I don’t know about you but I haven’t laughed for a really long time. Obviously I don’t mean a little chuckle while watching TV or reading something mildly amusing. Or Even the polite laugh one makes from a mildly funny joke told by a friend. No I mean, serious laughter; tears rolling down my face kind of laughter. That hasn’t happened in a long while.

There were times, many years ago, that a friend of mine and I could make each other laugh so much that we had to go into separate rooms because the pain of laughter was so much it became hard to breathe.   I don’t know if it is because I act too seriously or if it is because the people I mix with think that joking around is not the way I would expect them to behave. Or perhaps it’s to do with my age, I am not sure.

Perhaps it’s a women thing? I mean my wife and her sisters, when they’re together they seem to be able to make each other laugh without too much effort, I guess they have a lot to laugh about?   But you know, I miss it. I think that laughter has a place not only in our private lives but also in the office, or out with clients and suppliers.

I can remember when I was a young man, working in London, the sales guys always had a joke to share. Jokes were like tokens, exchanged in the hope of winning favor or attention. It was considered normal that a sales person would end a business conversation by telling his customer a joke. They always started the same way “have you heard the one about the…?”  The more experienced joke tellers could spin their jokes out into long stories which were often shared in groups in hotel bars, whiling away the hours in the long evenings away from home.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am capable of laughter and I can make others laugh, especially when I am on good form, but all too often these days, it doesn’t seem to be so appropriate any more. Perhaps it’s the ‘political correctness’ that we are all trying to adhere to in our multi-cultural and diverse society that puts us off? I am not sure how many of the old jokes the sales guys told would pass today’s no religion, the sexes, ethnic groups or stereo-types test?

But when I think about it, when I do find myself laughing, I mean really laughing, it is not usually from a joke as such and certainly not one aimed at any type or group of people. It is much more likely to be from the intimacy of sharing a similarly held deep opinion or amusing observation about life and the folly of mankind in general.   Being paid to make others laugh, must be a very fulfilling career for as long as one can manage to keep it up. But I like to think that for us amateurs too, there can also be a sense of fulfilment when we let down our guards and allow ourselves to take ourselves a little less seriously and open up to the vulnerabilities of others as well as our own.

Now when did you last have a really good laugh?

Have a good week