Graves' Yard: In life, laughter is truly the best medicine
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Apr 16, 2014 | 782 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I was an editorial writer for a newspaper in Kentucky a few years ago and it was one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.

Sometimes, there just isn’t anything to opine about or the subjects at hand do not give a writer much to say.

I was thinking about that recently when, in the process of looking through the wire services for a timely topic, I came across a story about a man in Australia who got himself stuck in a clothes washer.

That was funny as much for the fact the man complained that rescuers used his good olive oil to grease him out of his situation, as the predicament itself.

It caused me to think about my Kentucky assignment because every now and then I would run through the Internet and find some crazy news stories that had gone under the radar.

The editorial featuring the strange and unusual would be a way to tell readers that, despite all the bad news, it does one good to sit back and chuckle every now and then.

I have started sort of a collection of these over the years and so I thought I’d run some of those here that tickled my funny bone and see how you like it.

All of these stories are true — some recent and some not — and are sure to either make you smile or wonder if some people just simply have too much time on their hands.

What I hope it does is remind everyone life can’t be serious all of the time.

As the saying goes: “Laughter is the best medicine.”

So, with apologies to Robert Ripley I offer the following, actual news events — believe them or not:

- A sewer plant in New York is offering Valentine’s Day tours.

- A Massachusetts man faced assault charges for throwing toilet paper at a town hall custodian because he was whistling.

- Workers in the East Side of Manhattan had to rip up the street in front of a school when it was discovered the street crossing had been marked with the letters “S-H-C-O-O-L.” The error had been there for three years.

- A Swiss artist plans to bury a 747 airliner in the California desert, then build a tunnel so people can see it. He’s got permission from the local planning commission.

- A man went into a North Carolina Walmart and attempted to buy a vacuum cleaner with a $1 million bill. He was arrested.

n A truck carrying $50,000 worth of margarine was stolen in Iowa. The truck was recovered, but the thief and margarine were not found.

- A flying squirrel became trapped in a New Jersey trauma room. It kept jumping from a wall-mounted lamp into a glass wall. Firefighters threw a blanket over it and set if free outside.

- A Chicago man was accused of stealing an ambulance not knowing paramedics were in the back treating a patient.

- An Iowa town tried to raise money to build sidewalks by auctioning off naming rights to a local creek.

- Competitors at the World Scrabble Championships had to empty their pockets when the letter “G” went missing.

- An Arizona man was caught on video trying to steal a boa constrictor and other exotic reptiles by stuffing them down his pants.

- An Illinois bus driver resigned after a video was released of him running over a snowman built in the middle of the street.

- A stuffed water buffalo head mounted on a wall fell on a man and pinned him in his reclining chair.

- A Connecticut state marshal apologized for paying $15 for a lap dance at a strip club where he had gone to serve a city tax warrant to the owner.

- During the preliminary hearing for a man who admitted embezzling $88,000 because of his addiction to scratch-off lottery tickets, news came he had won a $96,000 lottery prize.

- An alleged robber was identified by using the wallet he had left behind.

- A 20-year-old woman who had suffered from a fear of all foods other than French fries since she was 5 finally ate a full meal after undergoing hypnosis therapy. Pizza is now her favorite food.

- A man swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged $23 quadrillion. He spent two hours on the phone with his bank to sort out the problem as well as the $15 overdraft fee.

- Authorities charged an Ohio man with drunken driving after he crashed his motorized bar stool. He told officers he drank 15 beers and pleaded not guilty.

And my personal favorite:

- A New Zealand town planned on playing Barry Manilow songs through the local mall’s sound system in an attempt to keep unruly teenagers from congregating there.

All these stories just go to show that with all the troubles and worries the world has us deal with, it also provides a good laugh once in a while.

Some research has shown laughter helps increase the blood and oxygen flow, decreases stress (helping the immune system) and helps one to relax.

Whether it actually improves one’s health or not, a good hard laugh sure does feel good when it happens.

As for me, where’s a good Marx Brothers movie when I need it?