Humor is a most effective, yet frequently neglected, means of handling the difficult situations in our lives. It can be used for patching up differences, apologizing, saying"no"， criticizing, and getting the other fellow to do what you want without his losing face. For some jobs, it is the only tool that can succeed. It is a way to discuss subjects so sensitive that a serious dialogue may start a riot. For example, many believe that comedians on television are doing more today for racial and religious tolerance that people in any other forum.
Humor is often the best way to keep a small misunderstanding from escalating (升级) into a big deal. Recently a neighbor of mine had a quarrels with his wife as she drove him to the airport. Airborne, he felt miserable, and he knew she did, too. Two hours after she returned home, she received a longdistance phone call."Persontoperson for Mrs. I. A. Pologize." intoned the operator."That’s spelled ’P’ as in ..." In a twinkling (眨眼间), the whole day changed from bad to lovely at both ends of the wire.
As English hostess with a quick wit was giving a formal dinner for eight distinguished guests whom she hoped to enlist (赞助) in a major charity drive. Austerity was a fashion in England at the time, and she had asked her children to serve the meal. She knew that anything could happen ... and