A Moment in Laughter

Tomorrow is the anniversary of a family friend of mine passing away. Neil was passionate, creative, and absolutely, downright hilarious. He worked hard but always made time for what he loved, which was music. He would play with his band on the weekends in local bars. It was a special treat to go see him play because he made us all feel as if we were the private party of a homegrown rockstar.

I don’t really have the words to describe how much I looked up to him. Not only because he was one of the few people in my life who actively pursued his passion but also because he never took life too seriously. I can distinctly remember that he once severely injured his knee because he was trying to perform a karate move on a filing cabinet. I’m not sure what was funnier: the fact that he did it or the way that he told the story after the fact.

He was one of my biggest role models, and I felt completely lost when he died. I cannot even begin to fathom how his family feels without him now. But I know how I would like to honor him, if I may.

It’s customary to ask for a moment of silence to commemorate the passing of a loved one. But tonight, I’m asking for a moment in laughter. It’s what Neil was best at, making others laugh. And laugh hard. I’m not capable of that level of comedic relief, but I can share with you some of my favorite jokes and puns so that maybe I can procure a chuckle or two in his honor.

So, join me, in my moment of laughter for Neil.

  • What do you call fake spaghetti?

An impasta

  • What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?

-You’ll rise and shine!

  • What do you get from a pampered cow?

-Spoiled milk.

  • What happened to the dog that ate the firefly?

-He barked with de-light!

  • Why do fish live in salt water?

-Because pepper makes them sneeze!

  • I don’t trust those stairs because they’re always up to something.
  • Yesterday, I accidentally swallowed some food coloring. The doctor says I’m ok, but I feel like I’ve dyed inside.
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur’s table was Sir Cumference.
  • Novice pirates make terrible singers because they can’t hit the high seas.
  • There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal.

I hope a few of these made you smile. I know that it made Neil smile to hear some laughter in the world. Even for just a moment.

I will end with one of his performances, as I leave you all, dear readers, as he left us: doing what he loved. I do what I love now (writing) because he had the courage to show me how.

Rest easy, my friend. And know that your time here on Earth was nothing short of magical.

The Last Laugh

You know when you go to the circus, and you go to see the clowns…

Wait, scratch that. No one, and I mean, no one, goes to see the clowns. They are just some unfortunate part of the show that everyone is suffering through. Really, we’re all afraid to anger them in case they fly into a murderous rage, which we all know is as much a part of their act as throwing pies at each other.

Well, let’s just talk about the general idea of clowns. Sure, they’re funny…I guess. They fit in a small car, they shoot water out of their flower lapels, and they honk their noses. But have you ever noticed that clowns don’t tell jokes? Usually, clowns are completely silent, acting out their humor by playing tricks on one another. Or making fun of themselves. That’s right, they use themselves as the target for their own act.

So, are you a clown? Then, why are you making fun of yourself for the benefit of others?

Of course, if you’re anything like me, you just try to use humor as a deflector. You usually try to joke around when things get a little too serious. You like to tickle the elephant in the room instead of ignore it.

And, naturally, you try to poke a little fun at yourself so that other people don’t get there first. You would hate to hear what other people really thought of you, so you try to predict it and say it first. Hey, I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking, right? 

Wrong. You have no idea what people think of you, and to be very honest with you, people don’t think very often. So, you are probably several leagues off base with whatever you are going to say.

But if you still feel like you need to make a good impression, don’t show your hand. If you joke around and tell everyone that you’re a klutz, they suddenly become aware of every clumsy move you make. Why? Because you pointed it out to them, for no reason. And why did you point it out to them? Because you were afraid that they would get the last laugh. So, you took it for yourself.

But have you ever noticed that the only people laughing at the circus is the other clowns? Partially because, as we’ve established, clowns are not funny, so they have to help each other along. But it’s also because people don’t know where all of that self-loathing is bubbling up from. It’s the same idea with you. Why is this perfectly nice person calling herself an idiot? they wonder. They just see you laughing at your own “stupidity,” and they aren’t in on the joke.

So, stop trying to get the last laugh because you’re uncomfortable. Be confident in yourself and remember: you are a person, not a punchline.