Discussing Ol' Yeller (and Abraham & Isaac, in comments in last post) sure ain't gonna help me reach my goal of laughing thirty times a day.
(Or will it? I just snorted [this counts] at the incongruity as I wrote that sentence.)
I'm not really counting, but I like the suggestion to laugh 30x/day I found in Martha Beck's book The Joy Diet (nothing to do with weight loss, thank god).
I decided to start paying attention to what makes me laugh.
Yesterday I laughed a ton. I went to the Sunday night $1 improv performance at Dudley Riggs (best deal in town) and laughed at everything, even stuff I wouldn't laugh at if it were on-screen. Live comedy is great that way.
Plus I'm reading George Eliot's Middlemarch. I picked it up after writing about some of the influences on my life. I couldn't quite decide how it ranked on that score because I read it--one time--so long ago, I only remember remembering it, if you know what I mean. Rereading it, I'd say it was a huge influence--and I'd totally forgotten how wickedly funny Eliot is.
This made me laugh out loud at the coffee shop yesterday:
"Dorothea, with all her eagerness to know the truths of life, retained very childlike ideas about marriage. She felt sure she would have accepted... John Milton, when his blindness had come on; or any of the other great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure; but an amiable handsome baronet, who said 'Exactly' to her remarks even when she expressed uncertainty, – how could he affect her as a lover? The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it."
Oh god! I laugh because the young Dorothea reminds me so much of the young me:
so in love with theory that she can't see her very own real desires.
It helps that I know that Eliot is going to snatch Dorothea from the monstrous jaws of her own self-- through the agency of Death and Will.
I haven't seen the film adaptation, but I approve of casting Rufus Sewell (left) as Will Ladislaw.
(Sewell as the narcissistic numbskull Seth Starkadder in Cold Comfort Farm goes far toward helping fulfill laughter quotas.)
For people who aren't such Dunderkopfs as Dorothea and me, Eliot provides plenty else to laugh at. Here's another quote:
"Women were expected to have weak opinions; but the great safeguard of society and domestic life was that opinions were not acted on. Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them."