Laughter of My Day

I have read Reader’s Digest since I was young. I do not live at home anymore but I still come back to my hometown every year. Due to the nature of my work, I get to be home for about 1 month each year. My mum continues to subscribe to Reader’s Digest until today and after reading it, she will leave them for me. I have a collection of past Reader’s Digest on my shelves which I occasionally pick up to read when I am home. I even asked my mum if Reader’s Digest have a service for readers to return the magazines for recycling. She didn’t know.

Today, as I was reading page by page, I finally came upon my favourite section – Laughter, the best medicine. I still remember as a kid, I would always read this first. As I was enjoying the jokes and laughing silently in my head, I wonder if a joke may end up being published twice. Is there someone at Reader’s Digest whose work is to read and keep track of the jokes published? I thought what a wonderful work to be reading jokes every day. However, based on my experience reading journals, it is not easy to trace back a statement or sentences I remember reading among a pile of journal papers. It must be time consuming to go through every past month’s issues to check if a joke has been published previously.

I read this joke (March 2008):

A bank was held up four days in a row, every time by the same robber. After the fourth raid, the police asked the bank manager to describe him. “Well,” said the manager, “On each occasion, he was a little better dressed.” RON DENTINGER

I put down the magazine after finished reading and randomly pulled out another magazine. When I reached the page for Laughter, the best medicine, what a joke and coincidence that I read the same joke again! I knew I definitely just read this joke. I quickly looked for the last magazine I just put back not long ago and started turning the pages looking for Laughter, the best medicine. Once I found the page, true enough, it was the same joke. I wanted to know how far apart were these two magazine published that the same joke was printed twice. To my surprise, it was just 2 months apart. The first magazine I read was March 2008 and the second one I picked up was January 2008.

Maybe someone should be hired to read and remember all the jokes from Reader’s Digest. Or even better, if a lucky reader like Ron Dentinger whose joke was published twice, was paid twice! As I was typing this, my Mum came in, she said “Ling, you asked if Reader’s Digest recycle their magazines, they do recycle articles.” I actually paused a few seconds to understand the meaning behind her words and I finally understood she meant that an article might be printed again in later issue. I just find it bizarre that the same thing crossed our minds at the same time! We had a good laugh about it anyway! Whether or not a joke is published more than once, Reader’s Digest is a magazine that I grew up reading where my Mum and I would share about the stories and jokes we read. Today, it still is the magazine we both enjoy reading.

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