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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

Send Jokes

There's this cartoon going around (I'd share it but copyright police), featuring dinner guests standing single file, plates at the ready, awaiting a turn at the buffet table. Right next to them is a queue-less sideboard, laden with a crystal bowl, little cups hanging off it like cocktail shrimp.

That's the joke. Get it? No punch line.

Which is a long way of getting to where I'm at. After a lifetime of seeing the funny in just about anything (appropriate and very, very not) for a laugh, things aren't feeling that funny anymore.

At all.

Nine months of listening to dismal Covid reports while simultaneously watching a madman trash the country has taken a toll.

In the past, I've gotten intractable giggles over:

Hiding in a closet at my best friend's house when someone broke the backdoor window to get in, my cancer diagnosis delivered by someone not suited to the job, a male dog who got a little too excited at a somber reception following a funeral, the time I accidentally walked my husband into a tree after eye surgery, at a beloved family member's bat mitzvah when she laughed uncontrollably on stage (pointing to a potential genetic component), when a doctor kept using the word 'osteo-PEE-nia' unnecessarily, when someone fell asleep during a coworker's presentation, and once at a ridiculously boring meeting at the White House when I had to gather my (faux) professional accoutrements and excuse myself.

But I'm just as likely to fight off tears these days. "Don't let anyone steal your joy," my friend, Ann, always said. She died in January.

Much has been written about this annus horriblis so I won't go there. But let me end with this, something that did cause me to laugh, alone and out loud, in the greeting card aisle at the grocery store.



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