28 Oct 2010

THE SECRET OF HUMOUR.

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

So went the first two verses of Eric Idle's Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Laugh and smile and dance and sing - good advice?

A new study suggests that we Brits begin losing our sense of humour at the age of 52 when we chuckle just three times a day.
But then again (and you have to laugh at this, don't you?) another survey says that true happiness does not begin until we hit 55 (Not too bad, I suppose that is only three years lacking in humour and happiness.)

The saying goes that life begins at 40 - but it would appear that this generation are too bogged down by money worries to enjoy themselves and that true happiness does not begin until you hit 55.
That is the finding of a survey, which suggests that people tend to get happier as they get older, with almost one million 45 to 54-year-olds unhappy with their lives. This makes this group, supposedly entering contended middle-age, the most frustrated. - Harry Wallop, the Telegraph. (FULL STORY)

But what exactly makes us smile, makes us laugh?

Anyone who has cracked a one-liner only to be greeted by an embarrassed silence knows that the secret of what makes something funny can prove elusive.
Comedians, actors, writers and psychoanalysts have long sought the secret of humour.
The key, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, was to come up with a situation that was incongruous, but also one that an 'audience' considered harmless. - Peter Hutchinson.

Sad but true, the mere mention of a 'silly name' will have most of us Brits tittering.

An author has trawled the official records to find the world's most comical names - including Anna Sassin (an assassin), Etta Lott.
Russel Ash's book (FROUS-FROUS, FRISBY AND BRICK) lists 3,00 unfortunate titles of people whose parents were either mad or cruel.
Some are bizarre - Smallpox Tommy, Hysteria Johnson. Then there is Sandy Beach, Rusty Pipes and Joy Rider (whilst) others who might have dreaded the school roll-call are Bonk Register, Booby Ogle and Wiggy Piggy.
Russel, who passed away recently, studied birth records, census returns and official documents.
One of his favourite finds was Chris P Bacon (crispy bacon). (Then there is) Lettice Pray (let us pray) and Mary Christmas. -  Mark Reynolds, Daily Express.

25 comments:

Vivienne said...

I love that song.It always makes me smile.

Mary said...

My family loves to take a serious moment (sometimes) and start singing the refrain "Always look on the..." :)

chitra said...

I too loved the poem. We love humour and no wonder my son has become a fan of Asterix and his adventures. When he is home we really enjoy and crack jokes.

Melissa Gill said...

I always wonder what parents are thinking when they give their kids names that are going to set them up for ridicule.

R. Ramesh said...

Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...wow..like thse words ya..btw buddy..i had interviewed the british ambassador to UAE recently and put in my blog..thought u may be interested in glancing at that...cheers

dr.antony said...

In Arabic, the letter V is pronounced "Fa".I had a friend doctor whose name was Dr.Vikar Srinivasan. Often we used to hear the announcement' "Dr.Fucker,please report to ER, Dr Fucker...."

Misha1989 said...

I love the poem!!
"Anna Sassin"
Hahaha
I wish parents would think a little before naming their kids.
Btw, I have replied to your message on FB.

Patti said...

That's the ultimate question, what makes us happy. Here I thought I was entering into my happy years, but now 55 is the new 40, that's so not fair.

As for funny names. My kids were re-enacting Julius Caesar and they could say the name Popilius without laughing. They kept emphasing the letter "O"

GMR said...

Great post...something to laugh about (well, sort of) and something to ponder. What DOES make us truly happy? What makes us smile though is a lot easier to answer....thanks for the smile! ^_^

NRIGirl said...

Ha ha ha.. .Mary Christmas! How is Queen Star? That's my middle name.

A said...

Great post !!1

But I havet to say humor is nothing to do with age.

I think with development, life style, peer pressure people are worried to be humorous.

It is hard to crack a one liner and in turn if you see stern face...one wonders is it really worth?

Valerie said...

"Life Begins at 40" might have been true, once -- but now with people marrying and having children later, it's now probably more like 50 or 55 -- a different kind of life, anyway.

I've always been fascinated by the names parents come up with for their kids -- some real doozies there!!

Stranger said...

lol..you made my day Petty. Nice post.

Humour is not age related. My friend in 40s is the center of any party. Good in cracking jokes, mostly about himself and appreciating others...

@ Dr. Antony,

Sorry but I strongly disagree with your view of "Va" in Arabic. The Arabs have "Va" in their language. However they pronounce P like B. e.g. Prakash will be Brakash.

It is the Philippians who cannot pronounce "Va". They always say Va as Fa. Probably the receptionist was a Philippina not Arab.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Ah, laughter. Gotta love it. So I guess I'm not allowed to be happy until I'm 55!

Kelly said...

I laugh on a regular basis...often a good belly laugh, at that.

Then again, sometimes I laugh at things I should be laughing at!

Alyce said...

Thanks for sharing those names! They're funny, but I pity the kids who were stuck with them. The only one I can think of that was unusual from my hometown was this boy named James James. It was memorable, but he got teased a lot.

Alison said...

Interesting. Of course that question of what makes us laugh varies by country. I love British humor. It's so much more subtle and dry than typical American over-the-top jokes. It seems like each culture has their own sense of humor.

Suko said...

Terrific post, Petty. I am not British, but I've always noticed funny names! :D

kavita said...

Mood at my clinic changes whenever i attend elderly patients - they are more joyful ,affectionate and always cracking jokes ! I find young and middle aged people more tensed and tied up(may be because it is after all a dental clinic ).
Those names are hilarious !

Shy said...

Excellent post, I've to say! There are times in life when I told my safe that I am in severe need of chill pills *lol*

But yeah, how I wish that it is easy to be truly happy. I guess that if we just seize the moment, let the past go and let the future take care of itself, it is always possible to be happy for the moment. If not, life will just be filled with tonnes of worries.

Willa said...

Loved this post! Thanks :-) Btw. if you need a good laugh take a look at what silly names celebs pick for their kids these days... I mean Suri and Shiloh - not to mention Zowie Bowie and Jamie Oliver's son Buddy Bear... Innovation.

MadPriest said...

As an Englishman, the name Randy always has me creasing up with laughter. Although most common in the US it is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Randolph in England, as in the true case of the Northumbrian, charismatic, freelancing, Anglican priest, "Randy Vickers." I joke not - he exists.

audreygeddes said...

Love Eric Idle - this is so good. Thanks for writing this. We so need humor, especially in today's society. Speaking of funny - you need to check out Looks Great Naked hosted by Grace Adams. Her blog is absolutely hilarious along with some really great personal anecdotes. Grace believes in finding a happy place in realizing that to be genuine is to be beautiful and lovable.

....Petty Witter said...

Hi Audrey, nice to meet you and many thanks for the link to Grace's blog, I'll be sure to visit.

audreygeddes said...

You're welcome! Nice to meet you as well :}.