Help is on the way for deal­ing with the hu­mor-im­paired

The Covington News - - OPINION -

The things you learn while surf­ing the In­ter­net in des­per­a­tion for col­umn ma­te­rial. Did you know that there is a Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Hu­mor-Im­paired? May Jimmy Carter (speak­ing of the hu­mor-im­paired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.

Ac­cord­ing to their web­site the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s CEO, Dr. Stu­art Robertshaw, is a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus of psy­chol­ogy and ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-La Crosse as well as an at­tor­ney, (speak­ing again of the hu­mor-im­paired.)

I find it a bit un­usual that the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Hu­mor-Im­paired is head­quar­tered in Wis­con­sin. Wis­con­sin is north of the Ma­son-Dixon Line, which is where a lot of Yan­kees re­side. Yan­kees are known for many things. A sense of hu­mor is not one that comes im­me­di­ately to mind. I think that is be­cause they live in a part of the world where it snows 10 months a year and all the build­ings are rusted. That will screw up your sense of hu­mor in a hurry. It will also en­cour­age you to move south and pro­ceed to tell the rest of us all the things that are wrong with us. That tends to screw up our sense of hu­mor.

Dr. Robertshaw says on his web­site that a re­view of re­search led him to con­clude that “15 per­cent of people in Amer­ica are hu- mor-im­paired and an­other 15 per­cent are ‘at risk,’ and it’s no laugh­ing mat­ter” and that is why he founded the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Hu­mor-Im­paired.

I am cu­ri­ous to know what kind of re­search Dr. Robertshaw did and whether or not he in­cluded Ge­or­gia in his sur­vey. Prob­a­bly not. I don’t think people in La Crosse know much about us down here and likely don’t care.

Of course, the same holds true the other way. How many times have you brought up La Crosse, Wis­con­sin, at a back­yard bar­be­cue? (“Hey, Phil, did you know La Crosse’s drink­ing wa­ter won the Best Nat­u­ral Tast­ing Wa­ter Award in 2007 in a statewide tast­ing com­pe­ti­tion held by the Wis­con­sin Wa­ter As­so­ci­a­tion? Could you pass the coleslaw?”)

I com­mend Dr. Robertshaw for his work in hu­mor-im­pair­ment and hope he will con­sider me a re­source in the fu­ture. I am an ex­pert on the care and feed­ing of the hu­mor-im­paired. My col­umns seem to at­tract them like mud on a pig.

For ex­am­ple, I wrote re­cently that if by chance my life on earth didn’t qual­ify for heaven, I would gladly ac­cept eter­nity at the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia, the old­est state-char­tered univer­sity in the na­tion, lo­cated in Athens, the Clas­sic City of the South as my sec­ond choice. That in­spired sev­eral read­ers to re­spond with Bi­ble verses about heaven and an in­fer­ence that I might want to get my smart-aleck act to­gether while I still had time.

I thanked them and asked that since they seemed to be ex­perts on the sub­ject of heaven, would they mind go­ing back and dou­ble-check­ing to see if the Bi­ble might have made some men­tion of Athens, too. I thought that was funny. They didn’t. Some of them might have been Bap­tists. There isn’t much I say that Bap­tists find funny. I have half a mind to re­port them to Dr. Robertshaw.

I must be care­ful about get­ting into the­o­log­i­cal mat­ters these days since our in­trepid pub­lic ser­vants in the Leg­is­la­ture —a vir­tual cor­nu­copia of hu­mor-im­pair­ment —passed a law last ses­sion that will al­low God-fear­ing souls to en­ter houses of wor­ship pack­ing heat, as­sum­ing they aren’t too hung-over from tot­ing their weapons to their fa­vorite bar the night be­fore.

A cou­ple of Bi­ble-thumpers in­formed me that the Scrip­tures say Je­sus would most cer­tainly ap­prove of car­ry­ing guns to church. I didn’t want to ar­gue but when Je­sus said, “Blessed are the Peace­mak­ers,” I don’t think he was re­fer­ring to the Colt .45 sin­gle-ac­tion re­volver.

Dis­cov­er­ing that there is a Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Hu­mor-Im­paired is great news and lets me know I am not alone in my ef­forts to min­is­ter to those whose sense of hu­mor is only slightly smaller than a sand gnat. Dr. Stu­art Robertshaw, aka, Dr. Hu­mor, and I may come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds — I won­der if he has heard of kudzu? If not, I might send him a cut­ting and tell him it is one of our ma­jor agri­cul­tural ex­ports — but we share a com­mon dream: If through our col­lec­tive ef­forts we could man­age to turn even one frown upside down, what a won­der­ful world this would be. I get teary-eyed just think­ing about it.

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@ bel­lsouth.net; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139; on­line at dick­yarbrough.com or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

DICK YAR­BROUGH

COLUM­NIST

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