Lighter side of heavy timesBy CHARLIE DUNAGIN,
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Some people say you shouldn’t pass along and laugh at jokes about the current national crisis, but I can’t help it.
I can grieve, fret, worry and get aggravated as much as the average person. That goes for things over which I have no control, as well as things over which I do.
I don’t like the idea of almost being quarantined, not going to church and restaurants, having events to which I was looking forward cancelled.
Since I am retired and don’t have a job, I obviously am not as stressed as I would have been had this occurred when I was managing a newspaper.
My routine hasn’t been disrupted as much as the average person. So far, neither my wife nor I has been sick. We don’t have any kids to home school. So, I don’t have that much to complain about compared to many others.
But I am concerned about those who have the virus or some other serious illness. I feel for people whose jobs have been lost are suspended, as well as businesses that are being forced to shutter and may ultimately fail if this crisis goes on much longer.
I wonder about the national debt, which keeps skyrocketing and the economy in general. My retirement account looked a lot better on paper at the beginning of this year than it does now.
It may be an understatement to predict that 2020 isn’t going to go down as one of the happiest years on record. At least it isn’t starting off that way.
Here in Mississippi, part of the state has already experienced disastrous flooding and now the COVID-19 lockdown.
We already have seen floods and plagues and the year isn’t yet a quarter over.
There’s plenty to be serious about.
But I still can’t help but laugh at the jokes that are floating around. Laughing, if you can, beats crying.
There is something in my DNA that makes me feel better when I laugh, even in the midst of a bad situation.
I am reminded of Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.”
I don’t think laughing at a few jokes is necessarily wrong, even in the midst of a bad situation.
Check the internet, and you can find that there was a good deal of humor during the dark days of World War II and before that the Great Depression of the 1930s.
But if you are one of those who is offended by bad jokes in bad times, Read no further.
Here are a few I have noted. Some of the funniest I’ve seen, including several about toilet paper, aren’t fit to print in a family newspaper, but the following are:
“Homeschooling is going well. Two students suspended for fighting and one teacher fired for drinking on the job.”
“And just like that, spankings and prayer are back in school.”
“I promised myself I’d do things differently today. So I’m sitting at the other end of my couch.”
“Golf Rule COVID-19: All putts within 6 feet are gimmies until further notice.”
“Do not touch the trap rakes, not that most of you ever did.”
“I’m saying this now. You better get this coronavirus thing figured out before college football season, or the South will rise again.”
“The guideline said that wearing a mask and gloves cleared you to go to Walmart. Everybody else had clothes on.”
“Day one of working from home: My wife has already filed a harassment complaint to HR.”
“I used to spin that toilet paper roll like I was on the wheel of fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.”
“If I get quarantined for two weeks with my wife and I die, I assure you it was not the virus that killed me.”
Some of the early jokes almost portend reality. A cartoon pictures two hillbillies setting by a whiskey still. The caption reads: “Moonshine? Hell no officer, we making hand sanitizer.”
In the news this week are reports of legal distillers doing just that.
Charlie Dunagin is retired as publisher of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.