A Smile is a Frown Upside-Down
OpinionClosing Thoughts

A Smile is a Frown Upside-Down

Shaindle discusses the importance of laughter, and hopes to spread some of her own with a joke to digest.

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

I wish I remembered telling jokes when I was a kid.

I feel sure my friends and I could not have resisted trying to make each other laugh or gross each other out. I wonder if they were the same as the ones I hear from kids today. Given I have grandchildren from elementary age straight through to millennial, I hear or have heard them all. Everything I ever needed to learn about jokes, I learned driving carpool. An experience I wish for everyone.

How many chickens crossed the road jokes do you think exist? Whatever the number you have guessed, multiply by a million and you still will come up short.

What about the one where we throw the clock out of the window? Oh how I wish I had never heard or repeated that one, I would rather time slowed than flew.

Have you heard the one about the interrupting cow? It’s a knock-knock joke. Ask a kid; it will make you laugh.

Let us not forget: How do we make a tissue dance? Wait for it … put a little boogie in it.

If you really need a good laugh, try googling English translations for some of the Yiddish ‘curses’ you hear.

When I taught Yiddish to the senior high schoolers at Tichon Atlanta, (and I can assure you this is not the reason Tichon no longer exists!) all they wanted to know were the meanings of the curses or expressions their grandparents used.

So, being a clever and devoted educator, curses are what I taught them. I will admit, they were very disappointed when they heard the English translations of Yiddish jokes. By the way, they also learned how to read and write Yiddish. I laughed every semester as they nearly broke teeth trying to pronounce Yiddish words.

Who was it who declared laughter is the best medicine? A genius!

Are you aware there are groups specifically organized for laughing? Participants find ways to laugh, find things to laugh at, find ways to ensure we make each other laugh. Not too long ago, my friend Sharyn and I were willing participants in one of these seminars. We loved it. And yes, we did laugh, a lot. Then I became sad when I reflected back on the session, and thought to myself, is this what we’ve come to, deliberately organized laughter groups to teach us how to laugh?

I was in the middle of another Shaindle’s Shpiel, one about Cora and Frank and their uncanny ability to keep friends forever and for throwing the greatest parties on earth, when my dear cousin Khana sent me the following email: Extending Condolences. I felt compelled to share this with you.

Remember the genius’s words of wisdom: Laughter is the best medicine.

Extending Condolences:

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The gravesite was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was knead dead. In Minnesota, Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.

Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive role model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.
The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If you smiled while reading this, please rise to the occasion and pass it on to someone having a crumby day and kneading a lift.

An apple a day is not nearly as effective as a good belly laugh a day – in my humble opinion.

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