Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
September 21, 2017

There was a joke told by a man who attended his class reunion that hit our funny bone when we read it in our newspaper.

After a good laugh, we wondered whatever happened to the laughter in our newspaper, or in news of the nation.

Everything has become so serious.

Has there been no humor in all of this?

At our age, laughter has become our salvation. Our body has turned against us, and our mind can't remember worth a damn. We can’t drink cocktails anymore, and we never could smoke. But laughter is a gift that God has given us to make it through hard times.

One time after our heart by-pass surgery, our son came by the hospital and asked if we wanted to hear a joke. “Of course," we said, "we needed something to lighten up the situation.”

That was the wrong answer because the joke was so funny it stretched the seams of our operation. The pain was more than we ever expected, and we had to tell him to lay off the jokes until we recover from the last one.

We feel if you can’t laugh at life and the things which happen around you, then you have only a half a life, maybe less than that.

We have never run the national weekly comics in the paper, but there was a time when we always could fill an empty space with a cartoon. We ran some of the best and they kept our readers laughing. We are not sure whatever happened to them. Maybe they're lost in computer layout.

Maybe when this country stopped laughing at itself, we decided there was no sense continuing the cartoons and they just fell by the wayside. After all there were times in past wars and during 9/11 that this country did not laugh and there was good reason.

For years we prided ourself in always having a great joke as we visited the butchers in the markets which advertised with us. We could bet that a good joke would make it down the Highway 99 corridor, from Sacramento to Merced, faster than one could drive.

Sometimes our joke would pass us up and someone would end up telling it to us before we told it to them.

We have never stopped laughing in our household. It is the silver lining of our family and when all else seems to be going wrong, we can still laugh.

We loved the some of the old comedies with Abbott and Costello, and “Who’s On First” never stops finding our funny bone. While television labels many of their shows "comedies," we sit through many of the them, and never even smile.

Have we forgotten how to write real comedy? We have enjoyed the home videos which have some great shots and they will get a barrel roll laugh out of us.

Maybe someone should write the boys and girls in Congress and say: “Why don’t you look at yourselves and see how funny you are to the voting public.”

They appear like the Hatfields and the McCoys trying to outdo each other in public.

Why not just sit down together and laugh at what a mess you have left this country in. The joke is that everyone else is laughing at you.

America is a country built on laughter, so just stop a minute and let out a big hardly loud laugh.

You will feel so much better. And maybe it will catch on.


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