05/10/04 — Shucking the downer: Let’s get out of this funk!

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Shucking the downer: Let’s get out of this funk!

For weeks we — and that means all of us, including editorial writers — have been nursing a bad case of national dismay, and we’ve been at each other’s jugulars on local matters, too. This and that have caused us to be sad, shamed and segmented.

No need to list all of what this and that are. Better to dwell on something else. There are plenty of other things for us to think about, things that are uplifting, cheerful and just downright fun.

It’s okay not to be so serious all the time. In fact, we are encouraged to have joy in our lives. There it is, right there in the Bible: “Be joyful always ...”

You want to smile? Think about some of those redneck jokes:

You are probably a redneck if a state trooper asked for your I.D. and you said, “About what?”

Or you think Sherlock Holmes is a housing project.

Or your hound had a litter of puppies in your living room and no one noticed.

If you want a smile, think of the late Goldsboro mayor, Hal Plonk, who had a joke for every occasion. He said that when he first moved to town he was shocked by how friendly everyone was. Everyone who passed would wave. After he got elected mayor, he said, they continued to wave, but they didn’t use as many fingers.

If you want to smile, remember those blonde jokes. Here’s one:

A blind man was sitting in a bar and he asked the bartender, “Wanna hear a blonde joke?”

The fellow beside him whispered, “Before you tell that joke, you should know something. The bartender is blond. The bouncer is blond, and he’s 6-feet-2 and weighs 230. The guy next to me is blond and he has a black belt in karate. The fellow to your right is 6-5 and pushing 300 pounds, and he’s a hockey player. And I’m blond and mean as a snake. Now are you sure you want to tell that joke?”

“Nah,” said the blind man. “Not if I’m going to have to explain it five times.”

Or, if you want to cheer yourself up, consider this: We are having the prettiest spring in recent memory. There has been day after day when our homes needed no cooling or heat. Rain has been pleasant and plentiful.

Azaleas and other flowers have been gorgeous and their blossoms seem to have survived longer than usual. Someone said it was because we had a cold winter.

There is good news.

Goldsboro is going to get some new theaters.

Mount Olive is about to get a new industry to employ 100 people.

The economy is picking up.

The General Assembly is about to open its budget session in Raleigh and, for the first time in several years, there is no shortfall in revenue.

It’s almost time for school to be out and many of us can look forward to vacations soon.

There’s more than enough hopeful stuff to overcome this shared depression that has hold of us. So let’s lighten up.

P.S.: Okay, one more redneck joke: You are a redneck if your wife has ever said to you, “Come move this transmission, Bubba, so I can take my bath.”

Published in Editorials on May 10, 2004 11:26 AM