Laughter is best medicine |

Laughter is best medicine

Drew Werner

Sometimes something happens so unexpected, absurd or tragic that it is simply unbelievable. We’ve all had those moments when it was hard to know whether to simply shake our heads in wonder, sit down and cry or run out and tell someone about it just to confirm to ourselves that it really happened. Such moments can affect any part of our lives, including our health.

We heal in many ways. Sort of like exercise (don’t worry I’m not going there again!), we need to remember to do the little things that make us feel good. A little indulgence perhaps, something just for us. As they say, “the simpler the better” and most rewarding. Feeling better is a true healing.

I hope you indulge yourself in the following story. I hope it puts a smile on your face as it did mine.

Three brothers met at a bar. Each was very successful in his own way. Jack struck it big in the stock market. Jim made his fortune in real estate. Joe started a small business and watched it grow into a multi-national corporation. As brothers often are, they were very competitive. As they sat and talked about old times, their thoughts turned to their elderly mother who lived several hundred miles away.

Boasting of his generosity, Jack told the others of his gift to their mother: “I built Mom a beautiful house. It has five bedrooms, two kitchens, central air conditioning, six fireplaces, living room, poolroom, den and a sitting room. There are eight bathrooms and an indoor sauna. It cost $5 million to build.” Not to be outdone, Jim coolly commented: “The house is very nice, but I added on a 50-seat theater with the very best sound system, elevated seating and acoustics designed by the same people who did the New York Opera House. It cost over $900,000. Even better, Mom will have the first run of every movie at the same time it is in the theaters. That will cost me $1 million a year.”

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“Well,” Joe said, “those are all very nice, but I gave Mom the greatest gift of all. I met a priest who knew the monks who trained a parrot to repeat every verse of the Bible. He told me it took 10 monks 20 years to accomplish this feat. All mom has to do is say the chapter and verse and the bird will repeat it perfectly. It cost me $10 million, but Mom is worth it.”

The two other brothers listened in amazement and could only agree that Joe’s gift was indeed the finest.

Several weeks later, each brother received a thank you note from his mother. To Jack it read, “The house is beautiful. There is nothing else like it. I am getting old, though, and only use one bedroom. It is an awful lot to clean. Thank you anyways.”

To John she wrote, “The theater is amazing. Unfortunately, I have few friends left and my hearing and eyes are not so good anymore. Thank you for the thought.”

Finally, to Joe she replied, “Joe, your gift was the best. I knew you would find something special for me. Thank you very much. The chicken was delicious.”

The hardest things we face are often the unexpected. Sometimes the best medicine is a good laugh. I hope you have a smile right now and a great day.

Remember your health is your responsibility. Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered, don’t wait. Call your doctor.

Dr. Drew Werner of the Eagle Valley Medical Center writes a weekly column for the Daily. He encourages health questions. Write him by e-mail to or c/o Editor, Vail Daily, P.O. Box 81, Vail, 81658.

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