What’s so funny?

Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

Not much these days, according to some people.

But as a fine old Jewish proverb says, “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.” So your Jamestown Gazette is here to help clean things up a little bit.

This week, we bring our readers good news about a few good laughs. The National Comedy Center has come up with something they call their “New ‘LaughSafe’ Health and Safety Program,” and we strongly recommend a healthy dose of it.

Everybody knows laughter is the best medicine, and these days we need a safe way to go out and find some. It can be tricky in the day of the pandemic, but you know as well as I that nothing can stick around for long before somebody finds a way to make a joke out of it.

As a matter of fact, I would write a coronavirus joke right now, but you would have to wait two weeks to see if you got it and stay home until you do.

The need for humor is nothing new. Even one of our most renowned Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, reported, “Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.” And Charlie Chaplin, a Founding Father of comedy, once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

That does not mean, however, that everyone who can tell a joke is automatically a genius.
Consider this:

“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

We join the National Comedy Center this week in trying to lighten everybody’s outlook, at least for a while. Covid-19 is serious, but as cartoonist Charles M. Schulz has reassured everybody, “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” What can go wrong?

The National Comedy Center now has your LaughSafe prescription ready. A visit will certainly be safer than reading self-help books, according to Mark Twain. “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

The pandemic has also forced many of us to adjust our grocery shopping to account for scarcities and social distancing. But when it comes to good food choices, Doug Larson reminds us, “Never doubt the courage of the French. They were the ones who discovered that snails are edible.” Any idea why they are not on the fast-food menus yet?

So here are few more words of wisdom we have carefully accumulated for our readers mental health and safety.

On judging: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares?… He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes! Billy Connolly
On staying home: People say one thing that is hard to do while cooped up at home is staying in shape. But as George Carlin said, “I’m in shape. Round is a shape.”

Think it over: “The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.” Paul Fix

Better days coming: “I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Human kindness: “We are all here on earth to help others. What on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” W. H. Auden

The universe and everything: “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” Douglas Adams

That’s your Jamestown Gazette’s dose of safe laughter for this week. If you think you can do better, appoint a committee to study it, but don’t be too hopeful. “A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours,” according to Milton Berle.

Enjoy the sunshine this week, even if it is only in your own back yard, because I agree with Steve Martin. “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”

And of course, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.