Scraping the barrel

OK – so we are in the middle of COVID and we happen to be in the travel industry – so what’s there to laugh about? You have to find something because laughter is extremely good for you – did you know that? Even if you are pretending to laugh it still produces the right endorphins. As the Mayo Clinic says, laughter is really good for you –

Stress relief from laughter

A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Now for those of you out there in the travel or tourism industry – or indeed in the hospitality industry – you might well be asking what the hell is there to laugh about. People are stressed – just watch the news at night and see the latest story on who has gone ape about not wanting to wear a mask. So you have a choice – you can cry or you can laugh – and we choose to laugh.

So true – I will never take flying for granted. Strange how the months have marched by during this pandemic. When it started in March we thought yeah, few weeks – maybe 3 months at most and we will be back up in the sky. Well no – that didn’t happen and the world has become a strange place. There was so much about travel that we took for granted and now just the most simple part of a trip starts to look magical and special….

Yes I know that there will be people reading this who will say COVID is NOT FUNNY! I know that – it is not funny when you see iconic business like Ranchmans closing down. Wow – we saw the film Cool Runnings when we lived in Southern Africa and loved it! When we got our visa to come and live in Canada we told the kids and they said “Where is Calgary?” and we said remember Cool Runnings? Well that’s Calgary! They were SO excited and the first place we had to take them to was Ranchmans with the Jamaica Bob Sled sticking out the side of the wall. So sad.

So I agree – COVID is bad in so many ways but a good comparison would be the humour of the Second World War. This was important to bolster spirits and keep people feeling strong and positive. Some of the songs over that time are just hilarious and and just too rude to repeat in this blog but many might recall the first line of one of the songs being –

“Hitler has only got one ball!” (this was sung to the tune of Colonel Bogey March).

But it gave the lads something to laugh about in a dismal time.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Thanks Lesley! So true … laughter is the best medicine! Very healing! A sense of humour can go a long way these days. My mom used to say “smile and the world will smile with you ……. frown and you frown alone”. I love how you always promote “kindness”, too! Keep up the great work!


  2. I’m so looking forward to the days we can travel again. In the meantime, I really do enjoy your posts. Thanks for the smiles! 🙂


  3. Laughter definitely is the best medicine and something we all need right now. I make myself laugh thinking about the fact that miss flying so much I’ve been dreaming about security lines and actually missing them. You just have to laugh about dreaming of such things!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s