By LARRY WOODY
A team of social researchers, after years of study, recently issued a report that says it's OK to cry.
The team reached its conclusion when its big fat federal research grant was canceled.
I've always thought it was OK to cry under certain circumstances:
Your rich Aunt Mildred bequeathed your share of her inheritance to her faithful cat Stinky.
The biggest bass you ever hooked broke your line when numb-skull fishing buddy Virgil tripped over the landing net, fell out of the boat and you never saw him again (the bass, dangit, not Virgil.)
Your favorite football team fumbled on the goal line just as it was about to drive in and cover the point spread and now you're hiding out from your bookie.
Or let's say you've lost a loved one or a golf ball. You're forced to drop another one (golf ball, I mean) and take a one-stroke penalty that keeps you from shooting your first round in double figures.
And you can't play another round, because you're already late for Aunt Mildred's funeral.
It's understandable why things like that would make Charles Bronson blubber like a baby.
Nevertheless, however, it seems to me nowadays we're overdoing it the water-works.
For example, I saw a TV news anchor tear up awhile back when he was reporting on the demise of Cecil the Lion. Not long afterwards, Cecil's cousin Clyde got some payback by ambushing a safari guide and using him as a chew-toy.
I immediately turned over the weepy anchorman's channel to see if he was shedding any tears for the guide. Nope. He was dry-eyed and reporting on a fascinating story about a pig with a prosthetic leg.
It was a classic case of a reporter reading between the lions.
There are two main types of crying: emotional weeping (like when someone whacks Cecil) and painful weeping (like when Cecil whacks you.)
Crying from pain is nature's way of calling attention to a, well, painful situation. It has been around since the dawn of man. Let's say that cave-dudes Org and Gork are stalking a giant hairy mammoth when Org suddenly sneezes. The enraged beast grabs Gork in its trunk and tries to pulverize him into Gork-burger while Org high-tails it.
Gork miraculously survives, and a few weeks later after he gets out of the hospital he looks up his former hunting buddy. Let's just say it was a tearful reunion.
Sometime we're so amused that we cry tears of laughter. Hearing a politician promise not to raise taxes is one example.
Or tears of joy: Stinky the cat eloped on a garbage truck and you're back in Aunt Mildred's will.
In the old days there were professional criers -- ladies who were paid to show up at wakes dressed in mourning clothes and wailing over old what's-his-name. Nowadays we still have professional criers. They are known as NBA basketball players.
I don't have an issue with the tissue as long as the boo-hooing is warranted -- like, for example, when Ol Yeller died, or when the repo man hauls away your bass boat.
But a lot of folks in this touchy-feeling society unplug their tear ducts at the drop of a hanky. Sometimes you want to yell, "Oh, for crying out loud, stop crying!"
I probably shouldn't bring up the subject of weeping to my fishing buddy, who's going through a tearful time right now.
His wife ran off with his best friend and he sure does miss him now.