Aging in the Gorge January 26th, 2022

Did you know children laugh an average of four hundred times a day compared to adults who laugh only an average of twenty-five? Okay, that may just be a myth, but we can all admit we laugh much less than children. (Of course, it’s hard to compete when young children giggle every time they hear the word “poop”!) 

We should laugh more because it’s been shown that laughing is good for us. According to the Mayo Clinic website, it can stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles and improve your immune system.  

In addition, laughter can also help us both socially and emotionally: strengthening our relationships with others, improving our mood, reducing tension and stress, and helping us endure difficult situations. Bob Hope once said, “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.” 

But I’ve found there is a fine line between funny and offensive – and that line is different for all of us. What’s particularly tricky is a comment can be funny or offensive depending on the content, context, and who is telling the joke to whom. I often poke fun at myself for my memory slips, but if a young person makes fun of their grandmother’s spotty memory (who could be younger than I am) it bothers me. Those types of comments reinforce an offensive stereotype of all “old” people by someone who probably doesn’t know many older folks with all their talents.  

So have you found your inner child and laughed today? If not see if any of these jokes tickle your funny bone. 

“I went grocery shopping hungry yesterday. I’m now the proud owner of aisle 9.” Ruth Buzzi 

“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.” Steve Martin 

“Yesterday I told a chicken to cross the road. It said, “what for?” Steve Wright 

And finally, one more – just between us. 

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other,” Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?” “Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques: visualization, association, etc. It was great.” “That’s great! And what was the name of the clinic?” Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?” 

“You mean a rose?” 

“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife, “Rose, what was the name of that memory clinic?” 

This week find time to be with folks who laugh, to tell a few jokes, and watch your favorite comedies. But if you find it difficult to keep a sense of humor, consider what Art Linkletter suggests you do. “If you can’t think of anything else when you’re my age, take off your clothes and walk in front of a mirror. I guarantee you’ll get a laugh.” 

The 1952 musical romantic comedy film about the transition from silent film to talkies starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen, and 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds was Singing in the Rain. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Linda Frizzell, Barbara Cadwell, Doug Nelson, Gene Uczen, Dave Lutgens, Rebecca Abrams, and Cindy Winfield who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Jess Birge 

Remember the novelty songs from the 50s and 60s:  “The Purple People Eater”, “Witch Doctor”, Monster Mash”, and ”Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Over Night?” Let’s see if you can answer this week’s “Remember When” question about the 1958 novelty song “Beep, Beep” sung by the Playmates. The song describes, in an increasingly faster tempo, a Cadillac being followed and then passed by what make of car? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a picture from the 1950s of the AMC’s assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find more yeses than nos. Until we meet again, I know I’m getting older when in the morning I spend more time taking my medications and vitamins than eating breakfast! 


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