Updated: May 14, 2020
They say that laughter is the best medicine - a concept which I am sure was not completely lost on the population of England in the mid 1300's, because at this time in history the country was beginning to experience the ravages of plague.
How did they deal with it? The fact that it wiped out a goodly portion of the European population probably indicates 'not well'.
So, here we are nearly 700 years later. Same country, different disease, but this time we have something they didn't - humour.
Or did they?
Humour is intrinsic to humans and even apparently some animals, so why would we believe that people didn't have the occasional laugh back then?
There was a thousand year old manuscript found that, when translated, apparently contained this joke:
Three monks turned their back on the world. They go into the wilderness to repent their sins before God. They did not speak to one another for the space of a year. Then one of the men said to another at the end of the year, "We are well," said he.
Thus it was for another year. "It is well indeed," said the second man.
They were there after that for another year. "I swear by my habit," said the third man, "if you do not allow me some quiet I will abandon the wilderness entirely to you!" http://www.ancientpages.com/2014/02/21/worlds-oldest-joke/
Sure, I realise that only monks are likely to guffaw hugely at this, but it does show that people were more than capable of laughing through adversity and if there was ever a time for a bit of laughter, it is now, because humour is a balm. It may be very hard to see where this fits in with the loss of so many people and the turning upside-down of our lives, but finding a chink of light through that darkness is vital.
So, why not have a nose around the funnier side of the internet? I just came across this story about a guy who scared off a killer shark (sorry, a majestic and rare Great White) by swearing at it, perhaps the only time harsh language has prevented someone from being bitten in half https://news.sky.com/story/surfer-fought-off-great-white-shark-by-punching-it-and-telling-it-to-f-off-11941050.
Or how about this one about a 93 year old lady who put out an urgent call for more beer? Olive Veronesi sent out a Facebook request for alcohol when hers ran out https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-i-need-more-beer-93-year-olds-facebook-appeal-goes-viral-11972123.
Humour is the spice of life, guys. Don't stop now!
©2020 Nick MacIneskar