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Why so serious?

Bridget Feeney | Friday, April 27, 2012

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love to tell jokes. And since I’m all about giving, I think I’ll start off this column by sharing with you of one of my all time, absolute favorite jokes/puns.

I wonder … is President Obama good at basketball? Or is he just an Obamanation to the sport?

If you didn’t enjoy that, then stop reading. But if you cracked even the tiniest smile, then proceed.

That joke is as much of a play on words as it is a testament to the power of the pun. One of my favorite quotes is by e.e. cummings: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” It’s so simple, yet so accurate.

Think of the people you surround yourself with every day. Your favorite professors, your best friends, your colleagues. Who are the people that stand out to you? Those who are always in a bad mood, never smiling or happy? No. The people you naturally gravitate towards are those who are clever, fun and enjoyable to be around.

That is why laughter prevails, why movies like “Bridesmaids” and “The Hangover” are blockbusters, why shows like “Saturday Night Live” have been around for over 35 years.

Even on my worst days, where nothing in my life is going the way it should be, one of the very few things that I know is always constant, always right, always true, is laughter.

Ready to greet us at the end of an old day like an old friend, laughter never leaves our lives. Humor is one of the few defenses we have against disappointment, heartbreak and sadness. Just the other day, I experienced the painful feeling of rejection. You see, I submitted ten puns to a pun contest hoping at least one would win, but no pun in ten did. But thanks to humor, I was able to move past that train wreck of a day and focus on bigger and better things.

Something I have noticed in my 21 years of life is most people don’t appreciate the simple humor of ordinary people. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler and Will Ferrell. They are true masters of their craft and I have nothing but respect and admiration for them.

But a joke doesn’t have to come from a seasoned comedian or blockbuster movie for it to be funny. Sometimes the simpler a joke is, the better. Sometimes all it takes is one punch line and that problem you were stressing about earlier doesn’t seem so significant.

So every day, I make it my goal to make at least one person laugh. I don’t care if it is at my expense or by accident; I just want someone to have at least one bright spot in their day. I think people who can make others genuinely laugh are pun in a million. Those people are special.

So what if you haven’t started writing that term paper that’s due in a week, or you skipped class to catch up on Hulu or you called in sick to work when you really just wanted to nap?

It’s not too late to do something productive. You can still laugh. Go be that bright spot.

Don’t waste today.