Ooooh happy brain – with Parkinson’s

humour and worry in one brainI had such a good laugh the other day! You? No? Why ever not? Never been through the mill? Strange. Nothing serious on the horizon either? Granted, you never know of course, but you really mean to say that there’s nothing even remotely unpleasant on the cards? So, what do you use for joke material?

Brain dozes off

Sometimes you’ve no other choice than to joke about unpleasant or extremely unpleasant things. Make a joke, and you control it a little. You’ve no other choice. You need humour like you need oxygen or food. Not because the physical act of laughing is so beneficial, that has nothing to do with it. I can have a fantastic laugh, without you even noticing. That’s because it’s my brain that’s laughing. That same poor brain, which had to learn to eat, read and talk, that mine of useless information on the origins of agrarian societies, particularly next to rivers because of the trading potential, can dredge up a thing or two about Funnelbeaker culture and the politics of Bismarck. The brain which, by the way, has a freshly acquired mini database on spiders that eat frogs.

Usually brains think: weren’t we supposed to be superior to monkey brains? Shouldn’t those humans be doing something far more useful with us, while we’re at their disposal?

Many neat little sets of left & right brains accept their grey fate, sadly acknowledging that their work rarely, if ever leaves the skull. Hope fading, they’re quietly waiting for a lucid moment, a sort of enlightenment. It often never arrives, and those brains slowly begin to shrink.

Worry Brain and Humour Brain

Shrink?! Ha! Don’t think so! Something’s stirring. The brain doesn’t really care what it is, so long as it gets to participate. Hey, this looks like fun! Fancy joining in, left side? Whatever you say, right side, it’s your call. And the grey matter starts to warm up, requesting a little more blood and oxygen, and everything else that brains need – and then kicks firmly into gear. But hey, wait a minute! What’s going on? The brain quickly discovers that it’s not something fun, but rather something extremely unpleasant.

That’s not very nice for the upbeat brain cells, they feel left out. The newly found misery takes centre stage, demanding Worry Brain’s full and undivided attention. Humour Brain observes from the side lines for a while, noticing that the Worry Brain is working overtime. Uh-oh, no good will come of that, Humour Brain fears. Right, let’s intervene, Humour Brain decides. And off she goes: the first little joke jumps on a tiny neurotransmitter and reaches Worry Brain in no time. “Hi”, the little joke says, “what you up to? Here, have a dash of Humour. You’re looking a little grey around the edges, a touch of Humour will do you good.”


Worry Brain has good reason to worry. It has to, comes with the job. Same goes for the Humour Brain which, in an effort to cheer up the Worry Brain, starts placing a steady stream of jokes on the neurotransmitter train. And, the first wisecracks leave the skull and take flight.

Parkinson’s is not funny. Hence the jokes.

How can someone with a serious disease, take Parkinson’s, make jokes? Well, you’ve no other choice. That’s how. Otherwise your Worry Brain simply wouldn’t cope. And there’s no letting off the hook for poor Worry Brain. Ever. It’s in it for the long haul, so you’d better get used to it. Humour Brain is different, it comes and goes, never hangs around for long periods of time. It’s agile, creative. Working to give Worry Brain that occasional little push it needs to be able to face the unimaginable long term. Humour never or rarely covers the end of that long term, that’s not humour’s business. Humour is there for the stressful parts of the journey, to keep you going, to prevent your Worry Brain from sending you over the edge.

My Humour Brain has been fairly occupied, for quite a while actually. I’m glad about that. In fact, I had such a good laugh the other day!

Oooh, happy brain.