Did You Hear The One...

But seriously folks ... shouldn't we all be laughing a lot more?

Well, of course, say a rollicking raft of humor consultants (including John Cleese), who are making a merry mint out of advising businesses on how to bring a little tension-releasing laughter to their employees. Allowing workers to shake like jelly a few times a day can go a long way in turning a dismal workplace into a happy, calm, and creative one.

High-tech firms, especially, where the stress to compete can leave permanent frowns, are installing laughter rooms where workers can play with funny machines to open their thinking to Big Ideas. A few yucks and, voil, another Bill Gates!

And now the very serious Internet set has discovered that the best way to get Web users to actually look at and click on those "banner" ads is to put up old-fashioned comic strips and other make-'em-laugh visuals.

One 30-second Web ad has a cartoon showing what happens to Cinderella before and after she marries her Prince Charming - she ends up scrubbing floors, no matter what.

Cartoon ads may be just the saving grace for all those still-unprofitable Web businesses seeking eyeballs.

And employees who haven't already found Dilbert cartoons at least have figured out how to find humor on the Web. Who hasn't received jokes via e-mail (and been heard bursting out loud at their PC)?

So humor us. Be a Groucho, not a grouch. Chuckle more and let's lighten up the world. Seriously.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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