Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Laugh it Up!

This year marked the 20-year reunion for the graduating class of my high school.  I don’t talk about it too much, but I've been bitter since Senior Superlatives day, when I was the runner-up in the vote for "Wittiest" student among my peers. What did they know? I have always felt like I was robbed. There's no question I was the wittiest! Ironically, I was a distant 438th in the vote for "Mr. Humility."
That same year, at our Senior Class dinner/party, I did receive a pretty distinguished and unique honor: I was awarded the “Most Likely Not to Receive an Award” Award.  Seriously.  And, guess who presented that certificate to me: the girl who is now Mrs. C.A. Phillips!  Who’s laughing now?!!??! Bwaaaahahahaaaaaaa…

But, all maniacal laughter aside, I have always believed that my sense of humor - even at inopportune times - is an asset that has been genuinely beneficial over the course of my 38-plus years. And, I just confirmed that notion, as I took a "humor self-test" online at

I scored a 60.  In real life, that is a failing grade.  But, on the sense of humor scale, I am up there with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, and people who voted for Obama.  Here’s the web site’s analysis of my responses:

Your wacky sense of humor rocks! It appears that you can laugh at just about anything, including yourself -which is way cool! And hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at right? Just kidding. Of course you know you have to make sure you're not offending anyone right?! In any case, most people probably get a kick out of your wit and most likely love hanging out with you. We think you're pretty funny too!

Why does all this matter? Well, scientific studies have proven that laughing people are more creative and more productive, and hence are better teammates in a work environment. Further, it has been shown that laughter can add up to eight years to someone's life! So, I’m really 30 in “laughter years”!

Here are some additional benefits of laughter, as posted by Lonnette Harrell on helium.com:
·         Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones, and increases good hormones like endorphins, which act as natural painkillers
·         Laughter strengthens the immune system, leading to less sickness
·         Hearty laughter exercises the diaphragm, the abdominals, and stimulates the heart
·         One researcher found that it took ten minutes on a rowing machine to reach the heart rate produced by one minute of enthusiastic laughter
·         Studies by UM Medical Center in Baltimore found that laughter may prevent heart disease, and also lowers blood pressure

So, how do you think you'd do on a sense of humor test? Take a minute to take the 10-question exam and see where you stand. You can find it here: http://www.queendom.com/jff_access/the_sense_of_humor_test.htm
If your score is above 50, then congrats! If you are hovering in the 30's or 40’s, then you may need to go roll a neighbor’s yard, inhale some helium and talk like a Munchkin, or rent the Naked Gun or Airplane! movies tonight.

Now, pull my finger.