15. Humor

A man walks into the doctor’s office.

“Doctor, my wife is sick; she’s been coughing and sneezing all night. Can you prescribe some sleeping pills?”

“So, she’s having a hard time sleeping?”

“Well, probably so. But the pills are for me”

There’s nothing like the delightful surprise of humor. The unexpected and sudden turn of events seems to enliven and energize the human spirit. Humor begs for a release, the chuckle or the guffaw. Most everyone seems to enjoy a good laugh.

The surprise of a well-told joke is most always fun, even though the listener knows that the twist (or the punch line) is coming. In fact, the joke operates much like a children’s Jack-in-the-Box: the story-line winds the box, and the punch line releases “Jack.”

Laughter is medicine for the soul. But not only that, it’s good for the body, too. Best selling author, Norman Cousins, wrote about this in his book, Anatomy of an Illness. He claimed that it was with laughter that he healed himself of what was considered to be an incurable illness.

I’m fortunate to have grown up around laughter, seeing clearly how the anxiety of routine problems can be mitigated by a humorous twist of perspective or a view to the bright side. I’ve come to believe that humor can play an important role in most every serious situation. Think about it. Is life really worth living if you can’t laugh?

Days 15-17 Guide:

Your mission these next few days is to find the humor. Identify two or three actual situations that, on the surface, don’t seem humorous. Then, even though you might be muddled in the situation yourself, dig within your faculties to see its twisted and funny nature.

While not immediately apparent, there’s always something humorous about a dead car battery or an alarm clock that doesn’t go off. There’s something funny about a burned roast or coffee made too strong.

The key thought today? Lighten up!

A man walks in a restaurant by himself and sits down at an empty table. He orders two meals, one for himself and one for his imaginary friend. Amused by the situation, the waitress giggles to herself and reports to her supervisor that she’s waiting on a lunatic. But she accommodates the man’s request and serves the two meals. She then quietly observes the man eating most of both meals and when refilling his coffee says to him, “It looks like your friend wasn’t very hungry.”

“No, but he would like a cup of coffee to go. Any by the way, would you please put these on separate checks?”

© 2004 Levi Hill

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