Humor can save your life

Cindy - Ramona, California
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe the magic of humor has the power to diffuse the stress in our own lives and others. I see the fun in every day tasks but my specialty is making my friends and family laugh. I experience limitless joy by saying something so off centered and absurd it results in an unexpected guffaw or in the best case actual choking on a drink by the recipient of my priceless barb. I pride myself in timing the hilarious comment in sync with the intake of my victim’s beverage; however I draw the line on food. My jokes aren’t all award winners, not everyone chokes.

My funny bone is a gift from my father.. He was a small town car dealer in the Midwest and he was the town comedian. Here are two examples I fondly remember. While other local car dealers were sponsoring expensive auto tent sale galas in a rented farmer’s field, my father erected a pub tent in the showroom. That was his tent sale. In his later retirement years, Dad formed the “Didhedie Club”. The name originated from a group of Dad’s elderly cronies who met daily for coffee in town. Occasionally a crony wouldn’t show for coffee and some other attending crony would immediately croak to the other cronies there “Did He Die”?

My brother shares my father’s sense of humor. Currently my brother and I are in the unpleasant throes of dealing with our mother’s dementia. We frequently resort to humor about her issues; issues which could find the humorless crying. Though crying and laughing is closely related, I can say with confidence, laughing is a lot more fun.

My husband tells me I am brilliantly funny and I should write down every daily zinger I come up with; he says I’d have enough material to create a book along the lines of David Sedaris’s When You are Engulfed in Flames. Tracking my best funny moments by carrying around a notebook and pen is too much work. It is too chancy. I could lose spontaneity or miss an opportunity for levity if I got too focused on my best seller.

Humor may save your life; it saved mine. For 20 years I suffered from insomnia. For all those years I was so exhausted I could barely function, sometimes I thought I would die Still I found the energy to make fun of the problem. I bought a pair of pajamas with red and blue “Z”s printed all over in hopes of tricking my body into resting better. The absurdity of the Z stricken pjs helped my attitude, helped me survive those dark years. Only prescription drugs cured the insomnia. Next to humor, prescription drugs are truly the best magic. All the same, I believe persistant humor kept me alive. Humor might not save your life but you could at least die laughing.