Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Before the Title, Past
A Nonfiction Column
By Willie Elliott

Some Days We Just Need a Laugh


We review nonfiction books that are very serious and demand our attention because they speak to us about the status of the world around us. And we review novels because they imitate life and teach us about the accomplishments and foibles of life. Then there are times that we need a book that just lets us forget all the serious things in this world and gives us a good laugh. Such a book is Little Book of Laughter: Hundreds of Smiles from A to Z by Lowell D. Streiker.

The book is small—in fact small enough to fit in a man's shirt pocket—I just tried and it fit. And as the subtitle suggests, the subject matter is alphabetized. That gives the reader the option of reading material by subject matter or at random. Let's try doing a random reading and see what we come up with: The weary husband was met at the door with the sad news. We'll have to go out for dinner,” his wife said cheerily. “I couldn't fix anything because the electricity went off.” “Electricity,” growled the husband. “We have a gas range.” “I know,” the wife went on, “but our can opener is electric.”

Then there is always the talk about the differences in the actions and thoughts of women versus men. If you need a one lines to offer, just go to men and women and presto, you have: A man has his clothes made to fit him; a woman makes herself fit her clothes. Or this one: I think--therefore I am single.

Everyone is telling computer jokes. The reader could offer this to the mix: A bachelor called the computer dating service and listed his specifications. He wanted someone who likes water sports, is gregarious, likes formal dress, and is small. They sent him a penguin.

Church bulletins occasionally inadvertently provides some humor for us. For example this was announcement was found in one bulletin: The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon.

Since many readers of MyShelf are writers, they will enjoy this little quip which I am sure they will agree with: Manuscript—something sent in hast and returned at leisure.

The little book will come in handy if you are ever asked to speak to a group. Simply find a topic that would interest the group and start you talk with a joke or quote from the little book or just take the book to bed with you to get a good laugh before going to sleep. I use it both ways. Some of them end up on Facebook.

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