Everyone should learn to recognize the symptoms and to help those unfortunate people who have trouble laughing. Friends and families do not let friends miss out on the joke. This is a curable and preventable illness. Often there are early symptoms that give clues to the on set of this disease. Those afflected say things like “I don't get it.” or “What's the punch line?” or even “Is this a joke?” In the early stages victims are usually the last person to get the joke. They might even fake a laugh and nod their heads as if they understand. They can't remember punch lines. In the more advanced stage, they can't even remember jokes.
If you or your loved one is Humorously Challeged, don't give up hope—there is a cure. It takes a long time and requires a commitment to accomplished the cure. Here are the steps:
1. Reassure the patient that they are not alone. Millions suffer in silence, afraid to let anyone know. Only recently have victims admitted that they don't understand humor. That's progress.
2. Tell the pateint that they are loved in spite of being HC.
3. The treatment starts with simple jokes. In terms the patient can understand, explain the punch line. Research shows that starting with knock-knock jokes works best.
4. Once knock-knock jokes are mastered, advance to more complex jokes like straight line-punch line jokes. Avoid satire at all costs.
5. Once the patient is comfortable with the above jokes, show the patient movies like Airplane, Blazing Saddles, Naked Gun, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Young Frankenstein. These might require repeating.
6. If the patient is comfortable with the funny movies, move onto TV shows. Most sitcoms are okay. Old shows like I Love Lucy or Friends are good too. Avoid shows that require a more sophisticated sense of humor like Saturday Night Live (#SNL) or #TheDailyShow.
7. Evenually, the patient may be able to go to a comedy club or even repeat a joke.
8. No one is ever completely cured and relapses are possible. A daily supply of jokes may off set or prevent this. One source of humor is my blog at http://monteranderson.wordpress.com.
As with all cures, there are side effects. If over stimulated, patients have been know to laugh at anything. Sometimes they start to laugh before the punch line. They may even laugh at inappropriate times or at bad jokes. There is also the possibility of pulled stomach muscles, injured funny bones, coffee or milk pouring from the nose, and self-inflicted wounds caused by slapping knees or foreheads. Never eat or drink while laughing.
My hope is that one day no one will be Hunorously Challenged, and we can put an end to this terrible affliction.