October 23, 2021

On the laugh track

“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” ― Veronica Roth

Mabel and Olive at the company meeting
Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau


I’m in the mood to laugh. Life is too serious right now and I need a break. I’ve cut down on my news consumption, and I can prove it. I just failed the New York Times weekly news quiz.

To take the place of reading newspapers and watching hours of depressing news every day, I’ve been looking for humor. Here’s what I’ve found.

By far the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time is a Youtube video of a Zoom meeting involving a man and his two Labrador retrievers, Mabel and Olive. According to the man, it’s annual report time at their house and the two pooches aren’t doing too great – ruining couches and chasing too many squirrels, etc.

When it comes to comic movies, I can always count on the Marx Brothers to get me laughing. We watched “Room Service” the other day and Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo performed their customary slapstick nonsense. As usual, Harpo stole the show with his rib-busting antics.

To me, some people are just born funny. You look at them and you know they’re thinking of something silly to say or do. Peter Sellers has that gift.

His portrayal of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies is guaranteed to make me laugh to the point of tears.

Here’s another born funny person – humor writer Dave Barry. He’s written a slew of books, each of them good for dozens of laughs. The last one I read is called “Lessons from Lucy” about what he’s learned from his rescue dog. It’s a scream.

Right now, I need to laugh uproariously – until tears roll down my face. Most of us do. It helps us forget all the grim news we hear every day. It helps us cope and keep our balance in a world that seems to have turned upside down. 

Writing spark

Who or what makes you laugh? What is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face? Write down some names, movies, books, comic routines you’ve heard. Revisit these funny places and people.

And what about playing a game? Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, charades and many others are good for lots of laughs. If you’re solo, consider using Face Time or Zoom to play games with someone.

Have fun, stay well and keep writing.

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