Thursday, April 29, 2010

Laugh it Off. A "How To" and "What For" of sorts.

I’ve been realizing lately that humor might just save us. Life can be pretty heavy. Runaway Priuses on the 5 and Ricky Martin is gay? I’m still reeling from Solitaire being banned from comps across school and work campuses in America. But Laughter will save us. The stats and docs second my motion.

Studies show that 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of 2 hours sleep (which means you can watch another disc of your Friends anthology tonight after all, providing you have a good guffaw tomorrow). One good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories (which means you’ll have to watch Jerry Seinfeld’s “I’m Telling You For The Last Time” stand-up routine to burn off that double double you just christened with “animal style”). Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your life span (Which means it’s not wrong to laugh at those people who use the phrase “and whatnot” after every statement they utter).

Despite the off-the-chart boom in the use of the word “LOL” to cap practically every text message sent in the past 5 years - besides the “stop talking to me, creep” text, that is - our actual laugh rate is down 60% from the 1950s, and the commies aren’t even coming to get us! It’s time we lightened up.

Here’s a list of situations and observations that have made me laugh this week:
• People at Peet’s coffee ordering by Starbuck’s Italian sizing.
• The looks on the Peet’s Barista’s face when someone orders by Starbuck’s Italian sizing.
• Starting conversations with people you don’t know in your association Jacuzzi/Spa.
• The either pleased or creeped-out faces of your conversation victims.
• Watching 20-something guys with faux-hawks in Acuras taking sharp corners with their heads out their car window.
• Inferring as much as possible about someone by their rear-view mirror ornaments.
• Inferring as much as possible about someone by the coffee they order.
• Inferring as much as possible by what conversation a person chooses to offer in a Jacuzzi/spa.

Here are some easy ways to get your own laughter-fest kicking.
• Dance in your car to the point that the vehicle is moving due to forces other than the 5-fwy’s want of repaving. This will attract the attention of other drivers. This will make the situation funnier.
• Hug someone you usually only high-five.
• Reset your co-worker’s screensaver to an image of a pickle on a cutting board.
• Chase someone.
• Chase your co-worker in your office complex (this works. It’s funnier than you’d think).
• Turn everything your co-worker says into an innuendo by simply repeating their sentences back to them and modifying the emphasis and inflexion.
• Cast the film autobiography of your life. In mine, Jack Nicholson plays my dad and Daniel Day-Lewis plays my boyfriend. And he has a handle bar mustache. There’s nothing wrong with embellished reality…
• Read Esquire’s list of “1000 Things You Don’t Know About Women.” Here’s a sample of some of the listed wisdom submitted by local ladies:
No. 332: We notice what you have on your nightstand, and we draw as many conclusions as possible. 
-Catlin Moore, 24, Long Beach, California.
No. 902: Don't buy greeting cards unless you absolutely have to. To put it gently, it's an art you have yet to master. -Carolyn Morgan, 33, Irvine, California.
No. 312: There should never be rhinestones on your clothing. Or your belt. Ever. We are the sparkly ones. -Lindsay Coluccio, 33, Newport Beach, California.
• Read that forwarded e-mail from your spam-happy internet-savvy Uncle Tom about bad woman drivers. It is pretty funny.
• Listen to an Alvin and the Chipmunks album.
• Pick up out of date, underused, or avoided slang words. My pick: the word “clean” denoting coolness (example: that turtleneck you’re rocking is “cleeaaaannn.”)
• Go watch the original Death At A Funeral before seeing the new one. I don’t see how it can possibly be improved upon, but we’ll see.

• Go see witty satirist, best-selling author, and NPR personality David Sedaris this Tuesday at Long Beach’s Terrace Theater. He’s gay, he’s Jewish, he once worked as an elf at the Macy’s Christmas gig. He can find the humor in anything.
Concentrate too hard on the millions of people who hate you for what you are and you're likely to turn into one of those unkempt, sloppy dressers who sag beneath the weight of the two hundred political buttons they wear pinned to their coats and knapsacks.” – David Sedaris.
Event  is May 4th, 7:30pm at Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802. 562-436-3636.

Get your cackle, chuckle, or chortle going. A laugh a day keeps the ulcers away.
On my iPod: “Love Vigilantes” by New Order. On my tele: A Reading on Letterman by David Sedaris



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