Monday, January 16, 2012
GRATITUDE - January 15, 2012
It has been said that humor is derived from tragedy, not from joy. I don't quite know how to describe it with more sugar on it, but that theory seems to be true.
Why do people laugh when a woman walks into a spider web and freaks out, a businessman slips on a banana peal or a couple dancing at a patio party accidentally fall into the swimming pool?
The humor is not in a child celebrating a birthday (other emotions, just not humor), but becomes a gut buster when the child slips and falls face first into the cake.
Given the large variety of physical challenges I have had in the past few years, a sense of humor has helped me deal in a positive manner with "uncomfortable circumstances." Some of my favorite funny stories deal with radiation, sight and hearing impairment, etc. I surmise that a sense of humor about ourselves is an effective defensive mechanism that wraps a magical force field around as a means of protection.
Here is a sad funny story about a deaf man. Ask yourself, after reading it, if you thought it was funny...
I am that deaf man. I can't hear worth spit...too many nights at rock concerts, standing in front of the speakers, etc. So, to appease my families constant frustration over me asking "say again?"...I got hearing-aids (helps a little but doesn't fix it by a long shot). They allow me to now hear that people are actually talking to me, but I still can't understand the words. Low sounds work best (thank God for Bass guitars).
Six-month audio check after getting the hearing-aids last week. The test was to see if there was any further degeneration or improvement in my hearing. So, I take off the hearing-aids and go into this soundproof room (which, is funny in itself, as in reality, it could be any room for a deaf person), they hook me up with headphones and close the big thick door, observing me through a large double pane window.
So, the experiences was like this:
"Mr. Welton,we are going to conduct a series of tests with sounds and words to measure the status of your hearing."
The first set was words. An auto-man computer voice made in Czechoslovakia would say random words and I would repeat back what I thought I heard. Most of it was guess work. Window pane was actually cellophane, etc. I did not score so well.
The second set of tests was to test me on my ability to hear sounds at different frequencies; like the noise our refrigerator makes when I have failed to close the door securely...my wife can hear it clearly from the upstairs bedroom, but I can't and I am only two feet away.
I was directed to raise my hand whenever I heard the sound. I am settled in, closing my eyes, so I can concentrate and nail this set of tests. Fairly soon I heard a faint buzzing sound. I raised my hand. a few seconds later I hear a high pitched squeal. I raised my hand. Then came a series of high pitched sounds, very faint, but I could hear them. They were in a fairly rapid succession, so I pumped my hand in the air to keep up with the test beeps. I was feeling good about this one.
"Mr. Welton, Mr. Welton!"
"Describe what you are hearing."
A series of high pitched squeals, some faint some stronger.
"We haven't started the test yet."
The advantage of the sound proof room was suddenly clear. I wasn't so I would be distracted by other noises. It was so I couldn't hear the technicians laughing their butts off at the sight of a little bald guy with a ponytail, in a sound proof room pumping his hands in the air at imaginary sounds before the test was actually started.
That is humor.