Laughter Is Great Medicine by Maria Dorfner

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Recently, researchers Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Joseph A. Allen published a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology about the effects of group humor on workers.

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Results proved laughter bolsters creativity, memory, problem-solving ability, and reduces anxiety, body pain and stress, helps with relaxation, elevates mood, increases self-esteem, optimism, hope and your energy.

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In workers it leads to positive team performance, including question-asking, proposals of innovative ideas, new people speaking up and kudos given for jobs well done or problems solved.

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If that’s enough, humor also promotes bonding and altruism, attracts connections and leads to happier partnerships.

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That said, here’s a short true story to tickle your funny bone.  It’s called “The Briefcase.”

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THE BRIEFCASE

One afternoon while visiting my parents my Dad told my sister and I that he bought a new Mercedes, but he returned it because something was wrong with it. He boasts, “I walk into the dealership, I put my briefcase on the salesman’s desk and tell him to give me my money back or else!”  We ask, “Or else what?”  He yells, “Or else I open the briefcase!”

My sister and I ask, “What’s in the briefcase?!”  He yells, “Never you mind. The guy gave me my money back right away.”

Later that afternoon my sister says to me, “Wait a second. Since when does Daddy have a briefcase?”   I laugh and quip, “You’re right.” Dad is retired, but used to work in construction and in a restaurant. Neither requiring a briefcase. We laugh concluding he must have made up that story.

Flash Forward One Week Later

Sis calls me exasperated, “Oh my God…oh my God…OH.MY.GOD.  I tell her to calm down and ask what happened. She adds, “You’ll never believe this!  I am at Mommy and Daddy’s helping them take groceries out of the car trunk and I find an old, beat up briefcase from the 1940’s in there!”  OPEN IT!!!  She says she is trying, but it has a combination lock on it and it has something heavy inside of it.  She gasps, “OH MY GOD…I think Daddy has a gun!”

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So, we decide to confront him together. When I get there, we place the briefcase on the dining room table and use our best “Law and Order” District Attorney stance and voice to demand he open it.

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At first, he says no but we are relentless. We need you to open the briefcase NOW.

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We watch intently as he turns the combination. He opens it.  Nothing.  Nada.  EMPTY.
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We ask, “What was that noise?” He lifts a cloth layer and laying there is one single hammer.

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We look at each other, then at Dad and ask, “What were you going to do…hammer the sales guy to death?!”

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Dad matter-of-factly says, “Never you mind” as he locks the briefcase we never knew he owned.  OK Dad.  Take the hammer. Leave the cannoli.   😀

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Maria Dorfner can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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