Laughter Is the Best Medicine


A previously healthy 37-year-old male presented with a three-week history of painful swelling on his right forehead. CT imaging showed a solitary lesion near the right frontal bone. Given that the lesion was heterogeneously enhancing, it was removed with knock-knock jokes, and the patient was discharged in uproarious condition.


A female in her 50s presented with a seven-month history of intermittent abdominal pain. A colonoscopy revealed a soft mass in the cecum. Surgery was performed but proved ineffective. The attending physician ordered a second-line treatment of interns skidding on banana peels, and the outcome was favorable, with significant diminishment of the mass and the patient vigorously slapping her left knee.


A 14-year-old male, having sustained a fall onto his right hand during a particularly spirited game of cribbage, presented with posterolateral displacement of the ulna relative to the distal humerus. Dr. Bozo was able to successfully reset the patient’s funny bone by slapping it with a rubber chicken. Subsequent X-Rays were a riot.


An 83-year-old female who had earlier led an abortive offensive during a local reenactment of the Crimean War presented with a bayonet firmly lodged in her left temporal bone just superior to the zygomatic arch. She looked ridiculous. The patient was shown her own goofy reflection in a mirror, gleefully declared it “just priceless,” and left the hospital fully recovered, with infantry care follow-up in two to three weeks.


A 38-year-old male presented with bilateral conjunctivitis and an erythematous macular rash on his neck and face. The patient had recently returned from the forests of Guyana, where he had orchestrated an unsuccessful coup. A standard course of Hot Tub Time Machine was administered every eight hours but did not result in a substantial reduction of symptoms. An alternative therapy of a ventriloquist wearing a sombrero proved highly effective, however, and the patient was discharged to the custody of guerillas.


Two males, ages 25 and 31, presented with severe head trauma after their rocking horses collided at high speed. The emergency room physician immediately began delivering Louis C.K. in a tutu singing “God Save the Queen,” then increased the strength to “La Marseillaise.” Both patients found this hilarious because they don’t speak French. Both left the hospital in gut-busting condition (the good kind).


A 59-year-old female presented with crushing substernal chest pain after witnessing her spouse engaging in sexual intercourse with a spatula. A capuchin in sunglasses reading The Wall Street Journal was administered, followed by a course of Jeff Spicoli on roller skates addressing the U.N. General Assembly, a sad mime doing his taxes, and your cousin dancing. These therapies proved inadequate. Given the failure of previous treatments, and with the patient rapidly deteriorating, the attending physician encouraged the patient to visually recall the incipient traumatic event (viz., spouse/kitchen-implement intercourse). Immediately, the patient began convulsively guffawing, entering a status epilepticus comicalicus that could not be terminated. The patient died laughing.