Previously published in Examiner
Montrealers can tell you that Readers Digest has a section called Laughter is the best medicine, and most of the time it really is. However, there are times when too much laughter can actually be bad medicine. Believe it or not, there are cases that date back to ancient times that document how people have actually died from laughing.
Death by laughter in ancient times
Chrysippus, the Greek philosopher died in the third century B.C. from excessive laughter. The reason for his laughter was because he gave his donkey wine. What was so funny to him was the donkey tried to eat figs
Note: guess you had to be there to find that one funny.
Pietro Aretino, 16th century author, playwright, satirist, poet, and inventor of modern day pornography died of suffocation because of laughing too much.
Death by laughter in recent times
Alex Mitchell a bricklayer from England laughed himself to death when he was watching an episode of the popular Goodies series in 1975. He laughed for a full twenty-five minutes before his fatal heart attack. His wife wrote a letter to the producers of Goodies thanking them for making her husband’s last 25 minutes on this earth so funny.
Note: Hmm how many women would have felt the same way?
Ole Bentzen a Danish audiologist died in 1969 while laughter at the movie, A Fish Called Wanda, (gee that doesn’t say much for the movie except that it can kill you).
Back in 1989, Damnoen Saen-um, a Thai salesman died in his sleep at the age of 52. His wife was not able to wake him and he laughed for a complete two minutes before he either suffocated or died of a heart attack .
Note: If you must go then the best way to go, is laughing your way out of this world!
To be continued
Montreal Laughter Coach
If you still want to have fun and laugh after reading this article.
ANNETTE GOODHEART, Ph.D., M.F.T teaches laughter training, which is good therapy and lightens your psyche. In this world we all need to laugh more.