Humor Coach: Hone Your Funny Bone (2)
Hope you enjoyed the exercises, made The Three Star Daily Pledge and are using your funny bone more. Statistics say that before a person reaches age fifty, he or she will have a debilitating accident.
When I had the accident in my forties that ended my career, life became really hard for me. My body didn’t even have enough energy to digest food. I needed something to turn the tide quickly and I watched or listened to every funny tape I could get my hands on, read every funny book I could find, even children’s joke books. Every once in a while something would hit me just right, and I would get a good belly laugh. Throughout the day I would think of it and laugh all over again.
I also have a mental file of pictures of funny things. The classic is the Tidy Bowl Man. For all of you youngsters who have no idea who the Tidy Bowl Man is, Google him and LOL! Provided, of course, that you and I share a similar sense of humor. More will come in the Third Hone Your Funny Bone Primer from The Humor Coach.
Years ago, there was a commercial with this Tidy Bowl Man rowing a boat around the toilet tank. I literally fell on the floor laughing the first time I saw it. Another is of my Victorian-mannered mother with chocolate and marshmallow candy on all her fingers and all over her face walking in the mall desperately trying to clean herself with tissues. Of course the more she tried to clean off the worse the mess became. When laughter left me unable to walk she had white tissue paper stuck to every one of her fingers, parts of her face, and her handbag. The Stan Laurel look she gave my daughters and I before she disappeared into the Ladies Room became the photo for my mental funny file.
I literally grew up laughing. Each of my parents came from large families who visited often. Squeezed around the dinette table, they told funny stories. One birthday dinner, my Uncle Pete laughed so hard a big, fat noodle came out of his nose. Lots of people have said that was anatomically impossible. I saw it. I can still see it and it still makes me laugh. It’s another one of my mental funny photos.
Both of my parents had the gift of seeing and laughing at life’s absurdities and people’s quirks, including their own. My father was a kidder who also told jokes, coined funny sayings, and kept everyone around him in stitches. (In case you haven’t been laughing much lately, stitches are those pains you get in your sides when you laugh too hard for too long.) He called little children Banana Noses. One three-year old noticed my father’s huge Italian nose and retorted, “have you ever looked at your nose?” We all broke out into such loud, spontaneous laughter it scared him and he cried as hard as we were laughing.
My mother had a drier sense of humor. When I was a young teenager, the neighborhood kids started sneaking out their windows on summer nights to play midnight hide and seek. It was great fun. On the third night, as I climbed out my window, I saw my mother’s face.
“I’m chasing a mosquito.”
“I already killed it. Go back to bed.”
The humorous household tradition continues in both my home and my brother’s. Once when my youngest daughter and I couldn’t see eye to eye, I began my usual takes on the lighter side of the situation. She started to laugh. Desperately trying to stop herself from laughing, she yelled, “Stop making me laugh when I’m mad.” Of course, that made us all laugh. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “If you want to rule the world you must keep it amused.”
Look at all the benefits you get from laughing:
- Strengthens the Immune System
- Relieves Tension
- Eases Conflict
- Reduces Stress
- Relieves Pain
- Breaks You Free of a Bad Mood
- Relaxes Your Muscles
- Gets You in Touch With Your Joy
- Gives You a Euphoric Feeling
- Produces Endorphins 200 Times More Potent Than Morphine
If all those benefits are not enough for you to do the work to use humor to Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love, you may just have too funny a way of looking at things to keep The Humor Coach happy in a coaching relationship. Keep the Humor Coach happy? Darn straight, life is too short to work with any who doesn’t complete the Happy Circle of Humor Coaching ;o}!
Once I came home from work and my youngest daughter approached me with, “Mom, would you move in with Vicky so I can have my own room?” I broke into a long string of chuckles at the absurdity of her idea. “Nice try, dear. When you support a whole house you’ll deserve the privilege and privacy of your own room. And when you get it make sure no young whippersnapper talks you out of it!”
Here’s my acronym for laughter:
L – oosens you Up
A – muses
U – nburdens
G – ives you Pleasure
H – eals Hurts
T — ickles Away Your Troubles
E – nergizes You
R – elieves Tension
Some things to think about before the Third Hone Your Funny Bone Primer from Barbara Garro, The Humor Coach. What’s next? The tricks, tips, actions, techniques, strategies that help you develop your own personal style!