Sometimes it can be hard to find a reason to laugh and — usually — those are the times we need laughter most.
The monotony of plodding through indistinguishable days can leave us lethargic — full of spiritual malaise. In defense of rediscovering our spunk, I am offering a tribute to the curative power of humor.
I begin with two self-created lame jokes that will either make you chuckle (this would make you far different than my children) or decide that you can do far better. To that, I say, “Please do.” Here goes:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: He was practicing social distancing.
And for some darker humor:
Q: How many people does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There is nothing to see.
A: One, but where did he get the light bulb, and do you know if that store had any Lysol or flour?
I have been on the lookout for something funny to lift my mood, and we now know that I am not a good creator of humor. Fortunately, episodes in my life give me all the material that I need. Here are a few, under the working title of “Humor in the time of coronavirus” (a riff on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera”).
— My children’s staged intervention upon my need for a haircut. When my kids noted that my vanity was in full bloom, they became the parents and appealed to my “sense of right.” The result was that I waited two weeks until we passed peak COVID-19 to get my cut, which my hairstylist and I responsibly engineered with use of masks, gloves and disinfectants. Afterward, the kids were careful not to acknowledge or praise the cut as they did not want to affirm my decision. Have we ever done such nonsense to our kids?
— I texted a “thank you” but to the wrong person. The day after my haircut, I sent a text to my stylist to thank her. Well, I thought I did. Actually, I texted a colleague that I haven’t been in touch with for years with whom I was scheduled to speak. She replied, “lol… I would kill to have my hair done, but I think this was intended for someone else.”
We laughed our way through subsequent texts, where I learned that her husband made her sign the equivalent of a prenup before he agreed to color her hair with a mix that her salon had prepared.
— My husband and I were now in the driver’s seat, cleaning our house. If we had simply recorded the experience, we could have made it to America’s Funniest Videos. Which tool to use for what? Do we move chairs or clean around them when doing the floor? “I need to read the box for instructions on the toilet wand disposables, but where are my damn reading glasses?” Boy, did we miss our cleaning professional.
— The dogs are wondering, “Why another walk?” Since I work from my home, our dogs are accustomed to having me around. I equip them with two reasonable walks a day, and a short purposeful one. With tennis no longer an option, I now needed more. Their faces say it all: “Do we really need to go out again?” The puppy accommodates me, but our 13-year-old Goldendoodle lies on the cool floor and stages a silent protest. I get it. I would do the same if I were him.
My need to use humor to lift my spirits reminds me of one other dark time in my life where laughter became a salve. My mother was in her last year of life, and her memory was fading. She would reread the same book and tell me yet again how much she enjoyed it. I would smile, and she would ask, “Have I read this book before?”
I would reply, “Yes, but the good news is that you agree with yourself.” We found the exchange humorous. Rather than focusing on the fading memory, we were happy that she still enjoyed reading and also got my humor.
So if humor has provided you some relief, please share with others. It’s a “give back” moment. Because two laughs combined with a drink really does work.
No call required.