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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Lean on funny bones (10/31/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns


     
Laugh and the world laughs with you; wage a war and you stand alone.

The citizens of the United States were forced to get serious in a hurry, with the onslaught of enemies at every border. At such times, a healthy sense of humor and the capacity to "chill out" can calm frazzled nerves.

Why stew when you can laugh! Let your funny bone be tickled. From family jokes, tried and true slapstick, to standup comedy, and "cute" animation, the many faces of laughter can be therapeutic. (It depends on what you mean by the word "funny.")

Here listed are a few positive character traits that could make a U.S. presidential candidate more appealing (assuming the male gender, due to a tradition soon to be changed).

First and foremost, Mr. He would forfeit to a woman. Moving right along, he would do a gut-busting Tim Conway impersonation. Martha Stewart would be exonerated as a newsworthy scapegoat for the unscrupulous corporate world.

He would use funds earmarked for all those campaign yard signs someone usually steals, sets fire to, or defaces, and donate the cost to Ronald McDonald houses instead. He kisses mothers as well as babies (my personal favorite). Howard Stern would be ordered off the face of the planet.

He doesn't promise anything, responding to pushy reporters, "If I knew what I was in for, I probably wouldn't be running." There would be no negative messages, nor blaming the present administration for all that's wrong in the nation today, nor dredging up outdated and irrelevant service records.

He would close down all casinos, due to overflowing rehab centers and a carpal tunnel epidemic. He'd announce the primary language of the United States to be "laughter." He would get down-to-earth, scrapping all excursions into outer space until every American has adequate health care coverage and the medications they need.

He would choose David Letterman as narrator of a casual presidential one-on-one, getting the voters' attention with knock, knock jokes. His running mate would be a former UPS poster boy, who would kiss anyone. When quizzed about his former marital improprieties, he would respond, "It's none of your business. I'll tell if you do."

He, above all, must be a man of faith. (How could one preside without it?) And that, my friends, is not funny.

Just so we frustrated senior citizens don't come undone, it might be helpful to establish guidelines for not acting our age at an impressive 60-something.

Laugh first - think later, even though you don't get the joke. Be young at heart, with bumper stickers like "Wet T-Shirt Champ," or "Grandmas do it best!" Your "Elvis lives!" is a dead giveaway. Never resort to a crass Judge Judy attitude.

Don't begin a conversation with, "I lowered my cholesterol!" Don't be a stick in the mud. If tempted to engage in unladylike behavior - go for it! (This goes for the guys as well.) Gals, bring up your Harley during chitchats. No need to clarify that Harley's your hubby (or pet beagle). Bingo is not where it's at!

Don't eat pot pies when you can afford T-bone. Having been around the block a time or two, be tactful when telling someone that you know better - though you likely do. Don't be hard on yourself when you can't remember. In this era of mind overload and "who done it," forgetfulness befalls all age groups.

Throw your red hats in the ring and come out swinging! Well-aged citizens long for renewed integrity in government. We're disturbed by empty nitpicking and competitive-edge rhetoric. So maybe the president's grimace during the debate was sore feet, Kerry's finger pointing an old habit he can't seem to control.

During presidential (?) debates, the most clever talker and adept mudslinger comes through with flying colors, not so unlike an elementary school ballgame. That, my friends, is not funny.

Is it high time for a third, and possibly a fourth party to step in, to ensure candidate accountability, and to uphold "no more politics as usual?"

The American spirit will not be broken by cowardly, suppressive threats. Be a good sport - vote on Tuesday, and continue to rally for improvement. 

 

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