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Why did the chicken cross the road?

By September 14, 2014Healthy Aging

Five years ago, my 92-year-old mother-in-law was in the hospital in a coma-like state with her entire family by her side. She had been there for several days. Death seemed inevitable. But then she opened her eyes and said, “Anyone know how those Mariners did last night?” Family members exploded with relieved laughter.

She did not die that night — in fact she lived for another year. And during that year she had dozens of baseball games and hundreds of happy family exchanges. Hers was a deep-throated laugh that erupted constantly even when she was bed-bound during that final year and almost totally deaf. She was an amazing woman. Remembering her raucous laugh makes me smile.

I’m not an intuitively funny person — I usually have to practice telling a joke several times and always worry I will “screw up” (my husband’s term for it) the punch line. My spouse’s family laughs at almost anything. They are a quick-witted bunch full of stories and good humor. Well … most of the time. They do have their moments.

We had a telephone chat with my sister-in-law last night, and her deep-throated laughter was constant and contagious. I cannot remember specifically what she found so funny about the rendition of our busy errand-filled day, but she did. And then, I did too. Note to self: hang around more with people who laugh a lot. Laughter is like aerobic exercise — it’s cleansing. It re-sets your life.

What’s the funniest story you’ve heard this week? When was the last time you allowed yourself a gut-wrenching belly laugh? Just pause for a moment and think about that. If you know any jokes — tell yourself one.

I’ll start that ball rolling. The scene is a funeral parlor, and the mortician says, “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You may have noticed the other service going on down the hall. It’s for the man who invented the Hokey-Pokey. Actually he’s been a bit of a challenge. When we put him in his coffin, we put his left leg in. That’s when the trouble started.”

Not quite your style? Let me try again. I’m actually fairly good at telling “Why did the chicken…” jokes. So … here goes.

Question: “Why did the forgetful chicken cross the road?

Answer: “To get to the other side — er, no … to go shopping — no, not that either — darn it.

OK, here’s one more.

I know 10 facts about you. Fact 1: You are reading this. Fact 2: You cannot say the letter “m” without touching your lips. Fact 3: You just tried it. Fact 4: You’re smiling. Fact 6: You’re smiling or laughing again. Fact 7: You didn’t notice I missed fact 5. Fact 8: You just checked it. Fact 9: You’re smiling again. Fact 10: You either think this is worth sharing with someone who needs a lift — or you think it’s a little “lame.”

“Lame” you say? Just know, I did not invent that series of funny facts. It came from a slightly outrageous website (www.kickasshumor.com). Maybe you could go there; see what else it has to offer.

Laugh long and hard, if inclined. Or you could just smile loudly. You decide.

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