It can be difficult to find something to laugh about in our troubling times, but it is in troubling times that we need to learn to laugh more. Checkout this article about what makes some ordinary, everyday folks chuckle and gaffaw.
By Dave Baity
Originally found at TheSunNews.com
Laughter, according to an old cliche – and Reader’s Digest – is the best medicine for what ails you.
And despite all the economic gloom of late, the tickle boxes of many a Grand Strander are alive and healthy if a random, though unscientific, survey of area folks taken recently is an indicator.
Sure, they’re concerned about job losses and a rising unemployment rate in Horry, Georgetown and other counties across the state and nation. Most certainly, they are tense about the stock market that climbs a hundred or so points one day only to tank the next. And don’t even mention gas and grocery prices, mounting medical costs and all the other trauma .
Of 10 people chosen at random, all quickly broke into smiles when asked what makes them laugh and why. And all found comfort in the joy they find in their homes, jobs and daily life, indicating that mundane things can make you chuckle and feel good about yourself and others if you make the effort to looking for something to lift your spirits.
Surfside Beach’s Steve Spradling, 60, is broker-in- charge of Coldwell Banker Chicora Real Estate’s Surfside office. Mounting mortgage woes and a depressed real estate market certainly have set many in the industry atremble. But Spradling finds solace in his three grandchildren.
“My grandchildren make me laugh,” he said. “I guess it’s because you love them so much. They’re so high energy and a joy to be around.”
Operating an independent hardware firm in a market fraught with competition from national chain stores can be a daunting undertaking. But Tommy Benton, 39, of Socastee, has something to offer that mega stores don’t; something that makes him and his customers chuckle.
It’s Drake, his German wire-haired pointer and chocolate Lab mix that accompanies Benton to his Surfside Hardware store every work day.
“Hey, I laugh at just about everything, but especially when Drake chases the light from a laser pointer all around the store. He just loves it and it makes me, and everybody else, laugh by how hard he tries to catch that little red dot. The first thing one customer who comes in about every day asks is, ‘Where’s the light?'”
Cristi Seay, 49, of Myrtle Beach, helps her husband Mike in the family business of building spec and custom homes and home additions and doing home remodeling and repairs. But she finds a lot of joy and satisfaction from volunteering as a teacher’s helper at Lakewood Elementary School.
“The best thing that makes me laugh that I can think of is the response kids sometimes have to questions. The teacher, for instance, will ask how long something is, meaning in inches or feet, and they say two or three hours,” she said. “It just blows my mind how some of the children’s minds work. You have to be specific with them. If not, you can hardly keep from bursting out laughing at some of their replies.”
Tiffany Moore, 36, of Murrells Inlet, works as a clerk in a hardware store. She takes delight in the company’s customers.
“My regular customers make me laugh. The regulars make my day every day. They tell me jokes and all kinds of things. I have to laugh at one who drops by every day and refuses to park the correct way in a parking space. He always pulls in sideways,” she said.
And she even finds unnecessary questions amusing, like the woman who came in to have a key made and asked at least 20 times if it was going to work, all the while looking over Moore’s should while she was busy operating the key-making machine.
“You just take things like that in stride and smile,” she said.
Todd Johnson, 42, of Murrells Inlet, owns the Econo Lube N’ Tune on Dick Pond Road near Surfside Beach. He finds delight in his 2-year-old twins, Noah and Sarah, and 9-year-old son Scott.
“My kids make me laugh,” he said. “Everything is so simple to them. They don’t worry about the economy. They don’t worry about anything. They don’t know what a bad day is,” he said. “There’s nothing more amazing that to be riding down the road with them in the car and hearing them burst out laughing just because one happened to touch the other. Their laughter is contagious.”
Thelma Clark, 66, lives in the Crystal Lake Mobile Home just outside Myrtle Beach and works as a cashier at a service station on Dick Pond Road.
What makes her laugh?
“Her,” she said, pointing to co-worker Elsa Holland. “I find my co-workers amusing, just the crazy things they say and do. There’s always something going on here. It’s nice to work in such an atmosphere.”
Maurice Littlejohn, a 64-year-old retired accountant from Myrtle Beach was buying a lottery ticket when he stopped to ponder what makes him happy, rather than what simply makes him laugh.
“Actually, bringing joy to other people’s lives is what I enjoy the most,” he said. “I love interacting with other people and Myrtle Beach is the perfect place for that. What makes other people happy is what makes me happy and I try my best to spread a little cheer. Seeing people with a smile on their face puts one on mine.”
Harley Allen, 27, recently moved with her family from New York city to Murrells Inlet. She’s a receptionist at Great Clips. Her son makes her happy, she said, especially when he comes home from school and there’s no note from his teacher in his folder.
“He’s a good kid, but he was having some transition issues because of moving from New York to here. He’s like his mother; he likes to talk,” she said. “But for two weeks now, there have been no notes from his teacher. He jumps up and down and gives me hugs and says, ‘Mommy, I’ve been a good boy.’ How I love those hugs.”
Tamara Hardy, 22, of Conway also is a Great Clips hairdresser. She finds a lot of joy in serving her customers, she said.
“I love waking up every day and knowing that I’m going to make a little bit of difference in someone’s life or just make their day a little better,” she said. “Making people happy makes me smile and feel good about myself.”
Elaine Bovee, 58, of Myrtle Beach, works in a Myrtle Beach restaurant and has little trouble finding something to laugh about.
“Most everything makes me laugh. People do and say the darndest things. For instance, a customer will open the door to the restaurant and ask, ‘Are you open?’ You might be thinking, ‘No, we just thought we’d let you in for a chat,’ but you simply smile and enjoy it,” she said.
But the person that brings her the most joy, she said, is her husband Tom.
“He’s always saying and doing silly things to make me laugh,” she said. “I guess I’m just a happy kind of person. That’s much better than being gloomy all the time.”