Wednesday 15th July 12:04

"Time for a Laugh"

Hi everyone,

How many times do you laugh in the training room?

I was wondering about this the other day when I was re-reading a story about John Junkin, one of Britain's funniest comedians who died some years back.

Junkin was a schoolmaster before he became a funny man. The story goes that, one day, while taking a class of uninspired fourth formers (13-year-olds), he spotted one boy chewing gum. Summoning him to the front of the class, he silently pointed at the waste paperbasket in the corner, meaning for the boy to put the chewing gum in the bin. Head down, and full of repentance, the boy walked over to the bin, and completely misunderstanding his teacher's instructions, climbed in.

History doesn't record the reaction of Junkin and the class. My bet is that he laughed his head off.

Being an excellent communicator doesn't always mean that we get our message across exactly as we'd like. Which is great, because it means that there is every chance that we'll get it wrong now and again and be able to laugh at the results.

I can't recall the number of times I've handed out an exercise or a set of notes for every person in the class to take with the words, "Pass these around", only to look up a minute or two later to see the whole pile sitting in front of the last person in the room.

And how about the vicar who tells the congregation on Easter morning, "As this is Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar." How could anyone keep a straight face after that?

Or this from an early radio advertisement for 7-Up, "When you're thirsty, try 7-Up, the refreshing drink with the big 7 on it and u-p after it."

We don't laugh as much as we should. Let's be excellent communicators, but let's also leave room every now and then for something to go wrong so that we can have a side-splitting laugh.

Happy training and happy laughing!


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