Is Laughter the Best Medicine? (OS012)

I had a knock on the door this morning. My heart sank when I saw it was my neighbour, Joseph Cular. He’s a bit of a pain to be honest, always joking despite me being the worst possible audience. I just don’t get jokes. I’m not wired like that.

“Would you have a left-handed small screwdriver I could borrow Oliver” he asked with his unusual expression. Pam calls it a ‘self-obsessed, superficial, sham, smarmy, smirk’. I think she has been chatting to my ex-colleague Alice Teration.

‘I’m not left-handed. Could you manage with this one?” I answered getting one from the ‘miscellaneous’ drawer.

“You’re a laugh Oliver. They say laughter is the best medicine, don’t they?”

Contemplating the astounding implication of that being true I challenged, “Surely you wouldn’t choose comedy over say an antibiotic. It raises so many questions:

  • Does it apply to all illnesses?
  • What would you choose for a minor illness, maybe a cartoon for a minor headache right through to say a full ‘Friends’ series for a broken leg?
  • Is it any good for all ailments? Maybe it’s the only medicine that works with colds. That’s a thought.
  • There are different types of humour. Some is embarrassing, cringeworthy humour; some which make you think, ‘I can’t believe they said that’; clever humour, childish humour, visual humour, written humour, radio humour.  I can’t see some of these are good for you. Maybe they have the opposite effect.
  • Does Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) have the same effect, like cutting out the necessity for humorous media? Don’t try this at home. No really.
  • Should paramedics carry joke books along with the defibrillator?
  • What do they do in A&E if you arrive in pain? Maybe the triage nurse could be trained in a selection of ‘Knock Knock’ jokes for immediate relief. They would have to be assessed in comedy delivery skills as well as medical knowledge and injection targeting etc. More work for the hard done by, undervalued, dedicated NHS.
  • Does it depend on your taste? Someone may like Shakespearian humour whilst others may like Mr Bean.
  • Then there is the question, how often should you take the comedy or humour? Once or twice a day? I guess between meals to avoid a choking hazard.
  • I don’t think doctors would need a placebo. I mean, they wouldn’t give you say a rhyming couplet to see if the illness is all in the head.

Joe laughed “You are funny Oli”

Unsure of why Joe was saying this, I pressed on with my reasoning.

“If it was a recognised medication, Doctors would prescribe it, wouldn’t they? Like ‘I’ll prescribe you a hilarious read. Read a chapter once a day after breakfast.Maybe they could prescribe comedy DVDs or a cinema or comedy store ticket. Pharmacies would stock, say Bill Bryson books and joke books for younger patients, maybe Mr Bean DVDs”.

Joe took the screwdriver I offered and was inexplicably wiping tears from his eyes. “Stop it Oliver, my eyes are streaming” he exclaimed.

Rationalising the possibility further, “I expect there would have to be thorough medical trials and a leaflet attached to the book etc. It would have to state possibly warnings of possible side effects such as;

Major: Incontinence, side splits, possible fits of laughter.

Minor: Rib pain, poor concentration.

Do not drive or operate machinery whilst on the medication.

Joe was now kneeling on the floor, saying “No more Oliver. Stop. Stop.” He literally crawled out of the door leaving the screwdriver on the floor. Weird chap.

I started thinking after Joe left, maybe it’s a bit like homeopathic medicine, a lot of people swear by it but doctors generally don’t subscribe to its validity.  I know, I’ll Google it.

Unbelievably, there seems to be numerous sites extolling the virtues of laughter. There is even a laughter course where people practice laughing to make them feel better. Maybe I should book a place. Many advantages are claimed including:

  • Overcoming stress
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Killing pain.
  • Lengthening life
  • Improving mood etc.

Try it for yourself. Just search on ‘laughter is the best medicine’.

I can’t believe it’s the ‘best’ medicine though. Unfortunately, I can’t take advantage of humour (not having a sense of humour). I guess, I’ll need to stick to paracetamol for headaches and whatever potions the doctor prescribes.

Photo by Sarah Noltner on Unsplash

I resolved to tell Joe that he’s right, about laughter having medical benefits and to suggest he sets up a blog about his theory, recommending comedy for medical benefits. Sadly, Joe, like me, is a fictional character BUT unlike me he is fictionally hopeless at IT. I pleaded with John, the ‘author’ (the only real person I know) but he wouldn’t send Joe on a fictional IT or WordPress course and so I got the job.

Obviously, I can’t recommend comedy, being immune to it. Fortunately; Joe, Joe’s eight year old twins and Pam were more than happy to help.

I’d appreciate your recommendations also. Please add a comment recommending good, clean, funny books, DVDs, games etc. and the (fictional) review panel will take a look. No expletives, horror or shades of grey thanks. Tell me a little about your recommendation and what you thought about it. Click here to email me. It will take a few weeks to get a decent list together. Please bear with me. Thanks.

… Oliver Sudden

Do you think this blog is partly True or not?

Hover over your guess, below.

12: True
12: False

Please click below to receive Emails about new posts or to unsubscribe.

Alternatively, click Oliver’s Facebook site, click the three dots and ‘Follow’.

Click below to Share with your friends.


12/08/2022 at 07:36

Never mind cheese… an apple a day keeps the doctor away (if you have a good aim)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.