Make Life More Fun – Harmlessly

Make Life More Fun – Harmlessly

Harmless fun is something that doesn’t hurt or embarrass someone else; the kind of thing that everyone will enjoy, no matter what. Harmless fun can be physical or cerebral comedy but either way, no one is the butt of the joke, no one suffers put-downs and no one is physically injured. To even want to create an incident of harmless fun has to do with loving to see one’s friends and family laugh; it even extends to strangers. Come to think of it, doesn’t it also extend to our pets? To create some fun that everyone will enjoy it helps to have a clever imagination. Some of us started fond family memories by playing little tricks upon siblings for birthdays. The less money there is to spend on the gift, the more intricate the tricks became.

It starts with the gift itself, which should always be something the recipient will enjoy. If the gift is small, the idea of nesting boxes is a standard. Just keep wrapping boxes within boxes, each wrapped more elaborately than the last. Make a joke here and there to make more memories. One class gave the biochemistry professor they loved a new-fangled laser pointer-a good one-wrapped in several boxes. All of the paper was cat-themed; not that he preferred cats but that the wrapper did. After unwrapping several of the boxes the professor made a comment about the cats; the wrapper replied “Well, my cat helped me wrap your present. I told him I thought you were more of a dog person but an excellent human so he said he wouldn’t hold that against you.” The class laughed as did the professor. By about the sixth box he remarked that he wondered how many boxes there a class member yelled out: “It’s a cat-abolic pathway!” and all laughed (yes that’s what passes for humor in graduate school).

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Another way to bring in fun, if the present is odd-shaped, is to wrap different-sized boxes, each with a note containing a clue as to where to find the present. You can make that last a long time if you’re clever and the recipient then knows you have gone to a lot of trouble to make a little fun for them. It’s even more enjoyable if the gift that is (hopefully) found is a gag a note pointing to the good gift. The whole idea of creating something different is something that most people will enjoy (the attention); it’s something done special, just for them. Of course, don’t bother with any of this if the person can’t receive love or gifts graciously. They will never admit they enjoyed it and it will just bring back sad memories for everyone.

Other harmless fun is to make a strange spectacle of oneself for strangers to wonder about. Posing in the window of a business and then letting your eyes track on the person looking at you is pretty funny. Make sure there is someone there who can stop that person and let them know that it is a gift from the people in the business; a gift of a story they can tell, about the strange thing that happened to them that day. What makes it more special is to hand them a nice card or flyer that talks about the gifts of story-telling and sharing. Practicing harmless fun is all about sharing an experience with others. It’s about our shared human existence, our humor and our sense of adventure.

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A�2010 Dr. Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved

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