Monday, April 19, 2010

Time to Laugh

Today is Humorous Day! In life, as in writing, it's important to see humor in even serious situations. In literature, humor eases the stress level in tension filled scenes to give the reader a chance to catch his breath.

American Hetitage Dictionary defines comic relief as follows: n. A humorous or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy intended to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast.

Think drunken porter scene in MacBeth, or grave digging scene in Hamlet. Or how about Janet Evanovich's bounty hunter Stephanie Plum about to get barbecued by a flame thrower in Lean Mean Thirteen? She claims she can help the bad guys get what they need behind a volted security gate, but they have to get volt cutters first. To do this, Stephanie talks them into going to Lowe's and Home Depot to find some!

In real life a good laugh is important, too. According to's page on Stress Management:

  • Laughter gives us a physical and emotional release
  • Good belly laughs work out the diaphram, contract the abs, and exercise the shoulders
  • Laughter takes away focus from negative emotions like anger, guilt, or stress in a more positive way than an ordinary distraction.


    On Humorous Day, here's my prescription for a happy, stress free life: Smile, laugh, hug often--oh, and read some good books with lots of comic relief!

    What's yours?

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