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Your Mischievous Sense of Humor

It's a funny thing about the sense of humor: There are times when its just plain mischievous. The way is can slip into our consciousness unannounced, unanticipated. and frequently uninvited. It's as though it had a mind of ts own and delighted in playing the trickster with ourselves being the one the trick is on.

The effects of this can range from being mystified, embarrassed and even victimize. But even as this happens we're secretly smiling at the trick.MYSTIFYING.To celebrate a woman's birthday her daughter and son-in-law took her to an upscale beach-front restaurant for dinner. The woman dressed in her best dinner attire. They arrived at the restaurant early so she decided to take a short walk on the beach and enjoy the beauty of the sunset.

While strolling near the water's edge a sneak wave rolled in, sweeping her into the surf. In the midst of her frantic struggles to save herself, she saw in her mind's eye how funny it was to be drowning when all dressed up in her best finery.Author Joseph Meeker of Comedy of Survival, describes an equally mystifying occasion with humor.

While hiking in the Alaska wilds, he encounter a moose. The turned on him and charged. His chance for escape lay in climbing a near by tree. He reach it in time but its lower branches were all dead.

As he grabbed at them to pull himself to safety, they snapped off one after the other. In the midst of this drama, he visualized the comical scene of his frantic scrambling, the branches breaking and the hard, charging moose made.VICTIMIZING.

Not only can the workings of the sense of humor mystify, it can estranged one from others. A psychologist had a particular way of handling this in his group therapy session. During the discussions when he noticed a participant begin to light up with a smile and an inner laughter, he would avoid letting the person share this event with the group.

Instead he had the person tell him about it later in private. Because, he said, the humor that accompanied such inner revelations or "ah has" invariably angers the others. It is usually for one of two reasons, sometimes both. Since the experience did not engage the others' sense of humor of the others, they would not see anything humorous or significant in it.

Secondly, it being so individualistic, it was not a shared humor and this would anger them.I was on the receiving end of just such an event in my chaplaincy training. During the training we held weekly group meetings where we discussed our varied experience and reflected on our actions and feelings. On one occasion I had a clear insight regarding myself and the humor of it prompted an audible laugh. All eyes turned and I eagerly and naively explained.

I was not prepared for what came next. My interpretation was immediately challenged as not being valid, and for the rest of the meeting every other group member attacked whatever I had said.EMBARRASSING.

The sense of humor can also set the stage of personal embarrassment. It happened to me when, as chaplain, I was with a family in the Emergency Unit who had just been told the father had died. At one point it was necessary for me to leave the private room for a moment. That's when I saw my next door neighbor and his wife sitting in the general waiting area. Startled, I went to them and asked what was wrong.Here I have to give a little background.

Two days before their teenage daughter and another teenage girl in our neighborhood decided to have a foot race on the street that went in front of our homes. I was seated where I saw all that went on. They were lining up to begin and the other girl's mother, a very attractive blonde, divorcee, decided that she wanted in the race also.

No sooner had she lined beside them when the daughter's father (my neighbor) decided that he should be included in the race because he had been something of a track star in his day.All lined up. Then they were off. The father's running shoes happened to be his house slippers. After six of seven strides he fell spread eagle on the asphalt street. I started to go to him, but he got up immediately, saying he was not hurt.

Now Sunday evening he was in the Emergency Unit because he wanted his bruises and scabs looked at, nothing really serious ee said. So I went my way, put him out of my mind and returned be with the family in the private room.Suddenly, from out of nowhere came the image of my neighbor sitting in an exam room with the doctor asking, "How did this happen?" and heard my neighbor say, "Well, there was this blonde.".

I all but burst out laughing. To keep from it, I bit my lip, crossed my legs, twisted them tight and sat on my hands. Fortunately, the audible laugh never came.

In that moment of humor I was totally miserable.The sense of humor seems to exists in a realm of its own. It often goes its own way, leaving us to pick up the pieces. There's humor in that.(c) Cy Eberhart 2006.

.As a hospital chaplain Cy Eberhart, (now retired) was a firsthand witness to the entire spectrum of human emotions: personal successes and failures; the deepest despairs and the great peaks of joy. Two questions remained foremost in his mind: How was it that some could find inner strengths that brought courage and hope and others could not? What was to be learned from these experiences that would have a positive and creative effect for daily, routine living?.His lectures, writings, workshops, book In the Presence of Humor and his living-history performances of America's famed humorist Will Rogers offers some of the answers.

By: Cy Eberhart


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