You can’t make me

A.D. 2020 has not been an easy year to write humor. But that’s exactly what’s needed.

With the pandemic, the economy bungee jumping without the bungee, society being forced to confess its sins, and the deaths of far too many heroes and saints, 2020 has been grim.

It is time to act. It is also time to laugh.

That sounds contradictory, but laughter is our biological reset button — a break from woes and worries, and a chance to briefly regain our sense of perspective.

Laughing is among the healthiest things we do. It’s the cathartic comma that punctuates our inner monologues, which would otherwise drone on endlessly, ruining our mental and physical health. The body fights back with a hearty laugh, saying, “Hey! You! Snap out of it!”

In 22-plus years of writing Quip Tide, longtime friends and complete strangers have told me, “You made me laugh” (usually about dogs). I appreciate the compliment, but the truth is, you wanted to laugh. A rare funny line in Quip Tide may be the catalyst, but you made yourself laugh. I was just the midwife.

Don’t believe me? Read on:

tThe human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. Only laughter can blow a colossal humbug to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

tIf we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.

— Jimmy Buffett

tYou don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. — Michael Pritchard

tThe more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.

— Bill Nye

tLife is tough, and if you have the ability to laugh at it you have the ability to enjoy it.

— Salma Hayek

tIf you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

— Oscar Wilde

tWithout the laugh, there is no Tao. — Lao-tzu

tHe who laughs, lasts!

— Mary Pettibone Poole

tEvery time one laughs, a nail is removed from one's coffin. — Honduran Proverb

tLaughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on. — Bob Newhart

tYou can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants. — Stephen King

tI've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, "Ain't that the truth." — Quincy Jones

tLaughter is an instant vacation. — Milton Berle

tComedy breaks down walls. It opens up people. If you're good, you can fill up those openings with something positive. Maybe... combat some of the ugliness in the world.

— Goldie Hawn

Let yourself laugh. I know you have it in you. If you need a catalyst, here are a few prescriptions: Twain’s description of a pistol duel in France; “Mrs. Doubtfire”; an episode of an absurdist comedy (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” or “Superstore” are mindless fun); or “Ghostbusters.” Only the original, please. hopes a good laugh will make it better.

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