Did that taxidermy shop owner really tell David to touch the dead arm? Sedaris’ banter with his father reminds me exactly of my grandfather’s crazy ways. I giggled, chuckled and all out belly-laughed at the stories I was being told.
I am picky about my humor (No “South Park” for me) but Sedaris touches my soul (maybe because my family is as crazy as his.) This is a good thing: Laughter has therapeutic qualities that can improve a person’s health and quality of life.
And what is even better, April is National Humor Month.
According to this Washington Times article, Dr. Madan Kataria started a laughter club in 1995 and the concept has ballooned to more than 6,000 groups in 60 countries. According to the article:
Over the years (Kataria has) found that even artificially induced laughter can help relax muscles, lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation, increase oxygen levels, and boost your immune system – what many consider to be the “master key” to good health.
I personally know this as true. There are times when I am so stressed, I feel the muscles in my shoulders knot. That is the effect of working in a high-stress job setting. As a result, there are times when anything sets off a giggle-fest, when I can’t stop laughing about something seemingly not very funny, causing me to gasp for breath. I feel calm afterward, muscles relaxed and sometimes I can finally fall asleep.
And after knowing that I must keep my heart healthy, I should make laughter one of my daily requirements, just like taking my vitamins and getting exercise.
Even these parents get the message: Sometimes life can’t be taken too seriously. I think this is an amazing thing to teach kids — to not sweat the small stuff.
And who knows, if these kids have great senses of humor, we might have a few more best-selling authors.