/Laughter in the gloom

Laughter in the gloom

By Jim Poling Sr.

Late autumn can be a depressing time. Early November sunshine and warmth give way to cloud and cold. It’s a down time waiting for good things to begin – things like winter sports, Christmas and other winter holidays and festivities.

Covid-19 has worsened the November depression as the pandemic gallops into its ninth month.
The news of each day is filled with reports of soaring infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The virus, and the accompanying heavy anxiety, lifestyle changes and economic damage, are felt by us all.

I had enough of the bad news, so I went looking for alternate news, the weird stuff that can leave you laughing, or at least shaking your head and smiling.
Laughter is increasingly seen in medical communities as a valuable medicine in helping to keep a body healthy. It is known to release nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes blood vessels, reduces blood pressure and decreases clotting.
And, there’s a lot to laugh at out there in this crazy world.

For instance, the report of three guys who canoed and walked hours to get into the Shoshone Geyer Basin in Wyoming. They got hungry and decided to cook two chickens in a hot spring.
The temperature of hot springs runs up to 400 Fahrenheit, 300 degrees higher than what is needed to boil a chicken.
A park ranger happened by and charged them with walking in a protected thermal area. They were banned from the park area for two years and received fines of up to $1,200.
The chickens were overcooked.

The big news these days out of Port Moody, which is part of Metro Vancouver, is that people are locking their cars to keep the bears out.
Earlier this fall police received a call from a nervous resident who heard her car alarm go off in the middle of the night. The cops arrived to find a panicky bear inside the car.
The bear presumably got into the car by simply pulling on the door handle. Once inside it began thrashing around and hit the door locks.
A conservation officer was called to get the bear out and release it back into nature.

Car break-ins by curious bears are not rare in Vancouver’s eastern suburbs. Apparently, the bears have discovered that pulling and poking sometimes opens a car door and lets them into a soft and warm place to nap. And, you never know when someone has left a chocolate bar behind.

On the other side of the country, Facebook has reversed its ruling that sweet onion seeds are “overtly sexual.”
A Newfoundland seed company tried posting on Facebook a photo of large, round onions as a means of advertising its Walla Walla onion seeds. The social media giant blocked the ad, saying that the photo of whole onions bunched together in a wicker basket was obviously sexual.

“You’d have to have a pretty active imagination to look at that and get something sexual out of it.” said The Seed Company manager Jackson McLean. “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something …”
When the national media got hold of the story Facebook reversed its decision. A Facebook spokesperson said it was the result of an algorithm mix-up.
“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a Walla Walla onion from a, well, you know,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, RCMP in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba are laughing over an unusual arrest made recently.
They received a call about a drunk causing a disturbance in the town. They sent two cruisers, one marked and one unmarked to the scene.
The drunk, a 19-year-old man, saw the marked police car and fled, then spotted a car he thought was a taxi. He jumped into the back seat telling the driver, “Take me to 17th Street, bro.”

The driver took him directly to the police station. The car the drunk thought was a taxi actually was the unmarked police car.
The kid was jailed to sober up, then released without charges.

Hopefully the Covid-19 pandemic will end soon and we all will be laughing and smiling more.