I have been listening to the audiobook autobiography of Mel Brooks, read by Mel Brooks, All About Me. I find it sometimes quite funny, and I enjoy it immensely. But I must admit that as I am moving into his later career, and as many of his storytelling tropes reappear for the 11th or 12th time, some of the bloom fades. One thing Mr. Brooks likes to do is tell an often funny story about himself from real life, even sometimes just describe a bit from a movie of his being watched by an audience, and then conclude with a some highly congratulatory bit of commentary, usually something like:
"Needless to say it was an enormous hit!"
"People laughed so hard they fell off their chairs! It was very gratifying!"
"I've never seen people laugh harder in my life. It was a riot!"
As I was thinking of telling you my own story of a bit of comedy from the front desk of my library, all this Mel Brooks stuff was very much on my mind.
So here's what happened.
A co-worker and I were at the front desk of our library and it was very busy. All of the sudden there was even more of a rush and we found seven or eight people quietly clustered in front of our desk, all edging awkwardly toward us, trying to work out among themselves who was first.
Right in the midst of this someone's phone started playing a song. It was a ringtone of some kind of classical music, fairly portentous, and just audible, and with everyone gathered so closely it could have come from anywhere.
But no one reacted.
So I looked questioningly into the sky and asked "Does everyone hear that music, or is it just me?"
It was a hit!