Humor and Hyperbole.

The name that the Secret Service called Richard Nixon was different from the name that they called him among themselves, Pencil Dick. I was thinking about this cryptic name when I entered my building. Stationed at the entranceway there is a security guard named Tommy. He is six feet four and probably weighs two hundred and sixty pounds. He knows me and asked for some information about taking classes at night. Upon finishing the conversation I continued to enter the building and said, “All right Tiny.” Near by a neighbor was also entering the building. She was newly arrived from Germany and said to me, with a puzzled expression on her face, “Vos is loose mit dear Tiny?” Another guard was near by and guffawed. I explained it was a joke, but she did not understand.

Over time Tommy adopted Tiny as a nickname. A few weeks later a woman was having a problem getting out of her apartment because the door was stuck. She called downstairs to the guards post and asked for help. Tiny answered, “Tiny speaking, can I help you?” The women said, “Can you please come up and help me open my door?” Five minutes later there was a big commotion. The woman had called the guard office and the police. She told them that there was an intruder in the building, impersonating a guard, and knocking on her door. When the police arrived they helped the women open her door and detained Tiny even though he was in uniform. The police asked the women why she called. She answered, “I called the guard downstairs and he said his name was Tiny. Then this man showed up.” The officers were all smiling as they took the elevator down.

Zen, laughing, and humor, are essential ingredients of life. Perhaps laughing was invented to encourage social interaction. We laugh more when we are with others. We want to be with people who are happy and make us laugh. When was the last time you had an evening of laughter with others? Shutdown the computer, TV, and IPhone for a while and make the effort to find some new social contacts and reaffirm older ones. Laughter is good for the heart, relieves stress, and reaffirms our humanity. Satoru


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