Whereas the rest of us are willing to laugh at the suffering of other people, Sophie takes the high road. She walks the path of compassion.

Over the summer, my family has developed a tradition of watching “Wipe-Out” on Tuesday nights. For those of you unfamiliar with “Wipe-Out”, the premise goes a little something like this: Adults act ridiculous while trying to maneuver their way through an obstacle course intent on knocking them into the water below in the most embarrassing of fashions while commentators give them silly nicknames and make fun of them. It is riveting television at its best. Last night, one of the obstacles included giant vats of baby food, into which contestants fell head-first. Ha-ha!

Sounds like something kids would enjoy, right? Yes, my boys do enjoy it. But Ruanita and I are the ones who hoot and holler the loudest. I think I actually snorted on more than one occasion last night. There is something inherently hilarious about mud-caked adults being flipped upside down and twisted in the air while trying to jump across big red balls. It is nothing short of riveting television, folks.

While Ruanita, the boys, and I are roaring with laughter at the poor contestants’ misfortune, Sophie sits stoically looking at the television. Occasionally, she will glance over at us, studying us like lab rats. Trying to decipher what it is about this banal television show that we find entertaining. She does not smile. She does not laugh. Milk does not come streaming out of her nose as she tries to regain her composure. She is the picture of poise and dignity as the rest of us are cackling lunatics.

Apparently, Sophie did not inherit my lowbrow humor. She does not find the misfortune of others to be a laughing matter. She walks the path of good and light, whereas the rest of her family inhabits the land of darkness.

Come on…big red balls. It’s funny stuff. Am I right?

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