Comedy

Regulating Joking Is No Laughing Matter

It used to be that a person could joke whenever and wherever they wanted to. Doctors would even joke in hospitals. You could have a joke on an airplane, or have a few jokes during a long drive in the car with your family. But those days are long gone.

Recently a small number of doctors have suggested that joking can allegedly effect the health of those who don’t joke by way of secondhand joke. This occurs when a person is enjoying a joke to themselves, but the joke drifts over to people in the jokers proximity and causes them to laugh. There are at least ten deaths throughout human history that have been linked to laughter, dating all the way back to the 5th-century B.C. and occurring as recently as 1989.

Some businesses could take a firm stance in an effort to appease people on both sides of the issue by implement joking and non-joking sections in their establishments. The idea is that by separating the jokers from the non-jokers, there will be less humor passively inflicted on the non-jokers via secondhand joke. But some non-jokers still feel that anyone who wants to have a joke should be required to step outside, and that there should be no joking within five meters of an entrance to a building.

Joker Picture
An artist’s rendition of how secondhand joke is transmitted from a joker to a non-joker.

The debate about where we should be able to freely joke in public is one that’s been raging for many years. Have you ever noticed that debates are raging? Maybe debate should calm down and take a breath. Relax a little bit. Have a joke, and enjoy itself.

I like to have a joke before and after a meal, but it can be dangerous to joke while you’re eating. My dad started joking when he was ten years old, and my grandpa was joking at an even earlier age. When I was growing up they would both joke around the dinner table. My dad used to joke while he was eating and only survived because he never laughs at his own jokes. A weaker man might choke to death under those same circumstances.

I’ve joked while there was a baby in the room and I can’t see how it could possibly have done any harm. Some people say that a woman shouldn’t joke while she’s pregnant because it could harm the baby. I think they’ve got to be joking when they say that. Activists insist that jokes shouldn’t be tested on animals because animals can’t laugh.

If a person wants to have a joke at their desk should they be able to? People are very sensitive to joking at the workplace because of the effects of secondhand joke. They say the joke travels through the air and gets into the ears of the people nearby. And they didn’t choose to put joke into their ears, but now they’ve been forced to suffer the effect, laughter. And once you’ve got a laugh it can be hard to get rid of it.

What do you think? Should joking be regulated, or should jokers be able to joke freely? Comment and tell us your thoughts.

What do you think?

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