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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Laughter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. My Hours For Fulltime Work...

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2. Weekends with Family Can be Side-Splitters

 

Crinkled brows, eyes shifting from side to side, estimating, evaluating; finally a bark of laughter erupts and a lead card is thrown onto the table.

“We have you now,” shrieks a female voice.

“Maybe,” replies a male opponent as a second card meets the first.

A third card, higher ranked, joins the small pile, and a fourth. The trick is taken by the opponent.

“Always expect a holdout,” the man’s voice advises.

Roars of laughter fill the kitchen with raucous sound. Another Saturday night has convened at the kitchen table for the weekly Euchre game between Mom and Dad and Mom’s sister and brother-in-law.

The aroma of strong coffee and one of Mom’s baked wonders tantalizes nostrils and stomachs of those present. It’s always the same group; couple vs. couple or men vs. women. The game might change from Euchre to rummy or to Pitch, but the night would leave everyone relaxed and satisfied.

Mom’s sister had a great deal to do with that feeling of hilarity. She loved playing the fool during card nights and did it very well. Some nights she was more boisterous than on others, but she seldom turned serious when games were in play.

My younger brother and his counterpart cousin generally watched TV during card night and then settled down to sleep. My older cousin and I watched the game in the kitchen as interested by-standers. We didn’t play. If Euchre was being played, we definitely were not allowed to play. In our part of the country, that game was a gambling game, even when not played for stakes. No children need apply.

None would ever consider the two women as not being family. My mom resembled my aunt in coloring and hair style. Their builds were nearly identical. Both were natural artists and could turn almost anything into a piece of art.

My mother worked in paint and clay or metal and findings from the forest. Her sister worked in paint and fabric, for the most part. Both loved antiques, but my aunt could have been a dealer. The knowledge she had was gleaned from years of scouring antique shops, auctions, and estate sales.

Most of all, both women loved the outdoors and nature. They’d grown up in the country. Their mother had taught them a deep love and respect for what grew wild or by design. They each enjoyed growing food for their tables as much as gathering from the wild.

With all of these commonalities, they managed to remain individuals who stood apart from each other.

Auntie was more playful than Mom. Mom had better rapport with children and animals. Auntie desired a house full of antiques and a spotless home. Mom liked things tidy, but she preferred a sense of home and comfort to fill rooms meant for living.

Aunt and Uncle often took Grandma and my cousins on trips away for a weekend to see other relatives. Mom didn’t bother. Her sister took great pleasure in that part of mother-daughter time; leaving Mom to do the Sunday home visits for family time.

Sisters, friends, companions, champions, confidantes; each filled those roles for the other. They talked in person or on the phone every day, without fail. Close didn’t begin to d

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3. People 50+ could be happier, according to poll

NOTE TO SELF: LET A SMILE BE YOUR UMBRELLA

Never really gave it much thought but according to a British poll, Brits turn into grumps once they reach their 50th birthday. Actually, thinking further, many people are miseries earlier in life but that as they say, is another subject. The poll conducted by researchers by "experts" from Glamorgan University surveyed the laughability of 2000 Britons.

The study claims that Brits laugh a lot less once they reach 52. Why 52 one asks or why not say...51...or 53. Furthermore, the researchers feel that the art of telling jokes is dying and good jokes are limited to one or two passable gags. Fourteen percent of people have never told a joke. Perhaps that's because some jokes go over like a lead balloon, as mine frequently do. There is nothing worse - IMHO - than telling a joke and nobody laughs, or you have to explain the joke. I mean, why be embarrassed!

Statistically, people laugh 300 times per day but only six times per day by the time they reach their teens. In other words, we take joy and find the world a happy place in which to live as children but learn otherwise once we reach adult-hood.

People in their 20's laugh a mere 4x per day but re-aquire a sense of humor when they have children. Once in their 30's, the average goes up to 5 laughs per day with almost 47% of those who have children. However, once we reach our 50's, our laughs are limited to 3x per day. Men become more miserable than females with twice as many males as females in their 50's. Seems that being around children makes adults happy.

So all of these stats leads one to wonder how they formed these conclusions. Did they interview people in the various age brackets and ask them to tell jokes and then rate the jokes, or ask them to keep a diary of the number of times per day they laughed, showed them comedies and gauged their reactions? There's no information on the criteria. Also, humor is subjective. What some people find funny, others find inane and stupid. Basically and IMHO, this poll really can't be taken seriously and perhaps it's fitting given the subject matter being humor.

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4. If the Rocker Fits, Then Rock On!



From the Internet and in my mailbox today...

NOW WE’RE THE OLD FOLKS!

By Annie Must 
   
    
Another year has passed
 And we're all a little older.
 Last summer felt hotter
   And  winter seems much colder.

    &nbs

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5. Will the Real Joe Sottile Please Stand Up?




I love this photo, and if had started reading at his age, maybe my whole life would have been different. As it was, my life is more complicated than I ever thought it would be. That is, because I wear many hats in my so-called "retirement." 

We all wear different hats in life, especially as weget older. My hats include those of a husband, father, grandparent, uncle,friend, teacher, essayist, instructor, tutor, performer, golfer, biker,children’s poet, and an adult poet.

Over the pastthree decades I have written many children’s poems.  During that time, I sometimes have playedthis recording in my head, “Someday I am going to get more serious aboutwriting adult poetry and join an official writing group.”  Now I feel old enough, and I have taken theplunge. I am more than willing to share my poetry for adults and chase aroundfor publishers.

I feel passionately about poetry, whether it’swritten for children or adults. Exactly how passionately? Well, I have strongbeliefs about the value of poetry. I am working on a poetry handbook forhomeschoolers, and what follows is an excerpt from the introduction:

“Poetrycan help you understand the world better and yourself better. Poetry canprovide an avenue for you to untangle mixed-up feelings. Poetry can make youlaugh and encourage you to take problems in stride. Poetry can give you wordsof courage to remember in times of stress.


Poetrycan be a friend that goes wherever you go. Poems can be tucked into your bookbag or your brain matter, and taken with you on any journey, short or long. Inother words, poetry can play an important part in your life as a road map tocourage, compassion, laughter, fun, success, and self-knowledge. This willbecome clearer as you read on.
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6. Kids on An Instant Vacation with Silly Sottile



The above photo was taken on the cafeteria floor at Florence Brasser Elementary School in Chili, New York. The kids are enjoying an instant vacation with "Silly Sottile." What's an instant vacation?

Milton Berle said that “Laugher is an instant vacation.” I think he’s right. And according to www.SimpleTruths.com, we need to laugh at least 12 times a day to remain healthy. Here are a few laughs from one of their clever books, Laughter Is An Instant Vacation…

“Insanity doesn’t run In my family. It gallops.” –Cary Grant

As a parent, my wife and I have one thing in common. We’re both afraid of our children.”—Bill Cosy

“I am not going to vacuum until Sears has one tha I can ride.”—Roseanne Barr

“Guests, like fish begin to smell after three days.”—Ben Franklin

“All mothers have intuition. The great ones have radar.”—Kathy Guisewite

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7. Out of Nowhere

“Do you think that in Heaven we’ll ever laugh until we cry?”. My friend asked from across the table.

We had been talking about the political debates coming up. That had followed talk about baseball, the up-coming playoffs, and whether Cliff Lee would get the Cy Young (which would be EXCELLENT). I wasn’t sure how one makes the transition in the mind from how pathetically weak debates have been (with the exception of those hosted by the late great Tim Russert) to laughing so hard that you cry….and doing so in heaven? So I had to ask.

“Where in the world did that come from?”

“Well….uh….”. He apparently wasn’t sure either. “Gosh. We were talking about the debates, which made me think of past debates, which made me think of Bentzen’s JFK blather with Quayle, then Reagan’s famous line about age coming after the debate in which Reagan LOOKED old. Man, that was a great debate. Uh, then I thought about the “Read my lips” bunk…which reminded me of… Uh… golly… “. So far the closest thing to laughing in heaven would have been the Reagan line…but he clearly wasn’t connecting those dots. “Oh! Then I thought of Marilyn Monroe.”

“Wait,” I interrupted. “How did she get in here?”.

“The JFK thing.”. He said it with some offense–as though he were saying, “Duh!”

“Ah.”

“Then I thought of the Three Stooges, and”

“Wait! You go from Marilyn Monroe to the Three Stooges?!”

Sheepishly, he says, “Well, they were both in show business.”

If I was able to raise a single eyebrow (I am not), this is when I would have done it. Since I can’t, I just screwed up my face to as forceful a Question Mark as I could.

“Please,” I say, “do go on.”

“Well, obviously,” a word I would NOT be using here, if it were me, “the Three Stooges led to…”

Wait. Let me cut into the scene right here. You are very likely thinking that the Stooges led to “laughing until you cry” in heaven. In my years of experience with this otherwise very reasonable and intelligent man, I have learned to expect otherwise. However, I was expecting that, too.

“…people being dead, and…”

And so it went for two more minutes.

Somehow or other, we got back to the combination of laughter and heaven.

“…Then the Ted Bundy thing led me back to people who were dead, which reminded me of the Three Stooges, which made me think of Laurel and Hardy, which made me think of a time I was watching Spanky and Alfalfa when I laughed until I cried. And then I wondered whether we’d laugh that hard in heaven. And here we are”.

He paused smuggly, as though this exhaustive and impossible trail justified everything. “So,” another, more dramatic and smug pause, “do you think we’ll ever laugh until we cry in heaven?”

I was still reeling mentally. The abrupt end came as somewhat of a shock to me.

All I could say was, “Why wait?”

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8. Out of Nowhere

“Do you think that in Heaven we’ll ever laugh until we cry?”. My friend asked from across the table.

We had been talking about the political debates coming up. That had followed talk about baseball, the up-coming playoffs, and whether Cliff Lee would get the Cy Young (which would be EXCELLENT). I wasn’t sure how one makes the transition in the mind from how pathetically weak debates have been (with the exception of those hosted by the late great Tim Russert) to laughing so hard that you cry….and doing so in heaven? So I had to ask.

“Where in the world did that come from?”

“Well….uh….”. He apparently wasn’t sure either. “Gosh. We were talking about the debates, which made me think of past debates, which made me think of Bentzen’s JFK blather with Quayle, then Reagan’s famous line about age coming after the debate in which Reagan LOOKED old. Man, that was a great debate. Uh, then I thought about the “Read my lips” bunk…which reminded me of… Uh… golly… “. So far the closest thing to laughing in heaven would have been the Reagan line…but he clearly wasn’t connecting those dots. “Oh! Then I thought of Marilyn Monroe.”

“Wait,” I interrupted. “How did she get in here?”.

“The JFK thing.”. He said it with some offense–as though he were saying, “Duh!”

“Ah.”

“Then I thought of the Three Stooges, and”

“Wait! You go from Marilyn Monroe to the Three Stooges?!”

Sheepishly, he says, “Well, they were both in show business.”

If I was able to raise a single eyebrow (I am not), this is when I would have done it. Since I can’t, I just screwed up my face to as forceful a Question Mark as I could.

“Please,” I say, “do go on.”

“Well, obviously,” a word I would NOT be using here, if it were me, “the Three Stooges led to…”

Wait. Let me cut into the scene right here. You are very likely thinking that the Stooges led to “laughing until you cry” in heaven. In my years of experience with this otherwise very reasonable and intelligent man, I have learned to expect otherwise. However, I was expecting that, too.

“…people being dead, and…”

And so it went for two more minutes.

Somehow or other, we got back to the combination of laughter and heaven.

“…Then the Ted Bundy thing led me back to people who were dead, which reminded me of the Three Stooges, which made me think of Laurel and Hardy, which made me think of a time I was watching Spanky and Alfalfa when I laughed until I cried. And then I wondered whether we’d laugh that hard in heaven. And here we are”.

He paused smuggly, as though this exhaustive and impossible trail justified everything. “So,” another, more dramatic and smug pause, “do you think we’ll ever laugh until we cry in heaven?”

I was still reeling mentally. The abrupt end came as somewhat of a shock to me.

All I could say was, “Why wait?”

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9. Dry Jokes

It was at a highly prestigious, religious wedding feast that Blakeley Bloke, kind of sort of favorite uncle of the bride was asked to make a toast. The elation grew in his eyes, I mean visibly that anyone could see, as he hurriedly quaffed the coke-on-ice in his tumbler.

Sort of kind of hop-skip and jumped across the floor to where the piano man played notes to suit the mood, while fishing out of his coat side pocket a palm sized bottle which held a kind of sort of yellowish - brown concoction he called “Spirit-of-the-spirits”- they move mountains.

He grabbed the microphone on the small table that stood next to the piano man while humming the beginning notes sort of kind of, that came from the hymn book to him to commence the toast……….. di di da day - di day -da day…… took a pose, chest out, chin poised, eyes half shut, shoulders straight, tumbler  raised mid-high ,a deep breath in, bl uttered out the tune that could only have come from the fourth of the Three Tenors……..

Drink to your fill

But still with care,

Never a glutton be,

But take……the glass which is your own

And you will contented be.

But take…..the glass….which is your own

And you …will…contended be

Yeah.

Amid the cheers and laughter, the grins and scorns and the fury of the immediate family of both bride and groom, landed Blakeley Bloke outside the festive halls, in the middle of the street. Lucky to be in one piece, realized he was missing a coat sleeve and the right shoe. Also missing was the sweet Tenor voice, but he gained a slurred speech pattern. Unfortunate.

The disappointment to him came while reaching into his coat pocket found the rest of the “Spirit-of-the-spirits” gone….He couldn’t move mountains.

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10. From Gloomy to Goofy

It's still Chanukah. Just when you thought you were done giving presents, we've got three crazy nights to go. If my daughters are reading this, the best stuff has already come out so would you like to stop now while you're ahead?

Never one to be the Debbie Downer in the room, here's a totally silly Chanukah/Christmas song from the genius minds of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I cannot believe I missed the entire Colbert holiday show a few weeks ago. (Time Warner! Hands off the YouTube clips, please!) I just saw this segment from the show and I knew I had to post it here. According to my Live Journal, I am one gimmel short of a miserable dreidel
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and there's no way I can leave that impression hanging in the air. So go ahead now and laugh. That's good for you, too. In fact, studies show it's even better than crying.
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(And you haven't lived until you've laughed at a funeral. Yes. Me. Guilty. It was ccccchorrrrrible!)






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11. A Budding Humorist

My sense of humor is a little on the juvenile side...

...OK, so it's a lot on the juvenile side. Potty jokes never fail to make me laugh. Silly things, like if someone were to, say, run around the house with a small boy's underpants on his or her head (clean, of course - and if you read yesterday's post, yes, I'm sure) never fail to produce an uncontrollable giggle. Slapstick humor (a la Spongebob or Chowder cartoons) brings tears to my eyes and loud guffaws to my lips. I can't help it. I'm just wired that way.

Back in May, you will recall my post about the apple not falling far from the tree, regarding a particular exasperating behavior shared by Handsome Boy and my husband? 

Well, today the tables are turned, because Handsome Boy shares with me... you guessed it... a preference for juvenile humor. Granted, there's a bit more legitimacy to his love of all things childishly funny...

Aaaanyhoo, he also shares a love of writing - especially the comics genre. So today, he came home with a writing project that had me and Lovely Girl in stitches! You see, in his grade, they give the kids sheets of paper that have a big box at the top, and fat lines underneath. They compose and illustrate their story on these photocopied sheets, then staple them together into a book. But today, it seems the copier didn't do its job entirely properly, so Handsome Boy improvised. Here is the relevant excerpt:


Once there were two ninjas. They were in a fight.



"Ay!!!!!! What is going on??" shouted ninja. 
"The page!! The page is diagonal!"



"That's better. Now where were we? Oh yeah. Take that!"



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12. LAUGH FOR THE HEALTH OF IT

NOTE TO SELF: APRIL IS "NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH"


It seems fitting that National Humor Month takes place in April, a month that arrives with the warmer Spring weather.

National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by best-selling humorist Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor. It is designed to heighten public awareness on how the joy and therapeutic value of laughter can improve health, boost morale, increase communication skills and enrich the quality of one's life.

It's virtually impossible to feel sad while laughing so it stands to reason that laughter is good for one's health. A study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, presented at the American Heart Association's 73rd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, researchers found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.

In the study, researchers compared the humor responses of 300 people. Half of the participants had either suffered a heart attack or had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. The other 150 were healthy, age-matched participants who did not have heart disease.

Participants in the study were asked to complete two questionnaires. One questionnaire had a series of multiple-choice answers to find out how much or how little the participant laughs in certain situations. The second questionnaire used 50 true or false answers to measure anger and hostility.

For example, the questions included the following:

From the multiple-choice section:

If you arrived at a party and found that someone else was wearing a piece of clothing identical to yours, would you (a) not find it particularly amusing (b) be amused but not show it outwardly (c) smile (d) laugh or (e) laugh heartily.
If you were eating in a restaurant with some friends and the waiter accidentally spilled a drink on you, would you (a) not find it particularly amusing (b) be amused but not show it outwardly (c) smile (d) laugh or (e) laugh heartily.

From the true or false section:
I often wonder what hidden reasons another person may have for doing something nice for me. True or False.
I am likely not to talk to people until they speak to me. True or False

People with heart disease were less likely to recognize humor or use it to get out of uncomfortable situations. They generally laughed less, even in positive situations and they displayed more anger and hostility.

(Source:) http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/laughter.htm

There's a great article on the value of laughter geared for children here, that explains the whole process:

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=287&id=2424

Finally, if you're a pet owner, then you just might have noted that your pet smiles, which could indicate a sense of humor present. In fact, research has been done that confirms this. There's a great article on National Geographic Kids that examines the subject:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0604/

To your health! Laugh - it's good for you! Meanwhile, if you have some good family-fare jokes to share...post them here.

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13. The Girls


(c) 2008 Jan Dolby

Here is my final painting for an upcoming show...it's an acrylic painting on canvas 24" x 48"..touched up a teenie bit in Photoshop...thanks eveyone for your advice on my last submission of the three girls...it really helped me finish off this one...any thoughts?

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14. Youtube Funnies

A writer friend sent me a link to a You-tube video today, which had me laughing more than I’d done in ages. It has some rude words in it, so I’m not going to post it here because this is a kid-friendly blog, but if you’re old enough and have ever had problems with proofreading, then click here to see why I’m laughing. The guy’s name is Taylor Mali and he’s an American teacher, poet and comedian.

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15. My Favourite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… Primula taught me this song today, all about favourite things, as sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. And it got me thinking about my favourite things. So, I thought I’d share them.

1. Primula (of course) as it was her that taught me to sing.
2. Singing. Almost any song will do, but I specially like happy ones.
3. Hugs. I’m a hugging kind of a guy. The world would be a better place if more people would hug more often.
4. Poetry. Both writing it and reading it. Again, especially happy ones.
5. Blogging. I love being a blogging bear.
6. Friends. There are lots of them here in the toy room.
7. Laughter. I love hearing other people laugh. It never fails to make me happy, too.

So there you have it.

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16. House of Mirth


On Saturday night I realized that I still had not submitted for Laughter. At 9:00 pm I was watching "Rosemary and Thyme" my favourite show, about two middle aged women that are gardeners and detectives! I love it, of course it is British where they actually let people age naturally and the scenery and gardens are to die for. So I came up with a quick outline for "House of Mirth". Sunday morning I honed it using tracing paper and transferred it to some airbrush paper. I started painting and finished last night. I need to use it for "Join Us" too because I need to work on my job the rest of the week so I am cheating... Join Us at the House of Mirth for some Laughter!

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17. The Sound of Water Laughing

If you've ever closed your eyes beside a rippling brook and listened to the water careening over stones and pebbles, you may have heard the sound of water laughing. When was the last time you listened for the sound of laughter and took a break from the serious side of your writing practice? What if today--right now--you drop your stubborn defenses and simply laugh at the challenges that are

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