Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Norman Cousins, journalist and editor for the New York Post and the Saturday Review from the 1940s to the 1970s suffered from a rare form of arthritis later in his life. Part of his self-created treatment for the pain involved watching Marx Brothers films. He said: "I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep. When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval."

Last evening, during the family ritual of “bedtime snack time,” Gavin asked us to help him come up with a Moir-family-style ridiculous multiple name for his new stuffed Pokemon, Uxie. I don’t know what it is with our family and creative naming, but within about fifteen minutes, we were all in such hysterics, the dog started freaking out.

This is clearly a case of “you had to be there” so it won’t make much sense for me to write out exactly what was said. It’s probably enough to know that once the weird names started flying and Eiledon started writing them down, a series of errors in spelling and the incorrect re-stating of what another person had just said quickly escalated me to tears. I think the kicker was when Eiledon said one thing with her mouth full, I said back to her what it had sounded like to me, and then Dan, who misheard my misinterpretation asked, “Did you just say that Brubeck looks like a hamburger that came out of someone’s nose?”

Tears, I tell you. And acute abdominal muscle pain. I thought of the Norman Cousins quote: “Laughter is inner jogging,” because this was some workout.

After the recent days of wandering around in frustration, confusion, self-pity and the like, this was the best medicine anyone could have prescribed. For the first time in a week, I went off to bed in a good mood, grateful for my wonderful family and for all the gifts we truly have.

Keep those endorphins comin’, y’all: Spend some time LYAO!

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