Learn to TEACH English with TECHNOLOGY. Free course for American TESOL students.

TESOL certification course online recognized by TESL Canada & ACTDEC UK.

Visit Driven Coffee Fundraising for unique school fundraising ideas.

Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide


Laughter and Humor
By:Katheryn Hoban

Laughter is a wonderful music to the soul. It is very contagious and affectionate. Childrenís laughter is so much fun to hear. To see their faces smiling, and their whole bodies engaged, is a wonderful experience.

There are different flavors of laughter for everyone: deep belly laughs, ha haís, whinnies, silent laughs hidden deep on the inside, and breathy explosions. Laughter is very good for us, and we always want to laugh more. Laughter feels great when shared. Sometimes I remember something funny and I start laughing all by myself.

I remember one time when I was living in Los Angeles, I was auditioning for acting work, but I didnít have a car; I worked in a Hotel and I asked a co-worker to borrow her car. Michelle was a French and Israeli woman and nothing ever bothered her. She lent me her car and said the car was manual. I thought that would be fine because my first car was a manual five-speed, but her car was a four-gear manual stick shift. So I took the car, but I was really running late because the appointment was at 12:30pm and I was trying to run out during my lunch hour and sneak back in. It was the summer time, and I was wearing a wool-polyester blend hotel uniform. I went to the garage and put the keys in the ignition, but the car didnít start. The car had a kill switch that I didnít know about, and I couldnít figure out how to start the car. I was stomping on the floor and I moved the seat forward and back and nothing was working. I was stomping side to side and up and down. I was running my hands along the steering wheel and I canít find the thing. I was becoming more frustrated as the dashboard clock is ticking by. I was beginning to sweat because the windows were rolled up. Then I moved back the rug, and discovered this little button way over on the left side of the floor.

I pressed this and the car turned on with the ignition. I then tried to figure out the clutch. It was laid out in reverse to the clutch position of my old car. What was fourth on my car was reverse. On this one there was no fifth gear. First gear started in a down position at 6:00, but on my old car, first gear was straight up at 12 noon. After shifting gears in the parking lot for a few precious moments, I figured out how to put the car into reverse and moved back out of the spot. Then I took it out of reverse and attempted to put it into first but I put it into second. The car made this whining slow transition into forward motion, so I readjusted and found first and the car started better.

I moved out of the parking lot and I came to my first light. There I was sitting at the light and trying to figure out the clutch all over again. I was nervous and frustrated because I was late. When I tried to put it in first gear, the car bucks forward and stalled, because I didnít put it in first, I put it into third. Then I put it into second, because Iím still thinking about the layout of my old car. So now Iím sitting in the car and itís bucking forward and backwards, and Iím swearing, pounding the steering wheel, restarting the car, and screaming and pleading with the car, crying and carrying on and sweating. The windows are rolled up for the air conditioner, and Iím doing this pantomime. The car is still bucking forward and back. I was all alone on the street with this car that I couldnít drive and it occurred to me how ridiculous I looked as the car is bucking and jumping, and I was throwing a hissy fit trying to get to an audition on my lunch hour that is only a half hour long.

At that moment I started laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my eyes. I figured out the clutch, went to the audition, which was long over, and made my way back to the hotel, and handed the keys to Michelle. She asked me how it went. I thought she would be angry when I told her about the kill switch and the clutch fiasco but we howled with laughter all over again. I used to be terrified of laughter. I always thought that people were laughing at me. I really worked to get over the terror of laughter. I had to think differently about laughter and I to work to change the feelings that I had when people laughed. I made laughter a positive thing instead of a negative. One of the best opportunities that we have for laughter and humor is to laugh at ourselves first, as I did in the car in Los Angeles.

Observe yourself from the eyes of others for a moment and you can find many things that could be funny. I have a very physical sense of humor. I like to see pictures, and I like to watch people that are physically engaging when telling a story or describing something that happened to them. To me there is a lot of humor in those physical impressions, mimicking or pretending something. I enjoy hearing peoplesí perceptions of events, and of course I have my own unique perception of things as well. Reactions to people or things can also be very funny because that becomes part of the second version of the story that is created. Laughter is very healthy. It is energizing for the cells of your being. It is a good proven method of self-healing. You cannot be depressed while laughing. I enjoy practical jokes too. One time when we were in college, my friend who was a resident advisor overheard the end of a conversation that I was having with one of our mutual acquaintances about a cat. She immediately jumped into the conversation and to the conclusion that I had a cat in my dorm room. She demanded that I tell her outright if I had a cat in the dorm room and proceeded to tell me that it was against the rules to have any pets.

I was amused with her reaction, and so I was smiling when I answered that I did not have a cat. She did not believe me, and then I began to play with her. Kevin, our acquaintance, played along with me. I kept denying that I had a cat in the room, but I was acting just a little bit like I was caught in the act and that I was lying to cover up. When she stepped away for a moment, Kevin and I started laughing and pretending that we were talking about the cat in my room. We were having a great time. When she came back we would hush each other and make a motion towards her so that she could observe us. It was very hard to keep a straight face. She came back full of venom, acting like an authoritative figure. She was half my size but she still got into my face, and put her finger right up to my face, told me point blank of the consequences of having a cat in my room. She told me that I could lose dorm room privileges, that I could be evicted out of the dorms. Then she asked me, really challenging me to admit that I had a cat in my room. I gave a sly look to Kevin and defiantly answered that no, I didnít have a cat in my room. I gave her the impression that it was not a cat but a kitten. I asked if the consequences would be the same if it were a small cat.

She was absolutely furious and she gave me an ultimatum that I would have until Friday to get rid of the cat or that she would report me, or that she would use her passkey to enter my room and bring the cat to a shelter. When she left I was laughing hard and really enjoying all of it, but Kevin was freaked out. She had really scared him. He didnít want any part of anything further. Her reaction also caused some defiance in me. I decided that I would take things a little further. I went to the pet store the next day and I bought a water bowl and small cat toys.

I was laughing at the register as I was looking at all of my goodies. I went home and put a toy in the couch, a toy under the table and I put one conspicuously in my bedroom, and the rest I hid in the kitchen drawer. I carefully placed the bowl filled with water in a lower shelf inside the kitchen pantry. When my friend came over she came into the room and began looking for the cat, and smelling for him. She asked me if the cat was gone. I told her that I had never had a cat. She sat on the couch and found the toy. I almost lost it. She held it up for me, as if I had forgotten to hide all the evidence. I told her that I didnít know how that got there. She then got up and moved to the kitchen. She opened some drawers and the pantry door. I stood by watching her take it all in. It was awesome. She was really trying to contain herself. I could see her breathing slowing in to calm down. She slowly turned to look at me. ďLook, I see that you have a cat in this apartment. Now Iím asking you as a friend to get rid of this.Ē

ďKaren, do you see a cat?Ē

ďNo, but I see evidence of a cat or a kitten, which is the same thing. Maybe itís not in the apartment right now, but you have a cat! You are really putting me in a tight spot.Ē

ďKaren, I donít have a cat.Ē

ďYes, you do! If you donít have it now then Kevin does. It is not fair!! You know that you are not supposed to have one!!Ē I could not keep the game hidden any longer.

ďLook, Kevin is not involved in this, first of all, and second, I donít have a cat, okay?Ē

ďDonít lie to me! Iím giving you fair warning. I want that cat gone, or Iím not kidding, our friendship is over.Ē

With that she stormed out of my apartment. I just stood there laughing. I collected all of my toys and the bowl and threw them in the trash. Two days later I went over to her apartment and explained the prank to her. She was angry, but impressed that I could maintain the act for so long. We ended up laughing about it in the end. Our friendship had survived.

Laugh at yourself and laugh with others. Energetically, laughter brings you to a joyful place, which is one of a higher vibration. It energizes your cells, and clears out negative thoughts and emotions, which can block you. It can be very freeing and transforming. The more that you can laugh the more vital your energetic body can become. It gives you a fresh perspective on work that might have otherwise been tiring. It is very connective to the higher consciousness and the flow of great ideas. Find more moments when you can laugh or create them. Share the laughter, and the joy. Iím sure that you will. Be happy, and laugh a lot.

Yoga Kat--aka Katheryn Hoban is a yoga teacher with twelve years experience. katscoolcornerATyahoo.com

Go to another board -