I'm thinking about the word "chain." Chain letters are fraudulent. A chain smoker often lights the next cigarette from the one currently burning. Chain reactions can be bad, such as your car gets hit, which forces you to hit the next car. Or chain reactions can be good, such as a movement to pay it forward.
Did you know there are chain jokes? This would be a family of jokes that keeps building on a theme. I love any kind of joke, but chain jokes are fun because instead of someone saying "I don't know" when you ask a joke, they think more creatively, catch on, and often come up with the answer. Consider:
Q: What kind of shoes does a frog wear in the summer?
A: Open-toad. (This is my personal favorite joke in the entire world!)
What kind of shoes does a plumber prefer?
What kind of shoes does a gas station attendant prefer?
What kind of shoes does a robber prefer?
What kind of shoes does an educated person prefer?
What kind of shoes does a lazy person prefer?
What kind of shoes does a salad-lover prefer?
What kind of shoes does a train rider prefer?
You are now groaning and saying to yourself, "Those are so bad." But you are also enjoying the cleverness of the answers and patting yourself on the back because you easily caught on to the logic.
We need humor in our lives each day. Why? Consider these reasons:
- Laughing is aerobic. You take in more oxygen and relax your entire body.
- Laughing boosts your immune system by increasing T cells, which protect you.
- Laughing decreases stress. How can you be stressed out if you're laughing?
- Laughing uplifts your spirits to elevate your mood and outlook.
- Laughing increases blood flow to nourish organs and produces a high (euphoria).
In case I haven't made you a convert, here's your final shoe question:
What kind of shoes does a joke critic prefer?
[Nancy Linenkugel is a Sylvania Franciscan sister and chair of the department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University, Cincinnati.]