The Humor Blog for Well-Being

April 18, 2016

Neurotic Life: Part III

After three years in Nashville we were so desperate we were thinking of going back to Winnipeg, Manitoba. If that failed we could always move to Moldova and reclaim the land the Cossacks stole from my family during the Kishinev pogrom. After debating between Manitoba and Moldova we moved to Miami.  Controlling your behavior is a matter of life and death in Miami. If you want to stay alive here, you have to master your driving behavior. First, you have to control the automatic desire to move ahead when traffic lights turn green. Second, you have to count four cars that will cross in red in front of you. Third, if you don’t want to be rear ended, you have to accelerate when the light turns yellow. Finally, you have to learn a few choice words in Spanish to communicate with the drivers who get stuck at the intersection. Miami is indeed a wonderful place to learn how to control your behavior. Here, you have to unlearn everything you learned about driving, unless, of course, you come from Latin America, which is where I grew up. Given my Latin background you would have thought that I’d know how to drive […]
April 14, 2016

Neurotic Life: Part II

We landed in Melbourne, Australia, just in time to welcome the new millennium. I went from a task- oriented culture to a place where everybody was in long service leave longer than they were at their desks. What a concept! In Canada, I worked with very productive colleagues who only reinforced high work ethic. In Australia, I worked with wonderful colleagues who only reinforced the realization that I was an idiot and that I worked too much. After three years in Australia trying to control my neurotic tendencies, I relented to my pathologies and moved back to North America, where I could wallow in self-pity for working too hard. Not only did we come back to a workaholic culture, but to Nashville no less, where other than Country music, all there is to do is work. Also, we went from a food mecca to a food desert. The nearest vegetarian restaurant in Nashville was in Ashville.  Preorder now: The Laughing Guide to Well-Being: Using Humor and Science to Become Happier and Healthier
April 11, 2016

Neurotic Life: Part I

If doing something is good, overdoing it must be wonderful. If gaining control is a good thing, gaining complete control must guarantee eternity. This is how we, neurotics, think. When I was finishing my PhD in psychology I was a full time student. I was also working full time outside the university (I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that), raising a baby, and writing a dissertation on a tight schedule. My wife Ora and I would not get much sleep because Matan, our son, really wanted to play in the middle of the night, and we really didn’t know how to say no, which, 29 years later, we still don’t. This was in Winnipeg, Canada. In winter, the average temperature was -54 and in summer it was 108 mosquitos per square feet.   To make sure I completed my dissertation on time, I followed obsessively a tight schedule. I used to get up at 5 am, go down to the basement and start typing. The heating didn’t work so I wore gloves to type. Until 7 am I wrote nonstop to make sure I achieved my word goal for the day. My obsessive compulsive tendencies were only in […]
April 4, 2016

Truth, Trust, Trauma, and Trump

I trust people. I tend to believe what they tell me. I’m big on trust. If they tell me they will do something, I believe them. If they share with me information, I take it as face value. In short, I’m an idiot.                It all started with Anna, her real name (go ahead Anna, sue me), who came to the house to help us with various domestic chores. Within a few days, my wife Ora and I discovered that a few things were missing, and I went crazy. I DO NOT misplace things. I may be totally naïve and somewhat of a moron sometimes, but I’m NOT DISORGANIZED.                 First, my iPhone charger disappeared.  This is a small thing, so against my best judgment, I resigned myself to the fact that I had probably misplaced it. Then one of my expensive brown Tumi bags disappeared. I DO NOT misplace Tumi bags. Then it was one of Ora’s skirts. This went on for a few weeks until Ora and I dared question Anna’s integrity. When we gently asked Anna if she had seen the missing items, she denied ever seeing them. We had a thief in our midst and we […]
March 20, 2016

Professional Conduct Guaranteed: Take Two

The National Football League proved once again that ethics is second nature to the profession. After twenty five years of conclusive evidence that concussions cause irreparable brain damage in players, the NFL appointed Richard Incognito to chair a committee on headaches. Incognito, whose fame as a champion of diversity is well known to Miamians, said “we will make sure that no current or former player, or their families, now or in the future, ever complain about concussions without a personal visit by me. ” Incognito made the comment a few moments after he tweeted his support for, major surprise, Donald Trump. Trump reciprocated by promising Incognito the top job at the national spy agency.   Thank God we still have the Republican party to show what ethics are all about in politics. In Flint, Michigan, where city officials wanted to save money by supplying contaminated water, the GOP is doing what responsible politicians do: blame Canada.  Republicans in Michigan are urging Governor Rick Snyder to join Donald Trump as VP. “We will show the rest of the world what upright men do,” a republican operative said. Meanwhile Mitch McConnell, majority leader in the senate, is about to show the country […]

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