Laugh and live yah

November 23, 2016
Ity (left) and Fancy Cat

Famed comic Charlie Chaplain once said "A day without laughter is a day wasted." I totally agree. How about you?

Yeah, comedy may be a natural talent for me, but laughter has always been my tonic and my therapy. And in times of despair and uncertainty, it's even more necessary to do as Miss Lou suggested and ''tek kin teet kibba heart bun!''

Trust mi, peeps, there are few things as sweet as the sound of laughter. And as psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj once reminded me, "Laughter is the second best way to relieve tension." Yeah, I can just see you now, racking brains wondering about what is number one, but mek wi stick wid the laughter, that primitive, often involuntary and always accessible human vocalisation is melodious music to the ears, and healing balm for the soul. Laughter is instinctive, infectious, unifying and is cathartic. And everybody has both the ability to laugh and the capacity for laughter. Even children who are born deaf and blind are still able to laugh. And babies learn to laugh long before they learn to talk.

In laughter, we emit sounds and express emotions that come from deep within our biological being - grunts and cackles from our animal unconscious. And we don't have to decide to laugh. No, man. Laughter often just happens to us. A trigger occurs and braps, laughter tek over.

For example, you're at a comedy show and two jokers like Ity and Fancy Cat say or do something and there, in the dark among dozens of strangers, you find yourself spontaneously, simultaneously and abruptly united in this tribal explosion of human noise.

And even the odd person who 'didn't get it' usually becomes infected by the laughter around, and joins in the noise. He who laughs last probably just never got the joke!

 

RELUCTANCE TO LAUGH

 

Laughter also tells us much about people. Yes, it reveals more than our teeth - or lack thereof. We sometimes judge people based purely on their willingness or reluctance to laugh.

Trust me, there is nothing as tense and discomforting as addressing a group of people who resolutely refuse to laugh. A serious 'screw face' is far from comforting.

On the other hand, it's usually difficult to take people seriously if they laugh too much or too easily.

Men who laugh a lot are often seen as not manly enough, and some people have a very low opinion of women who giggle plenty and laugh too easily.

Somehow, the feeling is that if their laughter comes too easily, everything else may come too easily. What you think?

Then there are some people I know, like Amina Blackwood Meeks, Renae Excell, Audrey Reid and Dion Silvera, who I would pay to have in my audience for a comedy show because their laughter is particularly loud, unpretentious and totally infectious.

Hear mi nuh man, when dem woman deh laugh, if yu nuh feel fi laugh too, something wrong wid yu!

And check this, scientists already agree that laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

Yes, it triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural feel-good chemicals, and it promotes a general sense of well-being that can even temporarily relieve pain and ease discomfort.

So laughter is actually the safest, cheapest, feel-good drug! And as the good book says in Proverbs 17 Verse 22, "A merry heart doeth good like medicine..." So friends, nuh mek the gloom-and-doom news of the day get to you. Just laugh!

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