Aging Well in the Gorge ~ March 27th, 2024

Humor is an indispensable tool of life and is particularly beneficial as we age. It can help mourners heal, defuse tensions, open friendships, and help us cope with challenging situations by acknowledging the incongruities and absurdities of life and reminding us that we are all in this together.

There are many types of humor from slapstick to ironic. However, some research has distinguished these four different styles.

1.) Affiliative humor that promotes social bonding through jokes, amusing remarks, and not taking oneself too seriously:

2.) Self-enhancing humor that enables people to cope with adverse circumstances by perceiving the brighter side of life and being able to laugh at yourself.

3.) Self-defeating humor. Putting yourself down in an aggressive or “poor me” fashion which can be psychologically unhealthy.

4.) Aggressive humor that mocks, ridicules, and disparages others. This involves put-downs or insults targeted toward individuals.

While humor is very individualistic, age can influence what we find amusing. Research has found older adults compared to younger adults enjoy humor more – although may laugh less, and do not enjoy aggressive types of humor as much.

The following five jokes represent the four different styles of humor. See which ones you enjoy – or not!

“A pair of cows were talking in the field. One says, “Have you heard about the mad cow disease that’s going around?” “Yeah,” the other cow says. “Makes me glad I’m a penguin.”

“My psychiatrist told me I’m going crazy. I said, ‘If you don’t mind, I’d like a second opinion.’ he said, ‘All right. You’re ugly, too.’” Rodney Dangerfield

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” Kurt Vonnegut

“I’m not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the warning labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?” Ricky Gervais

“Ole and Lena were at the drive-in movie. Ole says, ‘Say Lena, you wanna get in the back seat?’ Lena says, ‘Naw, Ole, I’d just as soon stay up here with you.”

So take time to enjoy a good laugh with a friend, read an amusing story, or watch your favorite comedy. As Elbert Hubbard once said, “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

Brain Tease. Tell me if I’ve shared this before. “If 3 tigers catch 3 sheep in 3 minutes. How long does it take for 100 tigers to catch 100 sheep?”

The name of the television series created by Rod Serling in which characters find themselves dealing with often disturbing or unusual events was The Twilight Zone. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Stephen Woolpert, Kathy Bullack, Linda Frizzell, Judy Kiser, Donna Mollet, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl, Pat Evenson-Brady, Kim Birge, Tina Castanares, Dan Crisp, Nancy Higgins, Rose Schulz, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Bruce Johnson, Doug Nelson, and April Taylor this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. Last week I missed Bruce Johnson. And thank you to everyone who sent in their most memorable Twilight Zone episode.

Since it is March Madness, I have to include a basketball question for the sports fans in the audience. When I was attending Purdue University during the 1968–69 school year, the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team beat Purdue to win an unprecedented third consecutive NCAA National Basketball Championship. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the center who led UCLA to three consecutive national championship games and in 1971 publicly changed his name after converting to Islam? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a picture of UCLA head coach John Wooden – the Wizard of Westwood – who coached the UCLA basketball team from 1948 through 1975.

Well, it has been another week, thinking of when I should get out the sunscreen. Until we meet again, as they used to say in the old west, “Poor is having to sell the horse to buy the saddle.”

“Never have children, only grandchildren.” Gore Vidal

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Mt. Hood Townhall (541-308-5997) – Tuesdays; Hood River Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center (541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333).

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services: Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068), and in Skamania County call Senior Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: For 100 tigers to catch 100 sheep, it would still take the same amount of time because each tiger is catching one sheep in 3 minutes. Therefore, it would take 3 minutes for 100 tigers to catch 100 sheep.

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