The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material.
Did you know 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 the organization’s website, 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 also will 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.
Robertshaw says on the website that a review of research led him to conclude that “15 percent of people in America are humor-impaired and another 15 percent are ‘at risk,’ and it’s no laughing matter,” and that is why he founded the organization.
I am curious to know what kind of research Robertshaw did and whether 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 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 recently wrote 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 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 hungover from toting their weapons to their favorite bars the night before.
A couple of Bible-thumpers informed me that the Scriptures say Jesus most certainly would 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. 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.
Contact Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com; or on Facebook.