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Updated on December 5, 2009


You never know who might be behind you
You never know who might be behind you
Chef's night on the cruise
Chef's night on the cruise
It was a cruise for the for the local psych ward
It was a cruise for the for the local psych ward
A dog in halloween costume
A dog in halloween costume
Halloween night:  She wanted to know if she looked scary!  Or dead!
Halloween night: She wanted to know if she looked scary! Or dead!
Stanley actually ate a steak
Stanley actually ate a steak


This blog is part of a series. You might want to check out the initial blog of the series to get a quick overview snapshot of the series and how this blog fits in. BUT this blog also stands on its own!! Well, maybe it’s tilting just a tad! Okay, I’ll shush so you can read.

I know if you read Challenge Three Reflection, "Be A Kid," it may come as a surprise to you that I really love to laugh. I enjoy being silly, like a kid. I can laugh till I cry. I can laugh till I’m coughing. I can laugh till I can barely breathe. Once I get to laughing, I literally cannot stop and my upper body HEAVES with laughter. As a kid, once, I got to laughing so hard at my Dad, that he slapped my face to try to get me to stop, but to no avail.

I put on a day retreat for therapist some years ago, and one of the exercises, involved all of us lying on the floor of the conference room with each person placing his or her head on someone else’s stomach. It didn’t take but a second or two for all of us to begin laughing, and we finally stopped after about forty five minutes. I think the only reason we stopped is because everyone had to pee!

I proposed an NPR radio show a couple of years back, entitled, "Laughing Over Spilled Milk." My two minute audition went like this.

COMING SOON to Public Radio, "Laughing Over Spilled Milk," yes, the new show where you get to call in and cry about all the spilled milk in your relationships, and yes, we’re going to get you to laugh about it, BECAUSE, well that’s our show. Yes, you can call in about those people you keep encouraging to sign up for the troop surge in Iraq, but we especially want to hear about those wonder filled relationships with your children and your sweetie pie.

I will be your host, Vern Bradley, (singing: I feel pretty, I feel hosty) and with me will be our in-house shrink, Dr. Ted Bear and our codependent specialist, Dr. Eileen Dover.

Yes, being a parent today IS tricky. No, that four year old standing there at the foot of your bed and staring at the two of you, isn’t going to let you get away with that all time dumber than dumb speech about big boys sleep by themselves.

Yes, if you grew up in the twentieth century, you knew if you stepped out of line, you’d be buried in the back yard, right there next to Jimmy Hoffa. And no, we don’t threaten our kids with death or weapons of mass destruction any more. Yes, of course, that’s a good thing, but it does leave us feeling a little empty handed when it comes to discipline. And yes, we can talk and laugh about that on this show as well.

And relationships with sweetie pies. Yes, It’s a rough roller coaster ride, being an equal partner. Yes, it IS Dramamine you need, not antidepressants.

Yes, when you’re out scooping up dog poo from the dog you didn’t want in the first place or you’re sweetie pie is screaming obscenities at you because your trying out something new from one of those XXX videos and in the mean time you’re having muscle cramps and that same dog is attacking you, Yes, at a moment like this, there is nothing left to do, but laugh, and yes, we can also talk about it on this show.

And my qualifications? Well, I’ve humbly prepared myself, I’m ready,-- for that voice mail that all of us are going to get one of these days. "BEEP. Hey, Dad, my therapist says it’s time for you to come in. Mom’s going to be there too. Love ya Dad. BEEP."

So, for crying out loud, tune in, call in, and discover how with a little laughter, you can get your heart and soul back into your wonder-filled relationships.

And guess what Chapter Eighteen. in my book, From The Frying Pan To The Jacuzzi, is titled? Yes, "Laughing Over Spilled Milk."

It is a very short chapter and talks about the root meaning of the word humor. Here is a short clip from the chapter.

Interestingly enough, the Greeks thought that "humor" was a kind of bodily fluid that influenced our personality type. There were four humors: phlegm, blood, and yellow and black bile.

I like the notion that humor has something to do with body fluids! When we laugh, we get things moving in our body. It often stirs up phlegm and if we laugh too long or too hard, we might start coughing. Laughing is the same chest movement as crying, so the longer we laugh, we will eventually begin to tear and cry. Sometimes we laugh so hard, we fart or even pee our pants!

So laughter is the way through defenses, rigidity, walls, road blocks, withholding, and even being in the cave and refusing to come out. Humor is a way to mix all of our bodily fluids into a life giving mixture of joy instead of depression, anger, resentment, and disgust....Laughter can help us see the lessons, help us let go of the need to blame, and help us heal as well. It’s a way of coating the pain so we can weave it into the totality of our life experience. It’s the way of putting the pain in its rightful place, so we can move on in our safari or journey.

As much as I enjoy, ENJOY, laughing, some times I get into my cave and put up a huge neon sign that reads, NO LAUGHTER ALLOWED, KEEP OUT! I don’t know if I’m the only kid on the block who puts up that sign, but I think NOT. My dissolving narcissism tells me that I can’t be that unique! But maybe that regression to the cave is like the SCROOGE in all of us! And it serves a purpose at times. Ah, for another blog. But the only way out from my scroogey cave is through laughter or sometimes through tears which is basically the same physiological process as laughing. If one laughs enough, they will begin crying and if one crys enough, they will begin crying.

I enjoy all the funny stuff that happens all around me all day long. I sometimes have to bite my tongue, knowing that not everyone is out of their cave, and I don’t want to get slapped or shot! I like looking puzzled when the "bag person" at the grocery store asks, "Paper or plastic." I can’t resist asking back, "Paper or plastic what?"

So my challenge for myself on this day will be to become absolutely conscious of those moments I am running headlong into my scroogey cave and stop, at least long enough to ask myself, "What’s the heck going on here?" And maybe think about the old saying "it takes less muscles and less energy to smile than it does to frown." You think that’s true? Hey, I’m scowling right now. Feels kind of good, as a matter of fact! Humbug! These people coming up with such trivia just to make you smile. What do they know?

The funniest thing that happened to me in the last twenty four hours has to do with a rather large black and white spotted cat that lives next door, but who loves to sneak into our laundry room and DEVOUR all the cat food in the bowl.

Last night, I walked in on the cat burglar and scared the living daylights out of him. He scrambled so fast to get out the doggy door, I just busted up laughing. Sounded like a herd of horses. But here’s the really funny part. Ten minutes later, he couldn’t control himself and came back for desert! Somedays, we leave the window ajar in the room and it serves as an entrance and exit for the sneaky cat burglar. Well, when I walked in on his desert escapade, he thought he better try the window rather than the doggy door, but the window was shut! That cat’s brain was going crazy! I finally gave him space to do his herd of horses number one more time and finally out the doggy door he went. I am laughing just recalling the cat burglar’s failed escape out the closed window. No animals were injured during this episode! I am hoping it was scary enough that it might inhibit him for at least a couple of days!

Well, share with us some laughing matter in your life in the last twenty four hours or week or month. Yes, I know some of you are not too funny, so how about in your whole life time!!

Thanks for reading. 



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    • vrbmft profile imageAUTHOR

      Vernon Bradley 

      8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hey, Larry, you have to post that picture of Dutch or Peter or whatever his name is. He looked like Spiderman to me! That is such a great pic. I have carried my camera around all day hoping to get a shot of the cat burglar to post here, but no luck today. I guess I really traumatized him, at least for a few days!! Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment. And I just realized you DID put the link inyour comment!! I'm okay!

    • vrbmft profile imageAUTHOR

      Vernon Bradley 

      8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hi Itakins

      You know I swear I left a comment on your comment yesterday, but where is it? Wow, did I somehow disapprove of my own comment. Well, thanks for reading, and you are absolutely right, laughter is GOOD medicine and NO after taste.

    • palmerlarryray profile image

      Larry Ray Palmer 

      8 years ago from Macon, Missouri

      Hey Vern,

      Another great hub. Laughter is indeed on of our greatest gifts. Funny how an animal, like your neighbors cats, can give you some of the greatest opportunities for a good laugh. Kids are great little comedians too...

      My sister in law has a new boyfriend who has immigrated to America from Holland so his nickname is Dutch. His real name is Peter. My kids first met him a few months ago at Grandmas house and the youngest boy was having trouble remembering his name. So he asked Dutch, "What's your name again?"

      Dutch was very cooperative and trying to make a good impression with the kids so he looked at him and said, "My name is Peter."

      Travis looked him dead in the eye and said " We don't say bad words at Grandmas house. I can't call you that."

      We all laughed so hard...

      Dutch is a great guy though. Here's a pic of him playing dress up with the kids later in the day. Yes, he is tied to the chair but he volunteered for the mission...

    • itakins profile image


      8 years ago from Irl

      The best medicine-great hub!


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