Guest Post: How to Create a First Aid Kit for the Funny bone

Funny First Aid Kit

Some days you are the bug, other times the windshield. Emergencies, crises and unexpected developments happen at a moment’s notice. For those times when you experience life’s Maalox moments, it is a good idea to have a special container set aside that can jump start your smile response again.

Purchase or recycle a shoe box size or larger container or plastic tub to hold a variety of “giggle gadgets” to lift your spirits and laughter level. Since each person has their own taste, personalise your collection of comical choices. They are suitable for home, office and hospital visits or anywhere else you would like life to be lighter.

10 Suggestions of What to Include

Start with cartoon panels and comic books. Cut out the ones you like and add them to the box. Enjoy Archie and other joke digests over and over. 

Consider purchasing joke collections ranging from Milton Berle, to Larry Wilde and more. Humour books by Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry and Lewis Grizzard and many more will keep the laughter going. My top 10 includes: Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Life with Father by Clarence Day, Milton Berle’s Private Joke File and The Treasury of Laughter by Larry Wilde joke collections, Lighten Up! cartoons by Joe Sumrall, How to be a Jewish Mother by Dan Greenburg, the Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten and Everything but Money by Sam Levenson.

There are tonnes of funny movies and TV shows. You can purchase DVD boxed sets for many of them. Scouring your local op shops and Trademe you may be able to purchase these at a discount. You can find the funniest Kiwi Comedies here. My top 10 comedy movies: The Producers, The Princess Bride, Airplane, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, One Crazy Summer, Some Like it Hot, The Pink Panther, Arthur and The General (Buster Keaton silent). I recommend these TV sitcoms and sketch shows: I Love Lucy, MASH, Cheers, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Married with Children, Muppets, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, Little Rascals, In Living Color, SNL and as a bonus pick The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Throw in some fun toys because sometimes just fidgeting with something seems to help. Remember Silly Putty? Bubbles you blow through a wand. I have an Etch a Sketch key chain. Search toy shops and even chemists and supermarkets for these small humour treasures. Steal your kids McDonald’s Happy Meal toys or get some bendable figures and check out the loot bag gifts at two dollars stores for fun mini puzzles and such. One of my favourites is a stress busting relaxable rubber duck.

I keep a few funny get well greeting cards too. “9 out of 10 doctors want you to get well, the 10th thinks you may still have some money”. Mary Engelbreit’s Laughter the Best Medicine card is cheery.

Magnets in my kit include “We had to get rid of the kids, the cat was allergic” and “Do not clean the top of the refrigerator, important dust measuring experiment in progress.”

Magic shops are a great source of gags. Try a mirror that laughs, Groucho glasses, rubber chickens and other humour pranks and tricks.

I also like to collect pens in fun shapes. Pens that wrap around your wrist, blow bubbles, have feathers and fun toppers. A thoughtful gift to bring to someone in the hospital is a trout pen that lights up when squeezed for a gentle nightlight that does not disturb. Novelty Gifts features novelty pens, bar items, Kiwiana, novelty mugs and more.

Check out novelty mail-order catalogues such as Archie McPhee, The Johnson Smith Company and for clown supplies,

Bumper stickers create lots of giggles as do lapel pins and funny stickers. Check out Sticker Giant., Zazzle and Big Cheese Badges.

These are just a few ideas to get you giggling and going. Even if a situation you face is very serious, you may feel better if you can at least smile again.

Jest wishes,

Karen Lee


Karen Lee is originally from Denver CO by way of Los Angeles and San Diego.  She is a former housewife with hobbies. She used her sense of humor to take the edge off of a difficult childhood. After a miscarriage she learned to write and perform standup comedy.  From September 1989 to February of 1999 she published the ground breaking  Laughter Prescription Newsletter dedicated to the healing power of humor.

The newsletter was distributed to over 250 hospitals, hospices, libraries and people who wanted the benefits of the healing power of humour. In 1993 Karen spoke to aspiring physicians as part of the Compassion and the Art of Medicine series at Baylor College of Medicine. Lee has also appeared on CNN-FN sharing how Belly laughs are Good for the Bottom Line. The newsletter has been written up in several national publications including Weight Watcher’s Magazine, For Women First, American Pharmacy and Creative Classroom.

Lee also sold jokes to Joan Rivers and other comedians, disk jockey/actor Jay Thomas,  one liners to joke collections and publications for speakers such as “Robert Orben’s Current Comedy.”

In her spare time, Karen ponders the question, “If life is a banquet, what am I doing at the Shoney’s salad bar?”

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