Monday, June 15, 2020

We All Need A Good Laugh

Dr. Evil and 3 other characters from the Austin Powers movies laughing it up.There is no doubt about it – 2020 has been a nightmare. A global pandemic, civil unrest, economic misery and political disasters have all been on the menu this year. And now, here in Tucson, we are dealing with a massive wildfire in our beloved Santa Catalina Mountains. Sparked by a lightning fire 10 days ago, the Bighorn Fire has been getting worse every day. In started in the Pusch Ridge section and our offices sit right at the base there. For most of last week, we were all mesmerized and horrified as we watched the mountain burn across the street while helicopters, planes, and men on the ground valiantly tried to control it. I have never been so close to such a fire and I do not recommend it for the faint of heart. The fire has now moved a bit away from our offices but has grown to over 20,000 acres and is threatening many homes. At this point in 2020, I am afraid to think, “What can happen next?” In light of all these soul-crushing events, I have decided to try to find some humor to share. It’s all I can think to do and it’s good for us to laugh in the face of pain.

Humor is so subjective – there just isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to funny. So, I am offering a medley of humor to you with the hope that something in here will get that laugh we all so desperately need.
An orange and white cat sitting in a little terracotta pot.For my first offering, I am presenting something that is more “Awwww” than “Hahaha” – cats in pots. I didn’t even know that this is a thing, but apparently it is. It may not be funny for people who are trying to defend their plants from intrusive cats, but I think most people can enjoy the distraction that looking at this ridiculousness provides. Here are some of the best images.

An orange flower on a green background behind the words, "Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden".
Here at ARBICO, gardening is what we do. Gardeners can be a colorful and diverse lot, from the big-time greenhouse growers with their high-value crops to the family with a backyard plot. But what these people all have in common is their love for and frustrations with growing things. There is a great deal of gardening humor that covers those things and more and if you are a gardener, you should be able to find a laugh in there somewhere. Check out some here and here.

A cartoon of 4 flies sitting at a table and drinking DDT-2 appear to be knocked out-with the caption, "Of course, that's the problem with the older generation  - they're so intolerant".Another huge part of what we do here is insects – providing beneficial insects as well as providing products that fend off insect pests. Like gardeners, insect people have their own world of humor. Here is a lively Pinterest board with (mostly) insect cartoons. Even academics have tried their hand at curating insect humor, here is Purdue University’s attempt.

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie SimpsonWe’ve all been staying home and TV/screen watching has become a competitive sport instead of a shamefully lazy and couch-potato-ish thing to do. The “what did you do this weekend?” kind of conversation has morphed into the “Did you see the latest episode of…” kind of conversation. If you are feeling down and anxiety-ridden, I’d like to propose less of Game of Thrones-type of violence and betrayal (even though I do love GOT) and more straight-up comedy. But nothing satirical or thought-provoking, just something plain ole silly. Another option is always The Simpsons, which regularly features a blend of the seven deadly sins wrapped in absurdity. Here is a list of one person’s choice for the best comedies on Netflix and here is one that purports to list the best movies of 2020.

A cartoon of 2 people in a kitchen. She is drinking wine from the bottle and he is reading a book. The caption says, " I'm not sure that's what they mean by 'now reduce the wine'".Recently I stumbled across a TV show that really took me out of my doldrums – Amy Schumer Learns to Cook. I think this Food Network show is genius and it makes me burst-laugh and just feel better all around. The premise is that Amy’s husband (a chef) is teaching her to cook. But what they are really doing is showing how silly and messy quarantining with your loved ones can get. This is the antidote to slick cooking shows in gleaming kitchens, here we have dogs underfoot-using your hands-dropping stuff on the floor-while annoying in your spouse cooking. Just like in regular folks’ homes. Oh, and you can watch full episodes on the Food Network site.

If your entertainment choices are more talk-based, you have probably been on the podcast train for a while now. This genre has been a great source for information and mysteries, but there is also a lot of comedy to be found there. So, why not indulge in a little pod-based laughing? Here is a list of some great podcasts that should provide that for you.
A black and white cartoon from the 1920s of 2 women in a boat. The caption reads, "We're really awfully cynical, I guess. We can't help it, dear-it's the Age".

Now let’s go Old School: Reader’s Digest humor. For those boomers out there, this little magazine was ubiquitous in their doctor’s offices and grandmas’ houses. And it was always known for its corny/classic/Dad-type jokes. Well, it’s still around and putting out humor. Here is a list of some of their funniest jokes courtesy of Reader’s Digest Canada.

Another stalwart provider of humor is the New Yorker magazine. They have been lightening the mood since the Roaring ’20s (1925, in fact). As the cartoon to the right shows, a sampling of their cartoons illustrates that, while time may pass, people remain the same and what was once relevant often still is. Here is a selection of their current humor.

A meme of movie star Tom Hardy laughing.I’ll leave you here and encourage you to venture fearlessly into the world of humor. Try something new and perhaps even a little outside your lines. It can make you feel better, if only for a moment.

Submitted by Pam

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