Have you ever been having a really fabulous day and something happens to… mess it up? I know you have. Occasionally we all do. Well, it happened to me not too long ago. While the circumstances are not important, what I want you to understand is that because of the circumstances, I was beyond livid!  If I could think of a really nasty word for livid, it would’ve described me.  I was so mad that I had no appetite and still wanted to eat everything on Aisle 7…while cussin’ (yes, cussin’). I think you get the point.

After making it home without red lights and sirens following me, I did what any assault-contemplating woman would do. I phoned a friend.  She talked me off the proverbial ledge and we settled into a normal conversation where she told me about a phone call she’d received from her sassy, yet genteel, mom.  Her mom is a lady whose voice is at once soft, delicate and very southern. The kind you’d never expect to utter curse words or say anything that wasn’t ladylike. She would never get hangry like mere mortals. (You know, hungry plus angry?) She’s just too refined.

“So, they’re killing people at the cathouse now?” she questioned. After being asked to explain, she shared a news story with my friend about an unfortunate soul who had reportedly been murdered at an area motel (the type rented by the hour).

As awful as the subject of the story was, I got stuck on one word: cathouse. Not bordello or brothel or even whorehouse. Cathouse? When was that word last in vogue? I have no idea, but I almost cracked a rib laughing at the thought of her using it. I laughed like elementary school kids laugh in health class when the teacher uses words like ‘breast’ or ‘buttocks.’

The benefits of laughter and humor are well documented. From reducing stress and high blood pressure to boosting the immune system and burning calories, it is one life’s special treasures.  It costs us nothing but pays massive dividends. On rare occasions, we may laugh at something we shouldn’t, but if we’re honest, that feels good too.  Even memories of a good belly laugh can inspire more laughter.

I don’t know why this was so funny to me, but I laughed for a very long time. In fact, every time I thought about it, the hilarity began anew.  Later on, as my chuckle-fest subsided, I briefly remembered the anger that had so completely consumed me earlier in the day. I remembered it but didn’t feel it. Now I understand why laughter is the best medicine.

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The PlaygroundLaughter and the Cathouse