“Laughter is the best medicine.”
“While laughter is the best medicine, many cancer patients prefer chemotherapy.”
“Right now, you should be laughing at this satire article.”
“In Soviet Russia, laugh – Ouch!”
Laughter, or laughing, is a common bodily function which has been proven to be linked with several different phenomena. These range from wetting oneself to ritualistic human sacrifice (possibly linked with Christians and other deity-worshiping cultists).
Origin[edit | edit source]
The term "laughter" is thought to been coined in the late 1700s or possibly the early 1800s by Paul Laughing. Paul originally wanted the act of what we know today as laughing to be named carrying (after his wife Carrie). He remained adamant in this until approximately 6:15 when Paul returned home from work (Paul worked at the Ministry of Names and Verb Innovation) to tell his wife the news. After his wife explained to Paul that carrying was already a verb (meaning to carry), Paul renamed the verb to laughing (coincidentally Paul's surname). It took three weeks for the change to take effect; during this time people "carried" at some of the world's first jokes.
The best medicine[edit | edit source]
Laughter is widely considered to be the best medicine. But this theory has often been thrown into doubt – laughter has never really cured anything. Nurofen, cough syrup, chemotherapy cure ... laughter just makes all these things seem a lot funnier, enabling others to laugh at misfortune. When was the last time you laughed yourself better when you broke your arm in that skiing accident? I'm willing to bet never. Laughter is nothing more than an expression of amusement and should not be used medicinally.
Common misbeliefs[edit | edit source]
Throughout history, many different cultures have believed that "laughter is the best medicine" and some have taken this too far. Africa, Korea and Ireland have had different medicines comprising of this ingredient, all with bastardly effect. But certainly the culture most adamant that laughter is in fact the best medicine is the French. Throughout time the French have taken bad situations and tried to laugh them off, to no avail. The earliest dated record of this was in the early 1400s.
The Joan of Arc incident[edit | edit source]
France's very own Joan of Arc was put on trial for heresy. Joan's firm belief in the best medicine would ultimately be her downfall. She was accused after she uttered one of the first laughs whilst fighting the English. Joan was immediately seized and jailed under the suspicion of mocking the Crown. After numerous trials Joan was sentenced to burn like a steak. On the verge of death, Joan (now out of ideas) uttered a final, shrill laugh; a desperate attempt at survival. The English took exception to this, seeing Joan's desperation as another insult, and screamed: "It's not working! More oil!" before dousing the already quite hot Joan of Arc in more flammable liquid. Laughter yet again resulted in fatal tragedy.
Cause[edit | edit source]
Numerous things could make people laugh. An amusing knock-knock joke, a rather humorous episode of the Simpsons or maybe seeing someone in extreme physical agony or a state of morbid depression. Laughing is not, however, a medicine. Whatever it is, it is certainly not a chance for you to try walking on that broken limb again, or to return to your habit of breaking bricks with your face.
Definitive scientific evidence obtained by conducting studies at the University of Maryland for Medical Science has indicated that we laugh as a result of severe compulsions of the posterior hydrosis, a muscle used for the excretions of fecal waste and bodily liquids. These irregular spasms have no legitimate cause and their treatment is unknown. However, theorists believe that excessive harvesting of unborn fetuses as children may be a paramount contributor to this complex bodily function. People who suffer from incontrollable intakes of methane gases expended by livestock compulsively may be at risk for Unexpected Bursts of Laughter (UBL) later in life. Spontaneous human combustion as well as severe nausea, induced vomiting, increased saliva production, and irascible bursts of vexation over the imprsionment of penguins you illegally imported from the New Zealand coastline are all symptoms of a sufferer experincing Unexpected Bursts of Laughter (UBL).
Effect[edit | edit source]
Laughter is often seen to cause happiness amongst communities, families and other social groups. This happiness is often at the expense of others.
Retaliation[edit | edit source]
Many jokes have caused people to lash out. For instance Hitler (who was a painter at the time) was in the middle of a tranquil scene of a picnic. Hitler's Jewish friend made a stab at Adolf's sexuality. Hitler retaliated with a mass genocide.
Overdose[edit | edit source]
A reported incident in 500 BC left famous mathematician Pythagoras dead. Pythagoras's wife told investigators that her husband had awakened ranting and raving about his entire life's work being pointless. He shouted something about nobody caring about triangles and then burst into hysterics. Seventeen hours later, Pythagoras was found in a fetal position, tears of blood dripping from his eyes and the biggest smile ever seen on a dead person's face. This incident is just one of many too much laughter scenarios.
Other reported instances have had people laughing so hard, they have drowned in their own tears of joy. Many of these people regret the decision to laugh, and survivors have since opted for the less fatal chuckle, or maybe just a nice smile.
The future[edit | edit source]
Many people have speculated about what's next in laughter, one of the worlds most popular inventions. Many think that laughter will soon become obsolete, being replaced by video games and TiVo. Others have predicted a strong future for laughter, with many new products. (Video on YouTube, best heard in full screen.)
Whatever happens in the future, laughter has certainly been a financial success and investment is still strong even after more than thirty years in business.
See also[edit | edit source]
Quasi-Featured Article (29 March 2009)