Crack a Joke

Crack a joke: (v) to make a joke or say something humorous,

Throughout my years of travel, the most danger I ever placed myself in always revolved around cracking a joke.

There are people on this Earth who consider such a response to be ill-founded, immature and sometimes irreverent.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I know there are many tests given to determine mental health, but I will guarantee you—the litmus assessment of good brain function and emotional soundness of being is whether you come across a very delicate, serious situation and decide to embrace it in a somber manner or to find something funny within.

The world ultimately will not be saved by those who crack the whip or even those who crack a smile.

We are desperately in search of those who can crack a joke at just the right time to change our thinking from doom and gloom to glee and whoopee.


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Chortle

Chortle: (n) a breathy, gleeful laugh.

What is your percentage?

What is the percentage of the things that happen in life that you find funny?

It’s a very important number. If you’re not careful, you can start taking everything very seriously, and end up frightened, aghast and terrified
to “move about the cabin.”

But also, if you think everything is a joke, somebody eventually gets the commitment papers signed and puts you away.

For instance, I don’t take government seriously at all. People who encourage me to vote because “every vote counts” are always complaining to me within a few weeks after the election–because every vote didn’t count.

There is a certain number of lamentations which can be changed into jubilations simply by altering one’s perspective.

For instance, some people take religion deadly somber. But you see, since we do not know if there is anything after death, it’s really not necessary to speak definitively or act pious.

What percentage of the things that happen in life do you find worthy of a chortle instead of needing to be treated as immortal?

I certainly think that every human soul, if he or she is to maintain sanity, needs to have a chortle meter set at 51 or above. Yes, over half of the things that we muse, confuse, diffuse and refuse end up being just meaningless worry which collected on us like morning dew, waiting for the sun to burn it away.

And as I get older, my percentage of laughs has increased, and therefore, in my opinion, my sanity is bolstered.

When I heard about the “war on Christmas” I laughed. Nobody’s gonna mess with Christmas. It’s when everybody makes their money.

When somebody told me that immigrants were causing problems in this country, it crossed my mind that this might be a color issue, colored by how these individuals view coloration.

Sometimes I giggle to myself because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of those who have brought a whole platter of difficulty and expect it to be honored.

What is your percentage? Are you prepared to go crazy with every piece of lunacy that leaps at us from the moon?

Or have you set your mind in the direction of silliness, allowing yourself the benefit of releasing your frustration–through a good old-fashioned chortle?

 

 

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Childlike

Childlike: (adj) of an adult, having good qualities associated with a child.

After avoiding it for decades, I finally went to one of my high school reunion luncheons, to meet up with the old gang, whom I had not seen since I held diploma in my hand and dreams fluttered in my brain like butterflies.

We were older.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that deems aging as either a crime or a disease rather than a natural situation which is meant to garner advantage.

What is the advantage of being older? You have sorted through the younger things to do and eliminated the ones that cause humiliation and disease.

That’s pretty powerful.

But what I discovered when I sat down to eat my lunch was that my classmates from a former time were very concerned about their health–cholesterol, salt intake, circulatory system and bladder. I probably should also throw in a few mentions of bowel movements.

It started off well, but when I ended up being glib and funny instead of decrepit and dying, a resentment settled into the room.

I think my friends found me childish. “That guy never grew up. Doesn’t he know there’s a certain protocol for being our age?”

I kept talking about the things I was still doing, the places I wanted to go, the things I was seeing, the passages I was writing and the songs being composed. I was not bragging. I was thrilled to be alive, to share with these old haunts.

Try as I would, the conversation was incapable of reaching the level of being childlike. I brought up some of our former escapades, only to discover that rather than giggling over the incidents, heads were dipped in shame.

I don’t know much about heaven. Nobody does. It is an advertised hot spot without an adequate brochure.

But from what I have learned, it will be a mind trip into discovering the joys of being childlike, simple, joyous, playful and jubilant.

I sure hope we’re up for it.

 

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Amuse

dictionary with letter A

Amuse (v): cause someone to find something funny or enjoyable

The true definition of getting old: when you start lamenting why things aren’t like they used to be instead of trying to improve the way things are.

The most annoying thing about young people is they believe a fad that is four minutes old will be here in forty years.

The advantage of having a few more birthday candles under your belt is knowing the difference between something innovative and something insane.

It doesn’t demand that you hearken back to a former time, wishing you were strolling through those aisles, but it does require having a sense of history and realizing that human beings function best in an environment in which they are truly amused.

First of all, let’s list the three things that are not amusing:

  1. Hurting people.
  2. Making fun of people, to their detriment
  3. Lack of being funny, trying to make that funny

These are actions which presently in our time may gain a few giggles and applause but will eventually be deemed childish, stupid, out-of-step and meaningless.

What is universally amusing?

  1. A great story with a surprise ending.
  2. A great story that makes fun of ourselves.
  3. A great story where everybody in the room relates to it because they’ve been there.

You can see–the linking force is a great story.

Life is humorous enough without us having to make up scenarios that are anti-life. At least that’s what I think–and I believe historically, and even in the future, it will prove to be true.

I know “amusing” is in the ear of the receiver, but as time goes on, we will realize…merely ridiculing people and circumstances does not have much lasting quality. 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Alzheimer’s Disease

dictionary with letter A

Alzheimer’s disease: (n) a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age due to generalized degeneration of the brain.

When you read the definition, there’s nothing funny about it.

But candidly, I think everybody feels a little nervous about taking this disease seriously.

It isn’t that we don’t have empathy for those who suffer from it. It’s just that the one-liners, comedic set-up and potential sketches available on the subject of older people becoming forgetful are so ripe with scenarios that it’s difficult to pass them up in favor of more sensitive profiles.

So when are we being callous?

I remember once in a show I joked about the fact that “considering my size, you know I’m not anorexic.” A lady walked up to me afterwards and complained about my choice of humor, saying that her daughter suffered from the condition and that it was not a jocular matter.

I apologized.

The reason I offered this remorse was that I had offended her. I didn’t do anything offensive, but because the subject matter was so personal and close to her, she was offended by my making light of the gravity of the situation.

But honestly, I do not know if we can progress the human race without learning to laugh at ourselves.

Would I think jokes about Alzheimer’s Disease were funny if I had it? Since I probably wouldn’t know–yes. (See? There are people who probably would find even that turnaround crass…)

All of us are going to get old, and that looming condition is both real and frightening at the same time. To approach it without some sort of good cheer is probably the greatest danger.

So I follow a simple philosophy: I try to find humor in everything, serious or not. It is not because I don’t care. It is because the only way to care is to relieve pain, not merely point it out.

We must be careful in a time when we are touting our personal feelings more than understanding our human need–that we don’t lose sight of the escapism of comedy.

I do not condone those who are rude and crude. I am not saying that any kind of disease is pleasant. I’m just saying that as an obese man, plagued with many of the complications associated with it, I have never gained ground by digging in my heels, weeping or looking for reasons to be offended.

The only light I’ve ever seen at the end of any of my tunnels … is humor.


Allure

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allure: 1. (n) the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating 2. (v) to powerfully charm

One of the things that tickles me about society and human beings as a whole is how quickly we come to the conclusion that we know what we’re talking about, and then actively pursue a path which in the end often proves itself to be erred.

Such is the situation with the concept of attraction, of, if you will, being alluring.

As a man, I was taught that women like muscles, strong bodies, great good looks and sexual prowess. And I believe I can speak freely to say that women are trained to hold dear that beauty, large breasts, femininity and bit of sheepish submission is required in order to allure a man.

Simultaneously, we reject these stereotypes in our more intellectual exchanges as being ridiculous and strident.

But it doesn’t change the patter within the sexes nor has that enlightened view yet reached our entertainment sources.

Here’s what I think is alluring:

1. Don’t be stupid. If you find yourself caught in a stupid situation, quickly laugh at yourself, learn and come out smarter.

2. Don’t be ugly. Everybody has an attribute of some sort which they can play up, as they play down their warts and moles.

3. Know how to carry on a conversation. I call it “the second question.” Most people know how to ask one question, but they don’t know how to follow up on that answer with a second inquiry, which keeps the conversation alive.

4. Be funny. And that does not mean making fun of other people. It actually means that a certain amount of poking at oneself is necessary to create the humility that makes us adorable.

5. And finally, don’t stink. Yes, work on how you smell. Very little is more repugnant in the human experience than an odor which overcomes any desire to welcome closeness.

There you go.

I’m not a particularly attractive person, but I have never lacked friends, lovers and the ability to allure people my way. I will grant you that it doesn’t hurt to be stunningly handsome or gorgeous.

But if you don’t have these other five things lined up in a salute to that physical appearance, your lovely visage can become distasteful very quickly.

How do we allure human beings? By admitting that we’re human … and not ashamed of it.

Alien

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alien: (adj.) belonging to a foreign country or nation

People are funny. (But it is a good idea not to laugh at them to their face.)

What I mean is, the boundaries we establish for personal contact and acceptability within the human race are not only bizarre, but always prove to be irrelevant.

Even though people from Africa didn’t decide to emigrate to the United States, but instead were brought over on a “Kidnap Carnival Cruise,” complete with chains and beatings, we still decided to insult them while they picked our cotton by continuing the mistreatment and relegating them to less-than-human status.

We did the same thing with the Chinese when we were building the railroad. We welcomed them to the country so they could lay our tracks, work cheap and receive a good old-fashioned American dose of abuse.

Matter of fact, every nationality which has come to this land has gone through a season of being rejected as tourists, beaten up as neighbors and eventually absorbed due to the passage of time and proving their usefulness to our general welfare.

I think what some Americans would like is to have the Mexicans come in, clean the houses, work the menial jobs, pick the fruit and lettuce–and then somehow or another, be transported back to their homes in Mexico nightly, so as not to interfere with our present “preferred mix.”

Yes, if the Southern plantation owners could have had the black folks pick cotton by day, and then jam them into a space ship to go back to the Dark Continent to sleep at night–only to return at dawn to work, we would have called that the Great American Ideal.

But doggone it, those foreigners who come here and work for us for pennies on the dollar start desiring things like citizenship, consideration and worst of all, equality.

I learned a long time ago in that what betrays me more than anything else are my needs that vary from my wants.

  • America needs cheap labor and souls who have been raised in a culture with a great work ethic.
  • The fact that we don’t want them to live next door to us creates the conflict.

So I guess the only choice is to either lessen our need or change our wants.

Yes … that will truly be an alien concept to us all.