I used to love April Fool’s Day. It was the perfect time to play a few pranks, tell a few jokes, or just clown around. It was all “fun and games” until somebody (namely me) got hurt. I know. Much has been said about the value of laughter. Indeed, it is often said that laughter is the best medicine. But is laughter really all it’s cracked up to be? When was the last time you saw “Laughter: 20 mg daily” on a prescription bottle?
Laughter hurts. Seriously.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve laughed so hard my sides hurt. And have you ever laughed so hard you choked on a malted milk egg? I have. It’s not a fun time. Then there was the time (at the tender age of eleven) when I had to undergo emergency surgery following an accident. When my family came to visit me in the hospital after, I was so happy to see them, I couldn’t stop laughing. I was literally and figuratively in stitches. It hurt so bad they had to leave! Oh, the agony.
But laughter isn’t just painful, it’s often embarrassing. Have you ever burst out laughing over a whispered, private comment or a sudden, humorous thought at a socially awkward or inappropriate time, such as a funeral, solemn religious ceremony, or a job interview? Polite, nervous laughter is one thing, but when a startlingly loud donkey snort slips out, it’s enough to make one want to crawl into a hole and die from disgrace.
And, where inopportune glee is a concern, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the issue of laundry. What does laughter have to do with laundry, you ask? Apparently quite a great deal—if you’re over 50 or your mirthful exercises temporarily overrides your body’s ability to retain its solid or liquid waste products. If you’re at work or school and nowhere near a washing machine, a department store, or otherwise unable to swap out your undergarments for a clean pair, laughter can make for an awfully uncomfortable afternoon!
Finally, what about those times when something strikes you as being just hilarious—and no one else in the room “gets it”? Despite any half-hearted and fruitless attempts to explain your genius, all you get in return are lots of raised eyebrows, sideways looks, and the imagined sound of crickets echoing in the silence. Heck, in some of the more serious laughing episodes I’ve experienced, someone thought I laughed at them, took offense, and nearly punched me in the nose!
No, laughter isn’t the cure-all some will say it is. It’s a fickle, mean-spirited creature that will endear you with its joy one moment, then make you “shart” and mortify you in another. Unless you’re willing to pay the consequences, take my advice—don’t engage in any form of hilarity whatsoever. It’s all just too dangerous.
It’s nothing but April Foolishness!
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