Opinion: Two guys walk into a bar…

Guest Author

The third guy ducked. Humor is a vital part of life. A soft chuckle at a cheesy pun that was just Gouda ‘nough, an eye roll and a groan at a classic dad joke. Maybe you found yourself rolling on the floor after somebody fell down the stairs. Does that make you a bad person?

No. It makes you human.  

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 Joking is a part of human nature. We as a species will take anything and make a joke about it. We take tragedies such as mass shootings or a bombing and make horrible jokes about them and laugh. And then we say it’s “too soon.” It’s what we do. We poke fun at stereotypes or race, but that doesn’t make us racist.  

Should we be aware of the feelings of others? Yes. But if we spent all of our time avoiding offending someone, then literally nothing would get done. Because everything offends someone. In his novel Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein voices the opinion that at the center of every joke is a “wrongness.”

His character, Michael Valentine Smith, said, “I had thought — I had been told — that a ‘funny’ thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn’t. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery … and a sharing … against pain and sorrow and defeat.” 

“Grok” meaning to understand profoundly and intuitively. I had to look it up, so I thought I’d save you the trouble.  

Laughter is always at the expense of somebody, even yourself. Self-deprecating humor is the best in my opinion, because it is an unlimited source of comedy. It follows you everywhere, always ready with a joke that won’t offend anybody because you yourself are the target of the jab.  

Laughter is good medicine. It is proven to reduce blood pressure, lower blood glucose, dull pain, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve feelings of well-being, and even burn a substantial amount of calories. Laughter balances out your hormones and helps your brain to function properly. It is suspected that humor also increases longevity. Classic comedians Bob Hope and George Burns both lived to be 100.

An article from Psychology Today says, “Many more [comedians] have lived long lives, despite the hard life of constantly being on the road and performing at shows.” Jerry Lewis is 89 and still performing.    

That Red Bull may have given you wings, but don’t fly over the small things in life. Take a moment to appreciate that the word innuendo, is an innuendo (get it? In your en.. Ah, forget it.)

We all need to take a few moments to share some laughs. Laugh at the expense of your friend who slipped on the ice, but make sure s/he’s okay first. Laugh at yourself for spilling your cereal, or fumbling your words. Tell those jokes so cheesy they make your pizza jealous. Throw up those puns that make people groan. Drop that dad joke like it’s a bomb — You don’t have to be a father to appreciate it.

This submission was authored by CSU student Eli Long. Any feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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