Thursday, July 1, 2010

Essence of Mirth II

I know for a fact that there is not enough laughter in my life. Today I wanted to relate two recent personal episodes that brought about the type of healing that only laughter can provide. I suspect that if I can somehow keep my head up and my eyes open instead of focussing on life's negatives, more such episodes will present themselves.

Episode #1 - The Dolphinoplasty

I was channel surfing after a long, hard, grumblesome day. I stumbled across the cartoon South Park. Season 9, episode #1. Kyle's Jewish father Gerald has decided to undergo radical plastic surgery to bring about a bodily change that reflects who he feels he really is on the inside. He decides to undergo a dolphinoplasty, a procedure that will turn him into a dolphin. I won't tell you what was used to fashion his dorsal fin. However, the operation has turned him into a grotesque monster. When Kyle's friends Cartman, Stan, and Kenny show up to his house and see his now freakish dad (never mind that Kyle has just had his own plastic surgery, a negroplasty, to turn him into a suitable basketball player), it is amazing how muted their response is to all of these changes (perhaps this is just the jading effect that happens naturally when one lives in a town like South Park). After seeing Kyle's dad, Cartman says to himself with a touch of wonder, "He's a Jewish dolphin, ..., a jewphin."

Episode #2 - Mistaken Identity

At my laboratory, I was working a shift monitoring an experiment with my friend Brian. I have known Brian now for over 20 years. Whenever we get together, we morph into two 12-year-old boys. Silliness reigns unstopped. After four hours, Brian's replacement was due to show up to relieve him. I thought I recognized the new worker's name on the shift list, and I remembered him as being an odd sort of fellow. Very awkward and skinny, bald and pasty white, introverted and silent, with no lips and a slight hump. To pull Brian's chain, I told him that his replacement looked very much like him, so much so that it would be hard to tell the two of them apart. At the appointed time, Brian's replacement showed up, except he was a jocular, outgoing, muscular black man. Brian turned to me without pause and said, "It's almost like looking in a mirror."

After both episodes, I laughed until my sides hurt and tears of release poured from my eyes and down my cheeks. Ahh, that ice cube of negativity melted away fast and completely. Such good medicine.

(Part 2 of 2)