Sunday, November 28, 2021

Let's Give Thanks For Humor




 It’s one of the things for which I’m most thankful. I scour recent headlines and delve into various news stories on a daily basis as I prepare to write pieces for this and other sites. In recent months this endeavor has been an increasingly dark and taxing one, especially for an aging carcass like mine. If I wasn’t blessed with a sense of humor, life would have long since lost its luster. I’d likely be knitting cummerbunds on a ranch outside of Tierra del Fuego while humming “Classical Gas,” or making custom license plates in a large, secure edifice with lots of cons, and very few pros.


Some folks are blessed with gifts such as extraordinary intelligence and perception, and that is wonderful on its face, but many of the brightest and most inquisitive minds are tormented by these very same qualities and capacities. We all know of the five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. And we frequently hear talk of someone possessing a “sixth sense,” a keen intuitive power. Perhaps the ability to predict the stock market or know when the phone is about to ring. My preferred sixth sense is a sense of humor. Think about it. Unlike the five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing, a sense of humor appears utterly unnecessary for our species- or any species- survival. We can see a dangerous situation developing, touch a hot surface and pull back our hand before it’s seriously damaged, smell a gas leak, taste spoiled or rotten food and spit it out, and hear a storm coming. But, is it vitally important that we can laugh at a Monty Python skit or a Babylon Bee post?


 If you ask me, it is.


With all the evil being perpetrated around the world, and the rapid decline and fall of the Unites States under the Brandon Biden administration, I would have taken leave of my senses long ago if it wasn’t for the sense God gave me. The life affirming sense of humor. I am reminded of a (quite risqué) movie called Skin Deep in which the late John Ritter played a character who was struggling with depression. Towards the end of the flick, as he began to come to terms with his life, he was sitting on the beach near the ocean when he was suddenly swept away by a giant, rogue wave that he failed to see coming. After being deposited some distance away, he got to his feet and remarked with knowing wonder and a wry smirk: “There is a God! And He’s a gag writer!” He was fine with that realization.


 So am I. At first blush, clinically speaking, humor doesn’t appear to have been a prerequisite for human life, whether one believes in Creationism or evolution. Yet it helps us to slay the demons and to not take ourselves and our troubles so seriously. Sometimes it is nice to just enjoy a joke, a pun, or a funny story. Therefore, I would posit that humor is necessary for a rich, full and rewarding life,  or the pursuit of happiness as our Founders dubbed it. 


Humor: it’s not only funny, it’s divine. 


Thank you, God.


So come and have a seat at our table some Thanksgiving. Just watch out for the whoopee cushions.


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