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Ha, you were probably expecting “From Darkness to Light,” yes? Well, allow me to explain.

Four or five years ago I was in the midst of a very bad depression, and retreated as far into the darkness as possible. I would walk into my work office, close the door, only turn ONE light on out of the two, and keep my shades drawn. I would come into work, do my job and leave, some days without saying one word to anyone, if I could help it.

One rainy morning as I was nearly to my office, a young man was standing in the cubicle doorway of another coworker, and they both started laughing. For one of them, though, this wasn’t just a normal laugh, it was from his GUT. It was a deep-hearted belly-laugh.

“How can he do that?” I asked myself. “How can he just stand there and laugh so deeply? I haven’t done that in so long, I don’t even know how it’s done.”

THAT’S how far I’d travelled down this desperate, deserted road.

I remembered this event a few days ago, and knowing she also struggles with chronic pain, sent my mom a text message:

“Hey mama! Question: do you think you and I have lost the ability to laugh? I mean, I KNOW we laugh at stuff, but I’m talking about laughter as a way of life, every day. Those deep belly-laughs we used to do, where we laughed until we cried.”

“Yes,” she simply replied, and then later wrote another message to elaborate: “Because of my pain, I feel like I’m not much fun anymore, and just don’t laugh or have fun like I used to.”

I wasn’t exactly sure what to do about that, so I looked up some “bad dad jokes” and “bad one-liners.” Not “bad” in a “naughty” sense, but “bad” as in “so corny they’re (hopefully) funny.” They’re below, but before we get to them…

I sent these to my wife and my parents, and said, “Trying to find my laugh again. Figured I’d start here.” I even posted a couple of them on Facebook. I think laughter is SO important these days, as the world seems to grow darker and angrier.

Speaking of angry, when my wife and I were driving to work this morning, two separate drivers got extremely mad at us for driving a mere five miles over the speed limit (not nearly fast enough for them apparently). One passed us in town in a turn-lane (aka “no passing lane”) and the other cut into the passing lane to pull into McDonald’s half a block early, caught up and passed us in the turn lane and glared at us like we were driving slow on purpose, just to ruin his day.

Good grief!

Between my chronic pain and all its emotional residuals—depression, anger, etc—it appears I’ve lost my spirit of laughter. I’ve noticed I’m more drawn to crime dramas than comedies. Now, I don’t think we should just sit around laughing all day, and watching nothing but comedies; that would be absurd.

I DO think those of us who have let the darkness steal our laughter need to find a way to get it back. Children are a great asset in this regard, but everyone has their own sources of laughter. If you’re in the same boat as my mom and me, I would like to challenge you to find what makes YOU laugh, and seek more of it.

Here’s what tickles my funny bone:

BAD DAD JOKES

I just wrote a book on reverse psychology.
Do not read it.

I was sitting in traffic the other day.
Probably why I got run over.

Library patron: “Do you sell any books on paranoia?”
Librarian: “They’re right behind you!”

Two pizzas were put into the oven. Pepperoni turned to sausage and said, “MAN, it’s getting hot in here!” Sausage, eyes agape, shouted, “WOW, a talking pizza!”

What do a rabbit and a plum have in common?
Both are purple except the rabbit.

Two cows are grazing in a field. One says to the other, “You ever worry about that mad cow disease?”
The other cow says, “Why would I care? I’m a helicopter.”

Why should you always take an extra pair of socks when you go golfing?
In case you get a hole in one.

BAD ONE-(or two)-LINERS

My wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo. I had to put my foot down. 

I went to buy some camo pants but couldn’t find any.

I was wondering why the Frisbee kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, but then it hit me.

If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic. (a friend of mine said “make melonade”)

Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.

My therapist says I have a preoccupation for revenge. We’ll see about that.

Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.

April showers bring May flowers. May flowers bring Pilgrims.

Pick-up line from one wall to the other: “I’ll meet you in the corner.”

I asked my dog, “What’s two minus two?” He said nothing.

(and my favorite for today) I was carded at the liquor store and my Blockbuster Gold Card accidentally fell out. The cashier said, “Never mind.”

Hope some of these have, at the very least, helped you smile today. God bless you, my friend. Keep laughing.

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