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Laughing at The Wilbur

     This has happened before. Something awful happens and we aren't sure when it's o.k. to laugh. I think the Wilbur show on Friday is sold out, so I'm not writing this to encourage anyone to buy tickets. The commerce has already taken place. I just wanted to tell the handful of people that will ever even see this post, that i wrestle with the same question. 
     I don't want to break into the Charlie Chaplin SMILE song, or be overly dramatic, but I can tell you that when I had drank my way to my life's lowest ebb, it really was laughter that saved me. Yours and mine. By the way, I always meant to thank you for that. The audiences in Boston, in particular, never gave up on me. I'm coming on Friday, because it is my job, and I'm paid to, of course, but also because laughter is important. I come as your humble servant. We will Rock the Wilbur Theater on Friday night. 

     I hate to toss the romance out the window, but the truth is, laughter produces endorphins. Laughing is one of the most mentally healthy things we do. You don't have to have me around to do it, of course, but I'll be there. We'll be together. We can shake hands, hug, look one another in the eye, all of which give us a chemical release that encourages our species in the right direction. 

     I used to work at A Salad For All Seasons, a salad bar restaurant right in the heart of Copley Square. This was back when salad bars were new and hip, by the way. The owner changed the name to Peppers, which cost a lot of money in reprinting the menu/placemats. In fact, it was the obsolete menu/placemats that I used to type my jokes on the back of to prepare for open mike nights at the Comedy Connection and the Ding Ho, which is where I first performed stand-up comedy in 1979. I also worked at the Paperback Book Smith right down near the marathon's finish line and I bussed table, until I got kicked upstairs to making toast, at Tea Court at The Copley Plaza Hotel. 

     Boston is in my bones, my head and my heart. Not just as a Bostonian, but as an American, and just a regular old person, I have this feeling like I've been kicked in the stomach. I have no idea how to explain this kind of event to my children. I just ask them to notice that they are well, and that although they may feel scared sometimes, to notice that almost everyone they deal with everyday is in fact quite kind. I tell them that their job is to spread that kindness like I spread butter. 

     I love you Boston. I'll see you Friday, and we will laugh.
Paula Poundstone
     


Paula Poundstone       

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