What Are You Laughing About?

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a great start.

It’s early for me to be up and writing. Okay, it’s the same time I always get up, and I used to write this early every day. That was before I spent two months getting a taste of what retirement might be like. The verdict is in. I like it, but the bank isn’t so sure. And my wife, who always sides with the bank, can’t wait to see me leave for work again. Oh well. It’s been nice.

When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? I mean the kind that leaves you holding your side and gasping for air? As a comedian, I can tell you that was the ultimate compliment. One night, I heard a woman near the front catching her breath and saying, “Please make him stop!” Okay, I heard that a few other times as well, but she was actually laughing.

I always used to tell my audiences that comedy is nothing but reality with a twist. All it takes is a little imagination. Like that sign I once saw on the side of the highway that read, “Used cows for sale.” Um, excuse me? Used how? I mean, it was in southwestern Kentucky. Do I need to draw a picture? At least it didn’t say “gently used.” I’m pretty sure I’d have run off the road.

It’s been said that we don’t stop laughing when we grow old – we grow old when we stop laughing. And still, I’ve met several people who wouldn’t crack a smile at a puppy chasing its own tail. Sometimes, they even go to the comedy club. Together. They charter a bus to make sure they all get there at the same time. And then they sit right up front. Fun times!

And they always have an excuse. “I’ll laugh when I find something funny.” Then go look in a mirror. It’s making the rest of us laugh. Make faces like a three-year-old. Better still, make faces AT a three-year-old. Laughter is contagious.

Another one is, “I have a weak bladder – I wet my pants when I laugh.” Then laugh it up! You’ll have to go sooner or later anyway. And everyone around you will find it hilarious. Or put on a diaper and giggle as you dribble. They’ll wonder what you’re laughing about, and that’ll make you laugh even harder. Voila! Two birds with one stone.

And then there’s the one we hear all too often … “I don’t have time to laugh.” Then you don’t have time to live, my friend. Of all God’s creatures, we are among the few who were blessed with the ability to laugh. And any time we deny ourselves the full gift of life, something inside dies.

Laughter truly is the best medicine. You’ve heard that your whole life, but it’s not just an old wives’ tale. Medical science backs it up. Laughter releases chemicals in your body that fight disease, kill pain, and trigger happiness. It’s impossible to feel bad when you laugh. Okay, the first week after my hernia surgery may have challenged that notion, but you get the idea.

And best of all, laughter is the natural antidote for stress. We all recognize stress as the ultimate buzz-kill, but it kills a lot more than just a good mood. And don’t let anybody tell you they thrive on stress. No, they don’t. As we discussed yesterday, stress releases its own cocktail of chemicals in our body that fight immunity and cause a whole host of other medical problems.

So, if stress is bad and laughter is good, why do we insist on watching 24-hour news instead of an old sitcom? Why do we complain about politics instead of spending time with the kids? Why do we gossip about the boss around the coffee pot instead of telling jokes? The answers to those questions could make the difference between a lifetime of happiness or misery.

I used to close every show by telling my audience that, by the time a child goes to kindergarten, they laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults, on the other hand, laugh about 17 times a day. Now, if we both live in the same world and both see and hear the same things, the answer should be obvious – they’re laughing at us! Maybe we need to do that a little more ourselves.

Mom once told me to never take anything in life too seriously, least of all myself. The day I took those words to heart is the day I stopped growing old quite so fast. You see, aging is inevitable, but growing old is a frame of mind. Laugh. Enjoy life. Don’t grow old before your time. You’ll be happier in the long run, and so will all those around you.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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