Many years ago, the first time I moved my child-of-the-warm-and-sunny-South wife Volita to Michigan, she was freely lamenting the decidedly colder conditions (and it didn’t help that the spring when we moved was one of the longest and coldest ever). Our equally Southern friend Trish Lantzy offered her this advice: read P.G. Wodehouse.
Trish was right: there’s nothing like a ridiculously humorous story to lift your spirits. If you’ve never read Wodehouse, you’ll find he’s a very good antidote to misery. British humor, forever dry and sardonic, makes you realize that whatever ills you’re suffering, a good laugh helps immensely. Bertie Wooster and his friends and all their ridiculous situations do indeed mitigate the pain. My wife and I quickly acquired quite a Wodehouse collection. It has served us well indeed.
I also like Douglas Adams. Particularly in times like these, when lots of what we’re doing as a society seems awfully foolish, his unique way of poking fun at the entire human race just fits. Humans, he pointed out, are “so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” Non-humans didn’t fare much better with him (except for the dolphins and the mice.) Not even robots escaped a vigorous lampooning in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five books. (Yeah, that’s Adams for you.)
There are plenty of other options if these guys aren’t your thing. Whatever your tastes, it’s a good time to curl up with something funny.
Now Volita and I are living in Michigan again, and we’re having another royally crappy spring, and we have this pandemic thing going on too. I already introduced my younger son to Adams. Tonight I think I’ll drag out the Wodehouse.