Laughter is the best medicine

Wendy Robello created this graphic for Real Funnies of Scripps Ranch.

Laughter is the best medicine

By John Gregory

Around the time schools closed and stay-at-home orders were about to be issued to slow the spread of COVID-19, a new Facebook group emerged in Scripps Ranch with just the right medicine for all the bad news: humor.

Playing off the local Facebook pages Real House Cats of Scripps Ranch and Real House Dogs of Scripps Ranch – the new social media group was named Real Funnies of Scripps Ranch.

The Facebook group could not have begun at a better time. Posts on the page include funny memes, funny things about coronavirus isolation and precautions, and how it affects everyone in funny ways, as well as silly things that people are doing to keep themselves occupied. Too many trips to the refrigerator is a recurring theme, according to Ellen Pickering, the group’s creator.

This is the image that greets visitors on the Facebook page Real Funnies of Scripps Ranch. (Ellen Pickering)

“It kind of gives you a chance to get out of the house without really getting out of the house, so to speak,” Pickering explained. “We’ve really had a lot of people thank us.”

She is a firm believer in the health benefits of laughter for both physical and mental health.

“It does give you a big break from the world,” she said.  

Pickering said she enjoyed seeing many humorous posts on the local Information Exchange social media group, but the posts got to be too much and members were asked to stop sending them.

“I made a comment saying, ‘That’s too bad. It would be so great to have a place to go (for humorous posts). Can you start a funnies page?’” Pickering explained. “And they said, ‘No, but you could.’”

So, Pickering did some research to see how difficult it would be to operate such a Facebook group. She lined up six admins to monitor the posts, including herself. At first, she thought six would be too many, but she quickly found she would need them all. Real Funnies already has more than 970 members.

Besides Pickering, the admins include Andy Bustamante, Scott Hanson, Tina Lewis, JL Nuss and Jessica Doughty Pearson.

Those viewing the page are greeted with a photo of a roll of toilet paper sporting a hand-drawn smiley face. The group had a contest to name the roll, and it was officially named “Mr. Schitzengiggles.”

Another image – created by Wendy Robello ­– bears the inscription, “Real Funnies of SR: Where Social Distancing Brings Us Together.”

Those who want to join the group need only search for Real Funnies of Scripps Ranch on Facebook and click on the “join” button.

These are the rules: “Unwind and be kind! Never be mean and keep it clean or your words aren’t going to be seen! No political posts or you’re off the page like a ghost!”

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