Caussey's Corner

Texas Humor So Funny it Hurts: Do You Have a Whisk Broom?

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If you love a good humorous story that’s as true as it is funny, we think you’ll get a big laugh out of this one. And that’s regardless of whether or not you know what a whisk broom is!

Dennis Williams is a friend of mine and has been for nearly 30 years. As the President of the Holliday School Board, I had the good sense to help hire Dennis as our band director. That was in 1984, and we have been friends ever since. When Dennis was hired, he had just gone through a divorce. I gave him the strength from my marriage to help him combat the specter of loneliness.

Seven years passed. Dennis got out of the teaching profession, went to seminary in Fort Worth, and married a beautiful lady. From the richness of that marriage, Dennis helped bring some light to the dark-filled tunnel of my divorce. Dennis fed me, gave me a place to rest, and filled me with the spiritual nectar I so badly needed after experiencing such a dismal journey. He salved my bitter, hurtful wounds with patience and helped me to dig out of the pit of self-blame into the warmth of self-awareness. Through prayer and friendship, I rid myself of the shackles of pittance and enjoyed a breath of unencumbered freedom.

It was during one of those long nights of craziness with a large glass of Dr Pepper clutched in a wobbly fist that he told me a true story. It was easy for me to identify with the setting of the story, as I also had grown up in a small Texas town. I laugh every time I tell the story. Not even time or temperament has taken the humor away from this true story. Recently, I contacted Dennis in Phoenix, and asked him to recount the story to me, and got his permission to publish it.

Texas Humor So Funny it Hurts: Do You Have a Whisk Broom?

Photo: Pixabay

“The year was 1961, and I was growing up in the small town of Nocona in North Texas,” Dennis began. “The living was easy, and the gasoline flowed freely at 19 cents a gallon. When we filled our tanks at one of the local stations we had to insist on doing all the under-the-hood checks ourselves—the macho thing to do—because self-service stations were still a thing of the future, and we didn’t want anyone else messing with our status symbols. The station attendant was one of the “good ole’ boys.” He had a heart of gold, and there was genuine friendship between him and the high schoolers. He only had one fault. He was almost deaf, and the hearing deficit made for one of the funniest moments in my youth.

“The attendant was filling my tank, and I had my head under the hood of the car, checking all the fluid levels. Suddenly a shiny new T-Bird convertible drove into the bay next to me. That car got my immediate attention, but not half as much as the gorgeous blonde that was driving it. In the misty past of my recollection, I still see her as a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. She was stunning, and I was instantly smitten, peering out as often as I dared from under the hood.

“Obviously, this classy lady was not interested in sticking her head under the hood of her car. The station attendant began to fill the tank, and suddenly that classic moment exploded upon the scene. The lady asked the attendant, ‘Do you have a restroom?’ The hearing-challenged attendant thought she had asked, ‘Do you have a whisk broom?’ and wanted the floor of her car dusted. He said, ‘No, Ma’am, I don’t, but I’ll blow it out with the air hose.’

“To this day, I don’t recall the lady’s reaction, but that could be because I was rolling on the ground, laughing hysterically,” Dennis finished.

Texas Humor So Funny it Hurts: Do You Have a Whisk Broom?

Photo: Pixabay

I have told this story scores of times, and it’s most interesting what the outcome will be. Most young people or teenagers don’t laugh because they don’t know what a whisk broom is or who Jayne Mansfield was. Young and middle-aged women don’t think it’s funny because they feel sorry for the poor woman not getting to go to the restroom. Urban women don’t understand the mechanics of an air hose and rarely wash their own car, much less clean out the floorboard. These types of folks rarely laugh.

Older people, like myself and others from small towns think it’s hilarious, probably because we all can remember someone like the filling station attendant from our own past. Whatever you think, I believe it is a wonderful, charming story. Next time we meet, let me know your thoughts. If you don’t like it, be gentle with me. But be prepared, just reminding me of the whisk broom story will cause me to laugh.