THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF HUMOR
I am sitting on the Staten Island Ferry. It is a miserable, rainy day and I am in the worst mood. I am running late, tired, wet and freezing. As I sit wallowing in my misery, a burly construction worker plops down next to me, he too seems to be in a bad mood. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large bird flies in through an open window and crash-lands on the seat opposite us. He is dirty, feathers askew, and has something slimey dangling from his beak. Breaking the silence, I turn to the guy next to me, gesture to the bird and say: “They’ll let anyone on this boat.” There is a split-second pause and then he bursts out laughing. Then I start cracking up and in seconds we are both laughing hysterically. A few minutes later the construction worker turns to me, pats me on the back and in a thick Staten Island accent…says: “Good one.” And suddenly we are both transformed…despair lifted and each of us a little bit lighter.