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Helping People Laugh
Helping People Laugh
While admitting that life is serious business, I’ve come to the conclusion that it need not always be so.
At a large “box store” my wife and I have an understanding that, if we become separated, I will be waiting for her at a certain spot near the cashiers.
Sometimes my wait can be a long one, and many other shoppers will pass by me going and coming.
Quite often I can find a humorous greeting as they pass by, such as a recent riddle their young children may not know, but would likely enjoy: “What did the strawberry say, when it called 911?” (“Help! I’m in a real jam!”)
One day a mother came by me with two well-behaved daughters in her shopping cart.
I asked her, “Which aisle did you find them on!?’
To my surprise, she replied, “They’re for sale!”
Then reflecting on what she had just said, she added: “Not today…yesterday.”
From time to time I have shared that story with other mothers who are shopping with children in their shopping carts, usually to their knowing acknowledgement of how that other mother might have felt.
Over the years, and winking first at the parent, I have found that young children who are raising a real fuss in the store, will calm down quickly when I ask them: “Do you want to go home with me?”
Typically they stop fussing immediately and cling silently to their parent who is suddenly pleased by their silence.
I learned one day, however, that the child’s reaction is not always one of silence. On that day the crying child did quiet down, but he replied, “Yes!”
A supply of true, humorous stories, such as the “Which aisle…?” story can brighten what look like serious faces. The stories can be long or shortened depending on the circumstances.
With the box store’s janitor I try to have “a new one” I haven’t told him before, and over the years we have become good friends.
Everyone needs a good smile, chuckle, or belly laugh on a regular basis, nothing “off key,” mind you, just shared good humor.
Often my janitor friend tells me “a good one” he has heard since our last encounter. We both end up seeking out good humor in between our encounters.
Recently a smiling man rode past me headed to the cashiers with nothing in the motorized shopping cart he was riding, and I commented, “I see you are only buying the cart today!” He laughed and proceeded on.
A happy couple in their 60’s came by. She was petit, athletic, and cute. So I asked him, “What aisle did you find her on?”
They both smiled, but she touched my arm and replied, “He found me in the vegetable section” and she chuckled at what I guessed to be true.
Good spirited comments, even from a stranger, seem welcomed these days when life is such a serious business.
Without being intrusive, we can all look for chances to be friendly and helpful. And, if we look, and are careful to measure our impulsive remarks, we just might add a little friendliness along the way to our own check out.
© 2017 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.