50 Thoughts: Humor is My Sixth Sense

Originally published September 18, 2018

Sight, scent, sound, smell and touch.

The five senses by which the average person makes their way through the universe. And if you have all five about you, enjoy it while it lasts – a 2016 Newsweek article says 94 percent of adults lose at least one, if not more, sense as they age.

I started to have trouble hearing several years ago and caved on hearing aids just last year. It’s a pain, for sure. But I know that I’d be in even worse straits if I lost something more important – my sense of humor.

Everyone’s got their favorite, and the Big 5 are pretty integral in being able to enjoy my personal sixth sense (you can’t laugh at Trump’s golf swing if you can’t see Trump’s golf swing), but my God, if I couldn’t laugh …

I don’t know who or how much I inherited my love of funny from, though my maternal grandmother was known to be wicked fast with humorous responses to situations and people. Humor is a big tent, with many different colors and sounds to it, and each with their own acquired tastes. There’s Will Ferrell and Benny Hill, and there’s also the Coen brothers and Jerry Seinfeld.

My appreciation crosses the spectrum. I’ll laugh as hard at “This is Spinal Tap” …

As I will at Ricky Bobby …

And the absolutely under appreciated …

Of course, my love of reading is everything — burying yourself in a book is always a great escape from the TV news cycle, work, stress … whatever the day has dropped at your feet. But I also love, love, love to laugh. At books, at movies, at TV, with my kids, with my husband, with my friends and especially at work. Nothing makes the day go by faster than having a really fun group of people to toil away with. It’s laughing at work that made cleaning a fish fryer tolerable in high school, carried me through some of my crazier bosses and bonds the team I work with these days.

Laughter, at least for me, is the antidote to the what feels like neverending rage against the political machine, and is a fantastic counterbalance to the hormonal haywire I seem to be in the middle of pretty much every day. And like joy, laughter almost always reliant on some kind of connection to another, whether in person or through some kind of print, auditory, or televised media. And that connection is a blessing, because it’s your soul finding some commonality with another. Sometimes it really is good to be human.

Here’s to a good old-fashioned gut buster … and to hoping you never get to the end of the day without a good chuckle.

Today’s recommendation: Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow. Nothing but interviews, past and present, with really, really funny people.

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