While reading How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This, you may wonder how you possibly can, but indeed, you do. Subtitled Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity and Grit, its author Carla Ulbrich, otherwise known as The Singing Patient, has been through hell. Fortunately for Ulbrich and those touched by her poignant and delightful book, she has come back. Kindle version at Amazon
How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This is an easily read collection of Ulbrich’s personal experiences liberally peppered with a charmingly twisted wit, wisdom, refreshing candor, insight and clever musical ditties set to common melodies anyone can sing. They serve to illustrate her journey through severe health crises which would send most of us sprinting to the nearest shrink, clamoring for the latest, greatest, and fastest-acting mood altering substances known to man. How does she do it? With humour.
Headings include My Other Body is a Porsche, Lessons from the Nudist Festival, But I Like Eating Crap, along with Top 10 Annoying Things to Say to Someone Who’s Just Been Diagnosed, and the particularly eye opening How to Get and Stay Sick: A “To-Don’t” List. Sometimes the stark, cold reality of statistics and the illness experience hits you smack in the face. Sometimes you laugh out loud. Sometimes you sing.
Ulbrich does not make light of illness. Rather, she takes humour seriously. Ulbrich balances it all out very nicely. With tremendous spunk, guts, grace and willpower, she offers usable tools; some her own, and others borrowed from experts like Bernie Siegel and Patch Adams. More importantly, she enlightens, empowers, and provides hope.
This is and isn’t a niche book. Removing the illness factor, Ulbrich’s tenacious philosophy of life provides lessons for us all. So, if an unexamined life is not worth living, here’s hoping that How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This might just inspire you to live a little, or a lot.