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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Where has all the humor gone?

Robin Williams... the best!

Where has all the humor gone? Are we so busy worrying that we don't have time to laugh anymore or even think funny thoughts?

Chuckles the Clown of the old Mary Tyler Moore was eulogized as Mary remembered by his favorite line: "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in your pants." Funny or not? I dare you to decide here.

Biggest problem is, to think funny you can't be mad or angry all the time... like most of us seem to be.

The earth is warming, death and killings seem to call for more guns just in case we have to shoot or kill someone ourselves, the stock market controls too many lives, bad guys have all the power of today's killer technology and a mere handful can do more damage than the atomic bomb, omnipresent politics are more divisive than ever, wars never end, refugees flood the earth, the rich get richer, the poor struggle every day, the Congress we elected is one of our least trusted bodies with a primary goal to get reelected... and after all that, we die.

Is that all there is?

Where is the balance? Have we tuned out human nature? We the people... are human... and funny. Sometimes funny ha ha, some times funny stupid. Sometimes they laugh at us, sometimes we laugh at ourselves. I think we have become somberly focused on every negative aspect--real or imagined--that permeates our minds.

In my former life as a magazine publisher, I wrote a column called For Your Information that began in 1962 and continued monthly through 1996. It was a lighthearted attempt to lift spirits and laugh at ourselves. What could be richer than that. I had a section in every column called "Dumb Crooks" and later added "... and Stupid Sounding Lawsuits." It was the best read feature in the magazine and generated the greatest reader response. People love to laugh... they just sometimes forget.

Way before anyone else, I started a trend that resulted in books, stories and television specials of the stupid things we do. Today, Chuck Shepherd has picked up the theme in his News of the Weird that regularly appears in a delightful 24-page monthly newspaper, Funny Times. If you think you might actually enjoy funny news and cartoons (both political and human nature-filled), do yourself a favor and check it out.

Here are a few examples of how funny (and/or stupid and/or ironic or just plain ridiculous) we can be in real life:

  • A Nebraska man is in prison for shooting his girlfriend with a pistol. The 22 caliber bullet cut right through her tattoo that read, "Happiness Is A Warm Gun."
  • Car-jacking isn't as easy as it seems. When the thief ripped-off the ar of a handicapped driver, he didn't know how to use the hand controls. So he got out of the car and handed the wheel-chair bound victim the keys, then stripped off his ski mask and said, "Just kidding." 
  • A woman from Arkansas is suing her college for a classroom exercise of 'musical chairs' that went wrong. She claims in her suit that the game was played wrong because the instructor had asked her and two other students to play with only one chair. The resulting game scramble that ensued, she claimed, cost her two broken fingers and forced her into "years" of surgery and physical therapy. She asserted that "everyone knows Musical Chairs should be two chairs for three people." She asks for $75,000.
  • In Australia, a man about to board a 14 hour flight to Vienna was stopped by authorities who discovered he had 35 geckos under his clothes, all taped to his skin. Sounds like the kind of guy I get stuck next to on a plane.
  • A recent demonstration of 100 people outside Britain's Parliament to protest legislation to curb psychoactive drugs, passed out gas-filled balloons containing nitrous oxide--laughing gas. The demonstration turned funny as the group took hits from their balloons and "erupted in fits of laughter."
  • From the 'New Product' department: A Yom Kipur workaround for "fasting" coffee addicts: caffeine suppositories.
  • Extensive research by Animal Behaviour Science magazine cautions pet owners that they may be petting their cats all wrong! Felines seem to prefer face-caressing, especially between the eyes and ears, and are negatively aroused by tail-petting, especially at the base.
  • The Welsh language is such a severe mutation of the original English spoken in the Middle Ages that it is barely distinguishable from Klingon. In fact, the Welsh government, responding to queries about a possible UFO sighting near Cardiff airport, playfully issued its galaxy-friendly response in Klingon: "jang dvlDa je due luq." And if you wish to say "I cannot understand in Welsh," simply respond "nad oes modd i ddeall Cymraeg."
  • In Arkansas, a man representing himself on a disorderly conduct charge was found guilty. So he took down his pants and mooned the judge. Not one to take a joke, the judge added 5 months for each cheek.
So seriously, laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone, or worse yet, go to jail for 10 months. Sure cure for the frown, the always funny, never blue Funny Times web page

Try not to take yourself so seriously. There's always someone worse off than you. 

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