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Archives for April 2014 | Laughing Pilgrims

Do Not Try This at Home

April 30, 2014

A Nissan Rogue ad flashes images of driving the car pell-mell through traffic, swerving recklessly, and jumping it onto and off of an elevated train. A short sentence low on the screen warns, “Fantasy, do not attempt.” Who needs to be warned? Apparently lots of folks, if you judge by how frequently such warnings show up in ads: “Professional driver on closed course.” “Demonstration only. Do not attempt.” “Do not try this at home.”

Use your imagination here. What shouldn’t you try at home? Stunt driving seems obvious enough. So do tricks in a Jackass movie or in shows about dumb things people do. Or anything you see on MythBusters. But what else? Sometimes I think you shouldn’t try things chefs do on cooking shows where they use razor sharp tools and open flames to create a feast out of odd ingredients like armadillo, wart hog, sacred mushrooms, and clown_on_unicyclecrested cockatoo. Some cake-making shows seem only slightly less dangerous. Or how about yoga, especially shows sponsored by chiropractors? I would also warn against using the Bible to predict when the world ends. This stunt is performed by professional interpreters in locked rooms. (There are reasons for the locked rooms.) What would you warn against trying at home?

But you might risk trying some other things at home. You could read Winnie-the-Pooh stories out loud to each other and let the laughter roll. You could sing Mr. Rogers’ “It’s You I Like” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-DsZMKYXzI). Where it’s needed, you might try forgiveness (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=MG_POR_20140404&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2). Or you might practice saying, at home, ordinary words of courtesy like “Please,” “Thank you,” or “I’m sorry.” Maybe it would be safe, even good.

So what do you think? What should be left to experts, risk-takers, and crazy folk? What should we try at home?

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Living in Fun

"Walking Cheerfully" is place to think out loud about how to use and enjoy humor in positive, life-giving ways. We’ll explore how following Christ in all of life can shape, not scuttle, laughter and creative play. What might it mean to laugh with others as you would have them laugh with you?

Probably the other most common posts will be "Finds in Fun." I first learned the phrase “being in fun” from Tom Mullen’s Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences. He points to the playfulness of children, who are readier to laugh and to see the silly than most adults. Living each day “in fun” often makes us laugh as we slog through a nearly endless supply of things odd, silly, klutzy, and preposterous. The stories here are mostly from my own ordinary, “in fun” days.

Fun Nooks and Crannies

There’s “Humor in the Bible,” and these posts explore where it is, how to find it, and what to do with it. It’s one way of thinking about how to read the Bible well.

Since a lot of us spend big chunks of time at work, the “Humor at Work” posts will suggest ways to stay sane and happy, to get along with cow-orkers, and to use humor to do good work.

I’m a book-pusher at heart, and some of my best friends push books, too. I even know some folks who read. So “Fun Books” posts will tell about books that are funny and help us think about humor.

Sometimes I’ll brag on some of the friends I’ve been given or share some photos I’ve enjoyed taking. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe not, but they’ve brought joy in my journey.

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