Tickling our funny bones this Red Nose Day – Joyce Elwood-Smith
Tickling Our Funny Bones
Have you ever thought life is a funny thing, do you ever feel that you are the only one in the world to find certain things funny? Well be reassured that you will not be. We all need to enjoy life and have a really good laugh, a deep belly rolling laugh, let the tears roll down our cheeks and shake with mirth.
Charlie Chaplin, possibly the world’s most famous comedian said ‘a day without laughter is a day wasted’.
Sadly not everybody appears to be endowed with a good sense of humour or the same sense of humour as the next person but let’s admit it life can get too serious and the ability to laugh has to be a part of our psyche for a reason. We need to ‘always look on the bright side of life’ what fun it was to see and hear that song incorporated in the closing of the Olympic Games. In fact the Brits laughed good heartedly at them-selves in both the opening and closing ceremonies even the Queen and her cheerful corgis getting in on the act.
As children we found lots of things extremely funny, it all has to have started when we were happy contented babies. There are some very funny video clips on You-tube of dimpled chortling babies, tummies and double chins rippling, pealing with laughter at something that has tickled their insides.
Little Girls are especially notorious for giggling it lasts into their teenage years, and beyond, they giggle about seemingly nothing. However giggling is not just a girlie thing little boys can be gigglers too. I took two ten year old boys to the Carter Observatory in Wellington they loved it and were exceptionally well behaved until we saw a model of a certain planet the name of which they (and only they) thought was hilariously funny setting the scene for the rest of the visit and all the way home! We all know that boys go through the ‘toilet humour’ phase unfortunately lasting well into their teen years! But they can also be very good at telling and remembering clean and funny jokes.
The ability of being able to laugh at ourselves is a great tool.
Laughter can be triggered by anything that is amusing, the funny bone is tickled and off we go. Where does that expression come from, do we really have a funny bone? We call a certain part of our elbow that but when we accidently bang it, it is the very opposite of funny.
Sadly humour on television has degenerated into mostly sexual innuendo, even the so called family programmes our kids are watching. Where has the art of good and witty comedy gone? There were great comedy shows once, you know the real slapstick sort. The Brits generally were best at it but there are some memorable American comedy shows too. Thankfully there are one or two good comedians still around.
Not long ago as a family we watched ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’, shrieking with laughter all over again and there he was featuring in the opening ceremony of the ‘Games’. A few decades ago there was Michael Crawford’s perfected ‘timing’, in ‘Some mother’s do av em’ and of course classic John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in ‘ Fawlty Towers’.
But we don’t need to rely on television for humour in our life it can be all around us. Our family “get-together’s” are memorable for the times spent playing games. The children love charades, seeing them having fun and expressing themselves is a joy, they are naturally funny and creative and they in turn love to see the adults ‘acting the fool’.
“Clown doctors”, a group of specially trained clowns who frequent children’s wards entertaining and distracting the small patients are reaping benefits in paediatric care and cancer wards. The mission of the Clown Doctors is:- To bring joy and laughter to the sick in hospitals and to contribute to a more humane, heartfelt and humorous society. You can donate a smile if you want to help by going online to Clown Doctors NZ.
Some years ago in Christchurch a well- known entity had a habit of popping up at community concerts as the “Laughing Policemen”. All he did was laugh and the audience laughed too and not so much at him as with him, his laughing was contagious.
This Friday 24th August is RED NOSE DAY a national fundraising campaign to raise money for Cure-Kids. The campaign encourages everyone to let go, laugh and be silly – all for a serious cause. The ambition is to create a sea of red across the country in support of our children.
In preparing for a new semester’s teaching at an International school overseas my sister searched for all things humorous; stories, poems, funny animal pictures and jokes. The theme being smile and discover how much fun life and learning can be; the purpose to show the lighter side of life, practice being happy and joyful and learn to share it with others. The children will be encouraged to write humorous poems, stories and cartoons. At some given time in the day there will be a session of good old fashioned giggling and laughing. All of which will help them practice some defence mechanisms for when life becomes too intense and overwhelming.
Laughter balances the seriousness of life.