Having FUN is a way of life at Southwest Airlines, and when I was contacted by Elaine Helle, the organizer of the Belly Laugh Day, I knew that Southwest had found a kindred spirit. Elaine calls the event a "virtual celebration" of fun and laughter, and it takes place on January, 24 (1/24) at 1:24 p.m. in whatever time zone you reside. Belly Laugh Day is international in scope, and you are encouraged to laugh out loud at 1:24 p.m.
Why was the date chosen? Elaine tells me that one British researcher claims that January 24 is the most depressing day of the year because Holiday bills are due, the light is low in the Northern Hemisphere, and many of those who dared make New Year's resolutions have probably broken them by that point. Yet laughter really is what Reader's Digest calls the "best medicine."
Of course, laughing comes naturally for Southwest's Employees and Customers on a yearround basis. We have three equally important components to Living the Southwest Way: The first two are a Warrior Spirit and a Servant's Heart, but completing this group is a Fun-LUVing Attitude. Whether it's our Reservations "hold music" (thankfully, you seldom have to hear this--not because of the humor, but we try to answer right away); a Gate Agent or Operations Agent (the folks who take your boarding passes) making a funny comment in the gate area; or a Flight Attendant's humorous briefings, the Fun-LUVing attitude is on display. You have also read some pretty funny stuff on this blog, so Belly Laugh Day isn't really anything unusual for us--it just reinforces who we are.
How can you celebrate Belly Laugh Day? Their web site has lots of simple suggestions. I admit that I am not a good joke teller--although I can tell some pretty funny stories--but I do LUV to laugh. I have asked Jill Howard-Allen to join in the spirit of the day, and the post below has some "Jill Jokes" for you to enjoy. (Okay, some of them may cause you to groan instead of roar with laughter, but they will tickle your funny bone.)
The biggest lesson we can all "take away" from Belly Laugh Day is that laughter and fun are important 365 days of the year. By the way, did you hear the one about the...? On better thought, I will leave the jokes to Jill.