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On having a laugh

Is cheese really all that funny?

Laughter is the best form of medicine. So they say. Personally I don’t know that I agree with this statement. Laughter might make you feel better but should you laugh at being ill?

I love watching Australian Story and any other good real life documentary that charts the amazing, sometimes tragic, events that happen to an ordinary person. It’s incredible what some people go through and these shows certainly put your own life’s problems into perspective.

One thing I don’t like or agree with is the idea that you’ve got to laugh through some tragedy or disaster. I don’t think there’s much that’s very funny about cancer. It makes me feel uncomfortable seeing a sick person with cancer trying to laugh at their predicament. I think they’ve got every right to be angry about what’s happening to them and to not go through it trying to keep a smile on their face. Sometimes I wonder if they do this because they feel obliged to not let us feel too bad because they’re sick.

There’s a line I love in the Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors where Alan Alda’s character says that comedy is tragedy plus time. I guess the two things, tragedy and laughter, are linked. I know when things went wrong when I was travelling I’d think about what a good story it would make after it was over and that I’d laugh about my misadventure from the comfort of my home. Now that I have small children, I try to find the funny side of food squashed on the floor or objects hurled done the stairs.

There’s no doubt that misadventure is amusing. A chuckle at someone else’s expense is a guilty pleasure we all enjoy. I love friends who can make me laugh. I’ve had a couple of good friends who good make me laugh, actually we could crack each other up, to the point that we’d have to leave the room or have trouble breathing for laughing. I love these friends, although they’re dangerous to work with or drink with. Here are a few quotes from some famous writers and performers <;!–more–
on laughter.

Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. ~Kurt Vonnegut

I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth.” ~Quincy Jones



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