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A Gift You Can Give Today Author: Jeff Taylor, LPC

A common experience when I was growing up would happen around the dinner table. My Mom would say, “Oh Dr. Miller told the funniest joke today”. Apparently, Dr. Miller was the Don Rickles of the office. At this point, my Dad would roll his eyes and find a reason to leave the table.

One of the things I loved about her telling jokes was to see if she could actually get to the end of the joke because she was laughing so hard. It often went like this:

“So, this guy, Bill goes into a restaurant…oh, wait, I think his name was John…well anyway, he goes into a restaurant and he can’t find a seat.”

Now, it is important to note that at this point in the joke, that it has already taken a minute or so because she can’t stop laughing. There would also be statements like, “I can’t say it as good as he can” and “you need to hear him tell it”, but to her credit she would always keep going. At some point you would hear a groan from across the room followed my Father saying, “Get to the punchline!”

Because of My Mom’s infectious laughter, I would often be smiling at this point, also curious if this would be the rare occasion that she would ever get to the funny part. But as always, she was determined to keep going.

“So, then the guy says to the waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!”

This would almost always be the moment in the joke where she would lose it with laughter, and one of us would emphatically say, “Mom, what did the waiter say?”

She would then pause and in complete seriousness state, “Oh, now I can’t remember but it really was funny”

At which point I would almost fall of my chair laughing and my Dad now in the living room would say, “No one can tell a joke like you”

And he was right.

We need laughter in our lives.

A great belly laugh strengthens our immune system, lessens pain and lowers blood pressure. One of the things I love about laughing with someone is it’s a wonderful way to connect. When we laugh with others, we are sharing an important moment that can become a great memory. How many times does a funny story begin with, “Remember that time when . . . “?

Find some laughter today.

· Watch a dumb movie that truly makes you guffaw, for me it might be a movie like “Tommy boy” or “Dumb and Dumber”.

· Order a 1950’s joke book and sit around reading it while you groan and laugh at the same time.

· Find an old comedy album on-line and do not be surprised if you bust out laughing.

· Watch stupid cat videos with a friend.

There are many ways you can give the gift of laughter today. Here is the truth, when you make someone laugh you receive SO much more then you give.

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