Four Surefire Strategies for Getting Seriously Silly

by Lance Ekum on · 44 comments

S I L L Y !!

Now there's a FUN word!  Say it a couple of times.  See!!  Can you even say that word AND be grumpy at the same time?  I don't think so!

To add to the silliness around here, today I have a special guest who will share four strategies she uses to bring out the silly!  Please welcome Joy Tanksley, from Being Joy.  I've only recently gotten to know Joy…and that name, Joy, is so fitting for her!!  Just look below at that FUN picture…now doesn't that have JOY (and SILLY) written all over it!! 

Really, check out her site – it is chock-full of pure fun (like her dancing!!!). 

Today, Joy is not only wearing her bra in a different spot…she is also giving us all some great ways to get our own SILLY on!

Four Surefire Strategies for Getting Seriously Silly


Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.
 ~ Shel Silverstein

Silliness is a virtue that is often overlooked and highly underrated. But I had the good fortune of learning its value from my incredibly silly mother. It would totally embarrass her if I told you that she would often perform the “gas ballet”, doing grande plies and dramatic leaps while making the unmistakable sounds of flatulence with her mouth. So I won’t tell you she did that. Suffice it say that silly is part of my pedigree, and, in my expert opinion, we could all benefit from being a little more absurd, foolish, and ridiculous on a regular basis.

Here are four of my personal favorite ways to get seriously silly:

1. The Jelly Butt Game

This must be done in a public place and with a person who is easily embarrassed. Without any warning, begin gently swaying back and forth and bending your knees. Exclaim, “Uh oh! Oh no! It happened! I have Jelly Butt!” At this point, move your body as if your rear end has turned into complete jelly. It’s best if you fall into your companion for support. But watch out! Jelly Butt is contagious. Your friend might someday return the favor by having a surprise attack of Jelly Butt at your expense.

2. Bark Like a Dog
If you haven’t tried this, it’s a must. I can’t tell you how good this feels. Let go of all inhibitions. Get LOUD. Try different types of barks – from yippy to bellowing. Throw your head back and bark your head off! This one is delicious when done alone but is also great with a group.

3. Foot as Telephone
The next time someone’s foot is within reach, make a ringing noise like a telephone. Then answer their foot. They will be totally caught off guard, and will likely begin laughing hysterically. Try to keep a straight face and carry on a one-sided conversation, such as, “Hello? Yes, this is she. No, I am not interested in taking a survey, thank you very much. Well, there’s no need to get snippy!”

4. Wear Underclothes on your Head

This is a classic for a reason. It’s pricelessly funny, and especially so when combined with a goofy dance. I’m a big fan of bras worn on the head, with the strap going down around the chin. Underwear works, too. And it doesn’t have to be yours.

I challenge you to try at least one of these techniques and see how it makes you feel. As the famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.”

Joy brings the silly, and all sorts of other great stuff at her insightful and fun blog, Being Joy.  Check it out today!

Silly Alert!  This weekend I'll be in New York City, with The Levity Project, celebrating World Laughter Day!  And it's not too late to join in.  The more the merrier (and sillier!)!!  To register for this free event, click HERE, or visit the link in the sidebar. 

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn April 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

I think we could all use more silliness in our lives. Thank you for the suggestions and I might just do that foot telephone thing. 🙂
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Visit, satisfaction and warbling =-.


Richard | April 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

HAHAHA The Jelly Butt Game. That sounds hilarious. I actually laughed out loud when I read that one. Great article. Made my day!


Jay Schryer April 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

One of my favorite silly things is to pretend to be a politician, and start shaking someone’s hand vigorously as I ask them to vote for me. I started this with my daughter when she was about three years old -trying to get her vote for the position of “DaddyMan”. The more excited and upbeat you can make yourself sound while you’re doing this, the better the result. “Vote for me! I’m your Daddyman! I’ll be the best Daddyman this village has ever seen! Vote for me! Yes, a vote for me is a vote for yourself! I want to be your Daddyman!” All the while, shaking her hand quite enthusiastically, and refusing to let it go. For different people, you pick different titles, but you almost always get a smile. 🙂
.-= Jay Schryer´s Last Fabulous Post ..Leather and Lace =-.


Joy Tanksley April 29, 2010 at 7:31 am

@Lynn – you should TOTALLY do the telephone thing. Let me know how it goes!

@Richard – I spontaneously created the Jelly Butt game when my husband and I were first dating. I think it was a way to flirt! 10 years later, it’s still a hit. I’m thrilled it got a laugh from you!

@ Jay – I LOVE THIS IDEA! TOO FUNNY! “DaddyMan” – very nice.


Lady Fi April 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

Just reading about this brought a big big smile to my face!
.-= Lady Fi´s Last Fabulous Post ..A match made in heaven =-.


Evita April 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

Hi Joy

Wow, I don’t know where to begin – the photo or the games 🙂
The photo is priceless – that alone put a huge smile on my face this morning. And way to go for being so creative on those games…. I guess number four speaks for itself in your photo 🙂

Thanks Lance for introducing Joy!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Movie Review: 2012 We’re Already In It =-.


The Exception April 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

Hi Joy –
I loved reading this today!! I must try the reining foot thing. I can tell you that my daughter and I make funny animals noises all over the place… usually while out of our house. I personally like bear noises or maybe a cow thrown in for good measure. She prefers cat and Canada goose. The idea is, as you said, to be silly… and it is an easy way to shake up our day a little and bring on a case of the giggles!!
Thank you for this post – for the smiles and keep bringing Joy to the world!! 😉


Joy Tanksley April 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

@Lady Fi – My work here is done. ?

@Evita – What a gorgeous name you have! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It’s so cool to be guest posting here today!

@ The Exception – MOO! HONK! MEOW! And happy foot phoning!


joy Tanksley April 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

Lady Fi – That was supposed to be a smiley face, not a question mark! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Kate April 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

Hehehehe what a great post, we should definitley taking being silly more seriously!
Many thanks,


Joy April 29, 2010 at 9:43 am

Silliness is the trademark of an overflowingly happy heart….so thank you for sharing it here! And I *love* that picture! And your smile…absolutely contagious!
It is my goal to make my loved ones belly laugh, so I will often do or say the most outrageous custom remark or action to elicit that belly laugh. Preferably in public. They know to expect this from me. I love to be known for that:) & I will definitely try your suggestions:)


Audra Krell April 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I’m laughing in spite of myself. The answering the foot suggestion would send my 11 year old into such a fit of laughter that he may never recover. I don’t usually do stuff like that, so I’ll thank you in advance for the surprise attack our youngest boy has coming his way! Keep spreading love and laughter into the world Lance, we are no where near full!


Davina April 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Hilarious! Loved the photo Lance. Yes, silly. Gee, if that bra were any bigger, she could go hand gliding. 😀


Davina April 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Oh Cr8p… I meant hang gliding, NOT hand gliding. Though I can see how both would apply. pffft.


Joy Tanksley April 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm

@Joy – Hey! Great name! 🙂 I love the “trademark of an overflowingly happy heart” and your goal “to make loved ones belly laugh. Such awesome thoughts.

@Audra – Thanks! Oh, I do hope the foot move will send your son totally over the edge!


Evelyn Lim April 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I enjoy the suggestions very much! The Jelly Butt one is really funny!! I couldn’t help laughing at the thought! Do you have a video to demonstrate this idea?
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Draw A Creative Mind Map for Self Analysis =-.


Lance April 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Isn’t this a fun post!! Joy gives us all some *ahem* interesting things to try at home!!!!

You, my friend, are AWESOME!!! I love the playfulness of all of these (and the picture!!)!! And I get this real feeling that you have no problem whatsoever doing any of these! (your Mom did well!!!!) I have certainly made those animal sounds! The undergarments on the head?? Hmmm…would I do that???? I don’t know if I’ve ever put anything strange or weird on my head (okay….and that’s a joke – that some may see based upon pictures I have had both here and on Twitter!). Maybe….just maybe…I could do a follow up to this post, down the road, with my own *ahem* headshot!!!! (I’ll think about it!!) Okay – the phone is ringing….I’ve got a foot to answer….

Audra, let us know how the “foot phone” works with your 11 year old!!!


J.D. Meier April 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I’m so going to use my foot as a phone. I can hear it ringing already … “Hello, Chief?”
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Lean Way of Life =-.


Jean Sampson April 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Hi Joy—-so when do we get a video demo of Jelly Butt? I once had a whole pen of little piglets running toward me after I did my high-pitched piggy sound. And my husband gets really embarrassed when I roll down the car window and call cows and horses—I can even do that snort thing horses do! I have one silly friend who will get up in front of people and have a cat fight with me. We also got up in a DC resturant and sang my original song (for George Bush Sr., “Good King Bush’s Broccoli” to the tune of “Good King Wensaslass”. I do believe your mom could do her little dance to it (I will sing it for you sometime) Love ya!


Megan Zuniga April 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Cool! This site has just made my day! That pic is hilarious. Oh the fun games! @Jay Schryer I do the politician handshake too! I will bookmark this page and everytime I need to laugh I will reread your post! Thanks so much!


Zeenat{Positive Provocations} April 30, 2010 at 1:15 am

HEllo Joy….and HEllo Lance…..this is the silly parade alright! 😉
I love the games Joy…too silly but also too much fun. Will surely give them a try.
As for my silliness…hmm…my favorite is tickle fest anytime of the day……and sometimes in the middle of a crowd….the one on the receiving end really has the best time….. 🙂
Your bra on your head looks good 😉
Much Love to you Joy and to Lance for sharing your silliness.


Cheryl Paris April 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

Hello Joy and Lance,

I must say the post matches the picture. Great ideas to be silly and FUN as you say.

Bye for now,
.-= Cheryl Paris´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking =-.


Joy Tanksley April 30, 2010 at 8:00 am

Wow – thank you SO MUCH everyone for the warm, funny, fabulous comments. The jungle is a very nice place to spend a day! What a cool group of people!

Hmmm… Jelly Butt video? I’m thinking about it…

Lance – thanks A TON for letting me play! You are a true gem.

Keep those feet ringing!


Mama Zen April 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

What fun ideas!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Bad End =-.


Jannie Funster April 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Oh my goodness Joy cracked me up in a most pleasant way!

As soon as I post this, well at the top of the hour because Kelly’s computer time is up then, I’m going to do the olde jelly butt routine on her, then use her foot for a phone! She will CRACK UP, I’m sure!!

Ahh, what fun!!



Joy Tanksley April 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Mama Zen – Glad you liked!

Jannie – I hope Kelly is shocked and delighted by your antics!


Hilary May 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

Hi Lance and Joy .. love the idea, love the picture .. be a nut!! It’s so good to laugh at ourselves and get others to laugh with us .. I think as Jannie says .. the kids will go bananas for the thoughts & be hysterical for a few hours .. good memory days.

Have fun in NYC .. wit thoughts and laughter from across the pond .. Hilary
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Okavango Delta – the perfect place to Safari or holiday? = Yes for me! Part 2/3: John’s Story…. =-.


brandi May 1, 2010 at 9:04 am

OMG…I am SO doing the jelly belly butt game next time I’m out with a friend. Love it!
.-= brandi´s Last Fabulous Post ..seen on the street =-.


Keith Davis May 1, 2010 at 10:41 am

Hi Lance
That is seriously silly stuff!
Not sure about answering someones foot, but I might try the pants on head… when I’m on my own.

Sense of humour, being silly, call it what you will is so useful.
Helps make things enjoyable but there are people out there who don’t get being silly.
And if you have to explain it to them…. it dies in the process.
Perhaps we should call it the Mr Spock Syndrome.
It just aint logical.
.-= Keith Davis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Flying in formation =-.


Lisa (mommymystic) May 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

This is hilarious, thanks so much! You know, this really is the gift of having young kids, isn’t it, as they are always spontaneously doing things just like this.

Hope you’re having a great (and SILLY) time in NYC!! Wish I could be there..
.-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s Last Fabulous Post ..Guest Post at Evolving Beings, and Book Recommendation =-.


Tim May 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Hi Lance and Joy:

I’ll add one more silly thing…skipping. I haven’t done it since I was 10, but I imagine you might get a weird look from someone if you just started skipping down a busy street. I bet you could get a lot of weird looks down a street in New York City…hint, hint. But, I will say I do have a silly sense of humor, which I get from my dad. I tend to get a lot of puzzling looks from other people trying to figure out my weird sense of humor. Anyhow, great post on an important topic.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Deep Art Appreciation: Roger Dean =-.


Joy Tanksley May 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hillary – Glad you enjoyed it!

Brandi – Excellent! Hope your friend is mortified in the best possible way!

Keith – I totally agree. There’s no explaining silly. Enjoy your private underwear-on-the-head time!

Lisa – Kids ARE great at this. I actually don’t have children of my own, but my 8th grade students tell me I’m like a grown-up size kid!

Tim – THANK YOU for this addition! Man, I adored skipping when I was a little girl but haven’t thought of it in ages. I am going to get my skip on ASAP!


Jenn May 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm

haha, Lance, this is so funny! you have me thinking now.. can I really be that silly? I shall try! 😉
hugs my dear friend! luv Jenn


Adrenalynn May 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Absolutely fabulous post! I definitely intend to bring some silly this week! Thank you for the inspiration 🙂
.-= Adrenalynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..If we’re ever gonna see a rainbow, we have to stand a little rain (or wind) =-.


results not typical girl May 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

MizFit inspired me to come take a visit. So hi! I’m new to the blogging world. I started about a month ago ( Even with only reading this one entry, I can tell you’re a more balanced human being than I! I’m more Kathy Griffin than Joe Vitale. 🙂 Thanks for reminding me to stay connected with my inner-child. What a great Silly Sunday it’s going to be! I’m off to play…

Hugs, Kirsten


Tabitha May 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Hiya Lance!

I told my daughter about this post and since we LOVE being silly we decided to bark like dogs as we took our walk. Neighbors laughed as we past waving and barking. We ourselves laughed those gut wrenching laughs. Thank You and Joy!!
.-= Tabitha´s Last Fabulous Post ..Day 2 – Pledge of Peace =-.


Joy Tanksley May 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Jenn – I say you only need to be as silly as your heart tells you to be. If it feels forced, it’s not fun. Enjoy experimenting with your silly-meter. 🙂

Adrenalynn – Hope you have an awesomely silly week!

Kirsten – Hope you had a great play day! I love Kathy Griffin, by the way. I think she’s pretty silly. I think we all have to find our own authentic brand of silly and she’s totally found hers.

Tabitha – WOOF! RUFF! YIP YIP YIP! Oh, how awesome!


Colleen May 3, 2010 at 8:10 am

Dancing in a store is a personal favorite for being seriously silly. 🙂
.-= Colleen´s Last Fabulous Post ..16th Annual Safe Kids Saturday =-.


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now May 4, 2010 at 10:26 am

I love the phrase jellybutt. I’m going to have to try this with my wife. You are right though, my wife will get me back 2 fold. I better be prepared for the consequences.


Joy Tanksley May 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

Colleen – GOOD ONE! I agree. My hubby likes this one a lot. He embarrasses me to pieces (in a good way) in the grocery store.

Karl – It IS a great phrase. I agree! You know, being jelly-butted is actually even more fun than having a case of it yourself! 🙂


Ricardo Bueno May 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

It’s early. I’m tired. Long day ahead. Basically, I got GOOD laugh outta that picture and I appreciate it (great way to kick off the day).
.-= Ricardo Bueno´s Last Fabulous Post ..One Blog Post A Day Challenge =-.


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