Because my writing focus needs to be on NaNoWriMo (I am SO behind!!!), I am republishing posts that I especially liked. This is from May 17, 2011.

I have a loud laugh. It’s rather distinctive. I’ve tried to help it, tried to quell it a bit, but it only results in my face turning strange colors and horrible noises squeaking or spurting out from my hands over my mouth. Not pretty.

The stage just beyond the bellowing laugh is what we refer to as “breaking.” That’s that laugh that explodes and then, well, just won’t go away. You know the kind? Laughing until you can’t breathe, until tears are rolling, until your voice comes out so high only the dogs can hear you? Yeah….that laugh. My kids LOVE that laugh. As they got older and I got too tired to notice their devious plots, they would keep me up, getting me as tired as they could, then put on the dumbest movie or show they could find — the more slap-stick humor, the better. And – sure enough! – Mama would break. When I came up for air, I’d see them just staring at me, their faces lit up, one of them with a thumb on the pause button on the remote. For them, I was the show.

That’s fine if it happens at home, but when I’m out in public, like in a movie….. Oh my. I was on a very uncomfortable date once as a teenager. We had dated before, then broke up, and this was our “shall we or shall we not?” date — a test, if you will. We were watching a particularly bad Mel Brooks movie (don’t judge me), when one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen happened, quite by surprise. I was dissolved into my typical raucous laughter, and came up for air in time to notice two things: everyone else had stopped laughing already, and I had moved into “breaking,” from which there is no return.

Oh the agony! My date kept looking over at me. People around me were beginning to shoot glances. I tried to stop. I closed my mouth and denied the laugh impulse. That’s when that deep snorting thing – from the throat – happened. It just HAS to explode out which involved a sort of raspberry noise and some spittle, I’m afraid. My date let go of my hand.

So I kept my mouth open. I mean, it’s dark – who’s going to notice? No one until some weird squeaky thing happened in the back of my throat, magnified by my open mouth. My date removed his hand from the armrest.

So I reached up, massaging my cheeks, telling myself over and over not to picture the scene, don’t picture the scene, don’t picture…… The Scene!!! There I went again. There was whimpering, deep breathing, a flow of tears…. Sounds more like a horror movie! By the time I could catch my breath without exploding, my date was scooched in his seat as far away from me as possible, and was leaning over the far armrest, putting maximum distance between us.  It’s a wonder he didn’t crack a rib.  

We never went out again.

I have thought of him on occasion.  But I’ve thought of that scene a LOT and it’s still good for a smile, sometimes a giggle, and sometimes a guffaw…. Depends on how tired I am.  LOL!!

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4 thoughts on “Laugh and the World Looks at You Funny

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