100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #37.

 A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender asks, “Why the long face?”

You may be laughing right now or, and this is the more likely scenario, you may be groaning and saying, “Seriously, Hook?”, but either way, I’ve started the blogging ball rolling.

#37: Humour.

From Wanda Sykes to Aziz Ansari to George Carlin to Sam Kinison, the storied annals (that’s a funny word in and of itself) of stand-up comedy are filled with human beings who can make us gyrate our forms and release a noise we refer to as laughter using only words and maybe a prop or two. And we revere them for it. The term “humor” is derived from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, the guys and gals who gave us toga parties and orgies, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humours (Latin: humor, “body fluid”), controlled human health and emotion.

Whether it be verbal, visual, physical, or non-physical, there are many, many forms/components of humor, such as:

  1. Anecdotes.
  2. Fantasy. (My sex life all through high school.)
  3. Insult.
  4. Irony.
  5. Jokes.
  6. Observational.
  7. Quote.
  8. Role play. (Though not necessarily the role play you may be engaging in at home.)
  9. Self-deprecation. (This is me to a “T”.)
  10. Vulgarity. (This is me when I get stiffed at work.)
  11. Word play.
  12. Other.

And yes, my “work” definitely qualifies as “Other”.

That concludes the educational component of this post. Bring on the drugs and hookers! Wait, this isn’t every corporate conference I’ve served in my capacity as a bellman, is it? Oh, well, let’s move on, shall we?

I may be a funny guy (according to everyone with the exception of my wife, who only finds me funny in the bedroom) but when I started this post I knew an expert’s insight would be necessary, and so with slightly more further adieu, here’s Canada’s favorite TV and stage dad, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Appa of the brilliant Kim’s Convenience), to help me out. Paul is living proof that Canadians really are hilarious mammals who deserve more respect for their comedic skills both abroad and here at home. And for that matter, that comics in general rarely receive their due in our society.

I think as Canadians we appreciate humour tremendously. It’s most definitely a coping mechanism for all the crap that’s going on right now. As for the “second-class entertainers” it all depends on who you’re talking about. Traditionally, Canadians haven’t been as kind to it’s artists until they’ve left for the states and gotten super popular. It’s as if they need outside validation before they can claim their own – but this isn’t just for comedians – it’s applicable to actors, musicians, athletes, etc.

Well said, Paul. Many Canadians feel they’ll never truly succeed in their chosen fields unless they cross the non-walled border and that’s a shame, especially in the case of comedians. 


So Canadians aren’t funny?  You’re welcome.

But back to humor; it can bring us together at the most unlikely times. My brother-in-law, my wife’s cousin and your ole buddy The Hook couldn’t help but laugh when my late father-in-law, John “Jack” Fisher, decided to get in one last practical joke before he shuffled off this mortal coil. He’d take in a big gasp of oxygen, exhale, and then… nothing. We’d assume he had left us but then he’d take in another huge gasp of air!

The son of a gun did that several times and he got us every time. And I couldn’t help but respect the hell out of him for it. He knew humor was the key to easing our pain and helping us recognize the absurdity of standing there maintaining a vigil as he lay dying. Jack left this world as he lived it: under his own terms while cracking up the people around him.

And I think this is as great place to stop as any. I kind of wish this entry was funnier but then again, I’m not getting paid so what do I care?

See you in the lobby, kids…


About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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18 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #37.

  1. Reminds me of an old joke. Friends and family are gathered at the funeral home to honor the patriarch. An outsider was offering his respects and asked one of the sons, “What took your dad?” The son replied, “It was natural. He just went to sleep.” The outsider sighed and then said, “Thank God it wasn’t something serious.” Good job, Hook.

  2. Doug in Oakland says:

    I was gonna tell a joke from Robin Williams’ album “Wow, reality, what a concept” but then I remembered why he’s not around any more.
    According to his friend Bobcat, comedians talk about suicide a lot.
    But, yes, you have to laugh at it or it can get you.

  3. Mark Myers says:

    Absolutely! Great reminder. Love this one.

  4. Time to rain on your parade. Togas were Roman. The other thing is this. Every joke, EVERY SINGLE one, requires a victim. Humour is inherently cruel. I don’t let that stop me, of course. 🙂

  5. Jennie says:

    Humor keeps us happy and alive. It’s an attitude adjustment and the best medicine there is. Thanks, Hook.

  6. Dave Ply says:

    I remember, years ago, when my sister was in the late stages of cancer and some of things we said to each other in the name of black humor would likely make an innocent passerby cringe and shrivel up into a ball. Coping mechanism. On the other hand, I have to disagree with nobodysreadingme about the victim requirement. It’s a common notion, especially for stand-up comedians, to twist things in a negative way, but I prefer dry and subtle.

  7. Tara says:

    Jack sounds like my kind of people. 🙂

  8. kunstkitchen says:

    Thanks for this hilarious diversion. Humor saves lives. I needed that after watching the last few days’ antics in US politics. It gave me back my sense of humor in the face of …that reminds me of the time while I was drinking milk when someone made me laugh and then I blew milk out of my nose. yup that’s me a laugh a minute-keeping the faith in the lower 48.

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