Sunday, October 28, 2007


I work in several different schools; the opportunities for irritation are endless. So, however, are the chances for joy. This is the truth of every job, I imagine. This is the truth of every day.

Another blog asked what we valued in books, or new authors, or something along those lines. It took me a moment, and then I realized what my hodge-podge collection held in common- humor. Well, truth of emotion and clarity of thought, but humor is the reason they get read over and over.

It's amazing how personal a sense of humor is. I adore Lula and Stephanie Plum, Calvin and Hobbes, the Blue Collar tour. Other humor leaves me cold.

Hospital folk usually share a very specific, very dry, very dark sense of humor. How else would they manage? I have laughed many times during the funeral of someone I've cared for, someone who's lived a long and good life. We laughed with the sheriff's deputy after we hit the deer. (It was my husband's birthday the next day; he had a perfect reason to go buy a new car.)

Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little-- crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.
- "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts--Mark Twain

So what makes you grin, chuckle, or laugh until you cry? Is it important? Do you seek out and make time for laughter, or do you let the everyday absurdities of life put a smile on your face?


Renee Lynn Scott said...

My kids. My niece. The puppy. They make me laugh until tears come to my eyes.

Ericka Scott said...

I have two preschool boys and a teenaged girl...laughter is a prerequisite for getting through the day!

Ericka Scott said...

Oh...and not to forget my husband. I think I fell in love with him because he makes me laugh all the time with his funny antics

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, Renee--we have a puppy, too, and are they funny or what?? Thank heaven's, as expensive as the little buggers are. (We won't even discuss the kids. :))

Ericka--My hubby too! He's got a magnificent sense of humor. He works with cancer patients, and is one of the most caring and sensitive people I've ever met as well. Yeah, I still love him to pieces ;)

Anonymous said...

My students. My dogs. My husband. My own blonde moments. Good memories.
Love and laugh. These are my guidelines for living every day!
Excellent blog!

MariaGeraci said...

I firmly believe that old adage that laughter is the best medicine. I try to find the humor in almost everything. If I didn't, there would be days I'd probably go crazy :)

Gillian Layne said...

Maura and Maria,

Thank you both so much for stopping by!

Love and Laugh. That just really sums it up--and think what a wonderful day we all would have ;)

Lenora Bell said...

I recently went to a Family Feud theme party and the wild antics that went on had me laughing for five hours practically non-stop. My entire face hurt the next day, but it made me realize how cathartic that kind of deep belly laughter is. I don't do it enough.

My siblings make me laugh but none of them live close enough to me for a daily dose.

I do like humor in writing. I'm trying to write this dark gothic stuff and humor keeps creeping in. Maybe there is a way to balance the two without being jarring.

I hope I get to read more of your writing soon.

Gillian Layne said...

I think that's what makes any serious writing really work, Lenora. The little bits of humor, and it doesn't have to be over the top. Just real.

I bet your work isn't remotely jarring, I bet it's beautifully balanced. And I'm so impressed you're managing school, too--well done!

Maggie Robinson said...

I work in a high school with over 800 kids---laughter is essential, even when I want to strangle somebody.

My husband and kids entertain me endlessly.

India Carolina said...

I would have to vote with the majority that my children make me laugh the most. And then, like you I'm sure, Gillian, my little patients crack me up and out of my darkest moods. Just today a little girl whose bottom was covered in boils stood up and shook that boily booty at me with a big giggle. Sorry to gross you out, but it was hilarious!

Gillian Layne said...

Maggie- high school!
I can tell by the non-looks I get when I'm there that I'm SO not cool enough for them. :)

India, that's not gross, that's hysterical! See, told ya, medical folks have a sense of humor all their own--and HAVE to. Yes, I'll take a kiddo with attitude over one screaming and crying anyday!

Marnee Jo said...

I think I find irony the most amusing of all. And I think I have a dry humor, most of the time. I find the world a ridiculous place, full of oddities and imperfections. I find myself and all of my oddities and imperfections funny. And seriously, isn't it the most fun to laugh at yourself? (I always think so).

Great blog Gillian!

Alice Audrey said...

Im an oportunistic laugher. I'll laugh or joke about anything that doesn't hurt someone's feelings.

beverley said...

My son makes me laugh a lot. He's the 40 yr old in a 4 yr old body. I love dry British humor. That has me rolling on the floor. I love sarcasm (the drier the better). Everybody Loves Raymond always made me laugh.

Gillian Layne said...

Hi ladies!

Glad to see the consensus is if it's not hurting anyone (I despise practical jokes, too), then laughter is the best way to get through the day.

Bonnie Vanak said...

What a great post, Gillian. Remember the movie, Mary Poppins and that song, "I love to laugh?" Me, too. I think a sense of humor is one of the greatest gifts we can have. It will get you through tough times, help you feel better and make life lighter. I wish you nothing but laughter in your life, and good times!

Thanks for your compliment about my website. I wanted something simple, and easier to navigate.


Gillian Layne said...

Bonnie, I am so pleased you came by!