The Value of Humour

Anyone who has been following 77boxes for even a short time, will know I love riddles. My favourite jokes usually tend to have unexpected twists at the end.

I will share one with you below.

I do not know the origins of this joke.

A man went to visit his 90 year old uncle who lived on a very secluded farm in the Outback Australia. He had not seen his uncle in over 20 years, because the uncle only left the farm for groceries and doctor’s appointments, and never ventured far from his farm.  The two men spent hours chatting the night away, and finally went to bed after midnight.

Early the next morning, his uncle prepared a wonderful country breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, and hash-browns. As he finished his breakfast the man noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his uncle asking, “Are these plates clean?”  His uncle replied, “They’re as clean as cold water can get them. Just go ahead and finish your meal!”

For lunch the old man grilled up some hamburgers. Again, the man was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, “Are you sure these plates are clean?” Without looking up the old man said, “I told you before, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don’t you fret, I don’t want to hear another word about it!”

Later that afternoon, as the man was packing his car to leave, his Uncle’s dog came out from under the front porch.  The dog started to growl, with the hair standing up on his back as the man tried to go back in the house and wouldn’t let him pass.  John yelled and said, “Uncle Ned, your dog won’t let me come back in the house.” Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted,

“COLDWATER, GO LAY DOWN!’


Do you find that sharing a laugh with somebody is a great way to cement your friendship? Shared joy, and spontaneous mirth can help a pair, or a group to form a bond. The shared memory of the laughter you created together will bond you long after you’ve forgotten what you found so funny. Very much supporting the Maya Angelou quote shared previously “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”.

Laughter produces happy chemicals in your brain… As well as the positive short term effects of lightening your mood, Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. find that laughter has a number of long term beneficial effects, including relieving physical tension and stress; boosting your immune system; protecting your heart and cardiovascular system and even burning calories.

So next time you want to have a laugh with your co-workers, customers or classmates, remind your boss, or teacher that you are improving company morale, health and well-being. 

I love the way humour can diffuse an otherwise tense situation. Perhaps you are feeling awkward in a social situation, or perhaps a job interview. You, or someone else breaks the tension by introducing humour. A little side joke, or a classic one liner. Soon you are laughing with old friends or new, in a more relaxed, calmer situation. You are all better able to be yourselves, and enjoy the situation.


“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

I love this quote. When you can find the humour in your situation, the bleakness is much easier to overcome. It’s all about perspective. If you look only for the storm clouds, that is all you will see. By introducing humour, you remind yourself that however stormy it may seem, the sky is always blue above. You just have to find your way through the clouds to the clear blue happiness that waits.

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