Laughter Wipes Away the Sad   2 comments

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Today, I am grateful for the ability to laugh at some of the most ridiculous things. Brad is a comedian who can take the most mundane boring subject and turn it into a laughfest.

Yesterday, he was telling me how he wants to purchase a used parachute to use as a winter shelter while caribou hunting. It was just a standard conversation like we have every evening. He wants to buy a little woodstove like you use in a tent.

He started talking about this nice survival scenario (which is not entirely unknown here in the frozen north) and then he move on to envisioning waking up in the middle of the night to the parachute and the Jeep being on fire, trying to drive out of the parachute, and … SUDDENLY, we had herds of flaming caribou running across the tundra with long scarves of parachute fabric flying out from their antlers, Fish & Game officers asking my husband how this had happened, and front page headlines read “The 40 Mile Caribou Herd Renamed the ‘Flaming Reindeer’ Herd Following Freak Accident.”

My son and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.

There have been times in our lives when nothing seemed to be going right, but somehow Brad has always found a way to make me laugh.

I worked for community mental health for 15 years, mostly in administration. It’s a hard profession, working with the chronically mentally ill. You can get accused of things you never would have thought of doing anytime in your life. Clients you really care about can do horrible things, including committing suicide when you thought they were doing well .. or stabbing your coworker to death. It pays to have emotional skin like a rhino.

I never learned the knack for turning hard situations into laughfests. Turning tragedy into comedy is a Brad skill that I lack the irreverence for. I might not have grown up in a dysfunctional enough home.

But I did learn how to make people laugh about other stuff so that the hard part of our job laid a little lighter on their shoulders. I am the Segue Quip Queen.

Our receptionist had just kept a potential suicide on the line for over a half hour while the State Troopers hurried to take him to the hospital. We were all trying to calm her down in the aftermath. (Trust me — major adrenaline situation).

A visiting psychiatrist entered the reception area and asked where our mail basket was.

“Outgoing mail is right there,” said the receptionist.

“Outgoing mail. I wonder if there’s such a thing as introverted mail.” Dr. Griffin was trying to lighten the mood. It wasn’t much of a joke, but it was all the material I needed.

“Sure there is. It just sits in a corner, peaceful and quiet, but you never know when it’s going to go postal.”

They all doubled-taked, then I watched the meaning of the joke hit them. Mouths began to twitch and then the entire group of five people, including myself, doubled over with laughter for about a minute

Humor is where you find it. I can find humor in almost anything.

The agency was getting a new phone system and there was discussion by the management committee of getting a voice mail routing system. I was in a group of case managers who weren’t sure this was such a great idea.

“Can you imagine our clients trying to figure out voice mail?” one of them asked.

“Dial 1 for reception, 2 for case management … 3 if you need these options repeated …”

Light laughter ensued and then someone else quipped “dial 4 if you’re homicidal, dial 5 if you’re suicidal … what should 6 be?

It was my turn to contribute.

“And if you’re paranoid schizophrenic, just hang up because we already know who you are and what you want. Some mind-reading social worker will get back with you soon.”

The case management supervisor just sort of sprayed half the table with coffee. He also successfully used that line to convince the management team that voice mail routing was a bad idea at a community mental health center.

Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes laughter is all you have. You can hang around feeling down in the dumps about how crappy life is treating you or you can laugh about some element of the crappiness and discover that, lo and behold, is it less crappy than you thought it was.

I am grateful that God gave me a thoroughly warped sense of humor to deal with a thoroughly warped universe and put some equally warped people around me to share my bentness with.

Posted November 12, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gratitude

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2 responses to “Laughter Wipes Away the Sad

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  1. Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

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  2. Sounds like Brad keeps you in stitches. Glad to know you have someone in your family to remind you of the humor in life. I have my husband Gene, who also has a fabulous sense of humor and always looks at the funny side of things.

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