The Benefit of Humor in Coping with COVID-19

Despite the great sorrow surrounding this horrible COVID plague, I think it’s always good to keep our sense of humor if possible. I remember when my mother—freshly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s—lived with us for a few months. We had seven children, one an infant, and Alan was gone such long hours that one night our dog tried to attack him as an intruder when he arrived home! Mom was up during the nights imagining that it was time to pack for a trip to Columbia or prepare for a PTA meeting, ripping off her diapers and generally tearing apart her room. I was more than exhausted and felt like crying most of the time over the tragedy of my mother’s mental losses and my inability to meet the needs of our family.

But then one day, after I’d returned from the grocery store for an emergency run, leaving my kids to tend one another and my mother (our oldest was 16 by then), I heard that my mother had angrily taken away the rubber fish (tub-toy) that one of the kids had set in front of the baby to try to entertain him, scolding my son: “Don’t you dare do that! We need this fish for supper!” Michael (who was always the picture of respectfulness), had no idea what to say or do, but he was mortified at being scolded and wasn’t sure how he should react to his beloved grandmother, who had suddenly started acting “crazy!” In fact, she wasn’t acting; she was losing her mind. You can either laugh or cry in such instances, so we started to laugh (NOT in front of my mother, however). Somehow, learning to laugh about the crazy things that were becoming a new part of our daily life really helped soothe the tensions, and we were all better able to cope.

COVID-19 doesn’t have much in common with Alzheimer’s except that both are tragic, one on an individual basis, and one on a global basis. I am not suggesting that we fail to mourn and pray, or stick our heads in the sand and pretend COVID isn’t really deadly. But, I am suggesting that in the midst of deep sorrow and pain we also try to find the bits of silver lining and let laughter shine through when we can.

In that vein, I thought you might enjoy a couple of crazy songs that young people have created to try to help people keep their chins up. (My hearing isn’t perfect, but the second one might have one inappropriate word in it; he sings so fast I couldn’t catch it all . . .)

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

*The first joke was by “Casual Christian Comedy 2” and posted on the Face Book page of my dear friend in Germany, Sarah Jaeschke, as was the last song. Thank you, Sarah, for maintaining your sweet spirit and great sense of humor during this crisis!! BTW, in case people haven’t noticed, Germany has been doing a hero’s job of caring for COVID-19 patients!

Got Time for Some Funny Puns?

You may have seen this forward already, but I hadn’t, so I’m passing it along to you, just in case you need something to make you smile:

“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish” or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” A competition to see who can come up with the best lexophiles is held every year in an undisclosed location.

This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

… When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. 

… A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months. 

… When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A. 

… The batteries were given out free of charge.

… A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

… A will is a dead giveaway. 

… With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

… A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

… When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall. 

… Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest. 

… Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off?   He’s all right now. 

… A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

… When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. 

… The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered. 

… He had a photographic memory which was never developed. 

… When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye. 

… Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it. 

And the cream of the twisted crop:

… Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.


     This last photo is used by permission of Robert Hardee. Thank you, Bob!


What about Bob? Creativity and Kindness

Bob isn’t a psychiatric patient, he’s a psychiatrist, and a great one…or, at least he was. Bob and Beth are about our age, although they’ve recently retired while Alan and I are still in the “shall I? shan’t I?” stage. I’m quite sure Alan will retire in the next few years, but one of the things that holds us back is the question all retired people inevitably ask and have to answer: What will we do after we retire?I got a forward a few days ago about an elderly man who took a position at a retail store but arrived late for work more than once. After a couple of offenses, he was hauled into the boss’s office for a lecture. At the end of his severe reprimand, the boss asked, “What did they do at your previous job when you were late?”

“Well, I guess they just said, ‘Good morning, Admiral! Can I bring you a cup of coffee?'”

I think it’s easy to forget that “old folks” had active lives. Most retirees held down respectable jobs, reared families, and have children and grandchildren. One of the hardest things about retiring is the loss of feeling respected and valued. Both of my brothers continued working/consulting until they were 70. My oldest tried to retire at 65 but missed feeling needed and respected.

If you know retirees, would you please take a little time to find out more about them? They often have mental storehouses filled of memories and wisdom that they’re more than happy to share. If you’re thinking about retiring yourself, please consider reading the inspiring book Billy Graham wrote a few years ago called Nearing Home…about “life, faith, and finishing well.”

And, what about Bob? Well, Bob is an avid photographer and a deeply spiritual Christian, so he’s been adding scripture verses to some of his favorite photos, which he’s been sharing lately with me!  Here are a few for your enjoyment, and you’ll most likely see more of them on later blogs! Thank you, Bob! You’re an inspiration to me!                    Cute, huh? Beth posed for this rather humorous one…(All photos are used by permission of Robert Hardee, who owns the copy rights.)

(I wrote a post with more information about Nearing Home last year:  )

Crazy Christmas Questions

Snoopy Hanging Christmas StockingsJust in case you need a few more riddles to make your season bright:
(I’ve dedicated a few to various loved ones for fun…hope you don’t mind…)

How many presents can Santa fit in his sack when it’s empty?
Only one; after that it’s not empty anymore. (What do you think, Ru?)

Did Rudolph go to school?
No. He was Elf-taught. (God bless all homeschooling moms this season!)

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

Frostbite! (Olivia M….)

How do snowmen get around?
They ride an icicle.

What did the beaver say to the Christmas Tree?

Nice gnawing you!

Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?

Santa Jaws.

Oh, ya? Well then, who gives presents to puppies?
Santa Paws, of course! 🙂

What do you get if you cross a bell with a skunk?

Jingle Smells. (Dedicated to the memory of our beloved Abishai, who could never resist chasing skunks, and for all of you who love and own dogs.)

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A mince spy. (This one’s for Annika. Congrats on your new bakery!)

What carol is heard in the desert?

O camel ye faithful! (Dedicated to my son Stephen and all musicologists.)

What do you sing to a snowman who’s depressed because he’s melting?
Freeze a jolly good fellow.

Why did Santa’s helper see the doctor?

Because he had a low “elf” esteem. (These 2 are for all my psychiatrist friends~)

What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer. (I’ll try this one of my son Aaron!)

What’s green, covered in tinsel and goes ribbet ribbet?

Mistle-toad. (For all grand kids who love toads [which includes all mine!])

What did the stamp say to the Christmas card?
Stick with me and we’ll go places! (This one’s for my husband.)   🙂

Why don’t you ever see Father Christmas in hospital?
Because he has private elf care. (Dedicated to all dedicated physicians.)

Why did no one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?
Because they were two deer! (For all fellow lovers of second-hand stores.)

What is the best Christmas present in the world?

A broken drum, you just can’t beat it! (For my drummer boys, Dan and Joel.)

How is a Christmas tree like a clumsy knitter?
They both drop needles. (Did you almost guess this one? I did! Dedicated to all knitters, especially Sarah J. and my son Michael, who are the best knitters I know!)

How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born?
They had a weigh in a manger. (Now here’s one I couldn’t guess, dedicated to Kari, the best Ob/Gyn I know!)

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22, NIV)