Laughter heals

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Laughter is good medicine. It doesn't require a doctor's prescription and there is very little danger of overdose.

Laughter is good medicine.

In contrast to many other types of medicine, it does not require a doctor's prescription, and there is very little danger of overdose. Best of all, the price is right; it's cost-effective.

As Dr. Michael Obenski has illustrated each month, laughter is such a good medicine that, even if we take it in such small doses as smiling or cheerfulness, we will benefit.

To readers of this month's Diagnote, I hope you find humor in the following stories. As with most things we encounter, whether you do or don't is your choice. If they cause you to smile, please pass them on to a colleague or member of the veterinary health-care team in your clinic or hospital.

And please consider brightening my day by e-mailing me one of your favorite jokes or humorous stories.

1. Where are you from?

A Texas cowboy lay sprawled across three seats in the center of the auditorium of the posh Amarillo theater. When the usher came by, he whispered, "Sorry, sir, but you're only allowed one seat."

The cowboy groaned but didn't budge.

The usher became more impatient. "Sir, if you don't get up from there, I'm going to have to call the manager."

The cowboy just groaned.

The usher marched briskly back up the aisle. In a moment he returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but without success. Finally, they summoned the police.

The cop surveyed the situation briefly, then asked, "All right, Buddy, what's your name?"

"Sam," the cowboy moaned.

"Where are ya from, Sam?"

With pain in his voice, Sam replied, "the balcony."

2. Who is cuckoo?

Pam is appearing on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" with Regis Philbin.

Regis: "Pam, you're up to $500,000 with one lifeline left: phone-a-friend. The next question is worth $1 million. If you get it right, you will be a millionaire. If you get it wrong, you drop back to $32,000. Are you ready?"

Pam: "Yes."

Regis: "Which of the following birds does not build its own nest? A) robin, B) sparrow, C) cuckoo, or D) thrush."

Pam: "I'd like to phone a friend. I'd like to call Carol."

Carol answers the phone: "Hello?"

Regis: "Hello, Carol, this is Regis Philbin from 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire.' I have your friend Pam here who needs your help to answer the million-dollar question. The next voice you hear will be Pam's..."

Pam: "Carol, which of the following birds does not build its own nest? A) robin, B) sparrow, C) cuckoo, or D) thrush."

Carol: "Oh, Pam. That's simple. It's a cuckoo."

Pam: "Are you sure?"

Carol: "I'm sure."

Regis: "Pam, you heard Carol. Now you must choose. Do you keep the $500,000 or play for a million?"

Pam: "I want to play; I'll go with C) cuckoo."

Regis: "Is that your final answer?"

Pam: "Yes."

Regis: "Are you confident?"

Pam: "Yes; I think Carol's pretty smart."

Regis: "You said C) cuckoo, and you're right! Congratulations, you have just won $1 million!"

To celebrate, Pam flies Carol to New York. That night they go out on the town. As they're celebrating, Pam looks at Carol and asks, "Tell me, how did you know that it was the cuckoo that does not build its own nest?"

Carol answered, "That's easy, everybody knows they live in clocks."

3. Don't step on ducks

Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven.

When they get there, St. Peter says, "We only have one rule here in heaven: don't step on the ducks!"

So they enter heaven and, sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one.

Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw.

St. Peter chains them together and says, "Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!"

The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn't miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment he gave to the first woman.

The third woman has observed all of this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps.

She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks. One day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on ... very tall, muscular and thin.

St. Peter chains them together.

The happy woman says, "I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?"

The guy says, "I don't know about you, but I stepped on a duck!"

4. Who are you?

An old cowboy sat down at the Starbucks and ordered a cup of coffee. As he sat sipping, a young woman sat down next to him.

She turned to the cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

He replied, "Well, I've spent my whole life breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling and doctoring calves, bailing hay, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy."

She said, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I think about women. When I watch TV, I think about women. I even think about women when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of women."

The two sat sipping in silence. A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

He replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian."

5. Geneology

A psychiatrist visited a California mental institution and asked a patient, "What is your illness?"

The patient replies: "Well, it all started when I got married. I guess I should never have done it. I got hitched to a widow with a grown daughter who then became my stepdaughter. My daddy came to visit us, fell in love with my lovely stepdaughter and then married her. And so my stepdaughter was now my stepmother. Soon, my wife had a son who was, of course, my daddy's brother-in-law since he is the half-brother of my stepdaughter, who is now, of course, my daddy's wife. So, as I told you, when my stepdaughter married my daddy, she was at once my stepmother! Now, since my new son is brother to my stepmother, he also became my uncle. As you know, my wife is my step-grandmother since she is my stepmother's mother. Don't forget that my stepmother is my stepdaughter. Remember, too, that I am my wife's grandson. But hold on just a few minutes more. You see, since I'm married to my step-grandmother, I am not only the wife's grandson and her hubby, but I am also my own grandfather. Now can you understand how I got put in this place?"

6. Don't confuse activity with accomplishment

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the pearly gates. Ahead of him is a man with sunglasses, wearing a colorful shirt, leather jacket and jeans. St. Peter says, "Tell me who you are and where are you from so that I may review your record of works to determine if you are qualified to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

The guy replies, "I'm Captain Daniel "Crash" Lansing, retired commercial airline pilot, from Allentown, Pa."

St. Peter consults his list.

He smiles and says to the pilot, "Please take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom."

The pilot thanks St. Peter, enters Heaven with his robe and staff.

Next it's the minister's turn.

He stands erect and booms out, "I am pastor U. Will B. Asleep, minister of the Lake Sleepy Eye congregation for the past 50 years."

After studying his list, St. Peter says to the minister, "Please take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom."

"Just a minute," says the minister in disbelief. "That man was a pilot and you gave him a silken robe and golden staff. How can it be that you gave me a cheap cotton robe and a wooden staff?"

"Up here, we reward works," St. Peter explained.

"When you preached, people slept; when he flew, people prayed."

by Carl A. Osborne

DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM

Dr. Osborne, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.

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