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Send in the clowns … . humour is the best medicine

BY TERESA MALLAM

Mallam Unmuzzled

Everyone is a comedian.

It seems that way, anyway. And that’s fine with me. We are living in very puzzling and  precarious times, and we need all the humour we can get.

Laughter is a very good tonic. 

So I never dissuade people from sharing a joke, even their macabre sense of humour because laughter is a great coping tool in times like these. But this week was a bonanza for belly laughs.

On Tuesday, I had an appointment at the hospital. After first visiting the sanitization station, I walked to the elevators, pressed the black top button and waited until the doors opened. 

There was one man in the elevator, leaning against the back wall. I got in, and after a few silent seconds between us, the elevator rumbled to a stop.

The doors opened, and I turned to get out when the man said:  “Are you sure this is the floor you want?” Peeking out, I saw a big black and white sign off to my right … MORGUE. We were in the basement.

“No, no. Not yet —  actually not ever…” I said, now laughing. “Sorry I thought this one was going up.”

“Up? No, no. Only if you’ve been a very good person here on earth,” the man said, his voice now dramatically lowered.

“Hah. That’s a good one,” I said, applauding his quick wit. I think he smiled because his eyelids crinkled. So hard to tell now with a cloth mask.

I was already sore from laughing last week because my friends and I had been sending giggly emails for days after Canada’s chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, recommended wearing face masks during sex.

I know this is serious stuff, but honestly, every time I imagined this spectacle, I got the giggles.  I can’t imagine it. Maybe in the erotic psychotic thriller, Eyes Wide Shut.

So then comes Sunday. I am at the city dump in Quesnel, busy offloading an old carpet wrapped in plastic, into the bin. A man in overalls comes over and says, “I notice you’re dumping a carpet in there. ” (Oh, oh. Have I got the wrong bin?) 

He leans over. “No dead body inside there, I hope …. (pause for punchline) “because we have a special spot for those over there…”

And he points to a high mound, in the distance, off to my right. Ha ha ha. So as we’re standing there, sharing a good laugh — all in very poor taste but good fun —  I start pulling out empty suitcases from my van.

“Anyway, it’s really the suitcases you have to worry about,”  I tell him, laughing out loud. “If I bring out a rusty chainsaw next, then you can really start to worry.” 

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