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The Last Laugh

April 1, 2010

When was the last time you laughed so hard that you almost peed in your pants?

I know, that’s probably not an appropriate question, coming from a business professional. And it is most certainly off-topic from this blog’s usual subject matter of spirituality and work life. But, dear reader, I believe it is a worthwhile question for us to consider on this first day of April.

Really, when was the last time you just threw your head back and busted a gut?

I ask this because, well, the grown-up life can make us a little ornery at times. Whether it’s the crazed workload we’re facing, or the lack of a job, or those damn kids driving you crazy, or those bills piling up each month, we sure can get cranky. And if it piles up high enough and goes on for too long, we might just forget what it was like. To be a fool.

To laugh.

Have you ever laughed so hard that you couldn’t breathe? Or, at the table, you snarfed up that last gulp of milk?

Smiling is okay, but I’m talking here about falling-off-your-chair laughter.

Once, in college, I got together with a group of friends for some kind of serious prayer matter. But instead of praying, we got laughing so hard over some silly little thing that it literally went on for about ten minutes. We couldn’t stop. Maybe it was the pressure of the exams, or the relief of Spring break coming, or some new manifestation of the Holy Spirit, I can’t remember. But I do recall falling down hard on the floor from a complete and utter loss of muscular control. That was 1982.

I hope we haven’t forgotten how to laugh that hard.

When my daughters were small, there were several occasions when I got into such a laughing fit while making up little stories for them. It would all start innocently enough, like when I was trying to keep those naughties occupied while waiting in the car for my wife to finish up an errand. So I’d make up a story, using whatever props were in front of me as characters. By the time I got to the part where the gruff cell phone demanded a third fish taco from the stubborn hairbrush, I completely lost it. Tears in my eyes, gagging and gurgling, the whole bit. My girls laughed too, even though they weren’t quite sure why it was so funny. Except that daddy was cracking himself up so, so hard.

I was quite a little story teller.

Maybe your situation is dire, and you struggle to find anything funny about it. I know there are some of you who are out of work, battling chronic illnesses, demoralized and frustrated. But I bet you are still loved by someone, and maybe together you can find a reason to laugh.

I hear that laughter releases some kind of endorphin or something in the brain, just like a drug. Well, then, it pretty much is a drug, right?

We take ourselves so seriously most of the time. Everyone is so concerned about making the right impression, and meeting all of their responsibilities and expectations, and trying to get more people to notice their wonderful blog – it can all get so ridiculous. We’re just a bunch of needy people, trying to do our best, looking for a place to fit in. Some place where we can be acknowledged, and loved. And maybe that’s a place to start with each other.

So, anyway, do me a favor today and go have a good laugh. Even if it makes you feel a little foolish.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2010 8:48 am

    Ah, camel. What a daddy for your girls. What memories. You are so right about the benefits.

  2. April 1, 2010 9:43 am

    I need a good belly laugh today. Too bad my face has a frown. I better work on that one!

  3. April 1, 2010 10:07 am

    I used to teach second grade. Every time I read “Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery” to a class, I’d have that experience right in front of my class. You may think that sounds unprofessional, but the kids would take out the sequels from the library before I even finished reading the original. Everyone loves to laugh.

    • April 1, 2010 5:33 pm

      Mmmmm. Bunnicula. Sounds intriguing… How could I have missed this one when my girls were little?

      I think it’s great that you cracked up in front of the kids. They probably think you are normal now.

  4. April 1, 2010 10:09 am

    I’m so glad that laughter is a big part of my family life. With a family of nine (seven kids…yes one wife) there’s lots of opportunity for a good laugh. When I want to make God laugh…I just tell Him my plans!

    Peace,
    Jay

    • April 1, 2010 5:35 pm

      Seven? 7? You said seven kids? Holy schmokes, big guy. I don’t know where your gittin’ the time to be fooling around on a blog, but… Glad you’re here. And keeping a good sense of humor!

  5. April 1, 2010 10:41 am

    It happened to me last Friday. I’m sitting at work in an all-day meeting (on a Friday, no less), and I receive an email on my BlackBerry from my brother. I should have known better than to read it, but I went ahead and opened the message. It was a joke. It was a joke he said reminded him of me. I nearly spit the soda I was drinking out of my mouth, had to pretend I was having a coughing fit, and left the room. When I got home that evening, I told my wife the joke, and both of us were nearly on the floor laughing.

    And no, I can’t repeat it in a comment box on a blog. It involves an embarrassing moment at church. I will send you a separate email if you want to hear it.

    And I just starting laughing again, just thinking about it.

    • April 1, 2010 5:36 pm

      Let me guess. Does it involve a certain involuntary passing of wind that sometimes comes suddenly upon humans at the most inopportune moments? Yes, email it to me.

  6. April 1, 2010 11:02 am

    Today, at Katdish’s. That Peeps video.

  7. Andrew Turner permalink
    April 1, 2010 11:10 am

    Yeah.

    Yesterday at breakfast. My brother brought home a school newspaper with a comic that poked fun at my brother-in-law (who happens to teach my brother). It was perfect.

    Dunno what my bro-in-law thinks though. This comic strip is actually named after him and is a weekly feature.

    • April 1, 2010 5:41 pm

      I think “Dunno” sounds funny. It reminds me of British humour (see how I spelled humor with a British accent?), and all that. But you’re Canadian, right? Which is close.

      • Andrew Turner permalink
        April 2, 2010 11:02 am

        (To be honest): Canadians are Scot/Brit lites with a heavy dose of French; the usual part that’s ignored is the massive influence of the native culture on our personality.

  8. April 1, 2010 12:02 pm

    I went to a basketball game and listened to it on the radio as well while I was there. There was a ten second delay of the broadcast. I told my wife about the game when I got home and told her there was a ten second delay. She asked me which came first?

    • April 1, 2010 2:21 pm

      the game or the radio? Then she thought about what she had said, and we had a good laugh.

      • April 1, 2010 5:43 pm

        Ha! That actually is quite funny.
        Glad to see you laughing too, Al! (…with me, but not at me, please)

  9. April 1, 2010 12:29 pm

    Hmmm, I don’t remember exactly the last time I laughed until it hurt, but it does seem to happen quite a bit. With small children around, it’s inevitable (just like messes). They don’t even understand why what they’re saying is so funny, but man, is there a lot of joy to experience!

  10. April 1, 2010 2:45 pm

    a very good place to start.

    thanks for the good words.

  11. April 1, 2010 4:56 pm

    Last night-watching “Modern Family.”
    The character “Phil” announces that tomorrow is his birthday and he’s going to wait in line to get a new iPad. He says, “It’s like God and Steve Jobs got together and said, ‘Happy Birthday Phil.'”
    His wife replies, “What’s the big deal about this new do-hickey?”
    Phil says, “‘Do-hickey’ Ellie May?”

    • April 1, 2010 5:45 pm

      Okay, I DVR’d it (I lead Youth Group on Wednesdays. What was I thinking?) and now I am so geared up to watch tonight.

      I think that show is hilarious. Funny, my daughters discovered it first and they were like “Dad! DAD! You HAVE to watch this show!” They know my bizarre sense of humor all too well.

  12. Tony permalink
    April 1, 2010 5:31 pm

    Today. My family was on the way to the airport and we were reflecting on the demise of pay phones. We were telling our 13 year old that our parents always wanted us to have a nickel and then a dime to call home. My wife starts saying that they put the change in their Penny Loafers. Then she went on to add that for my 40th birthday she and our oldest son put a quarter in mine. This is where the fun starts… I do not recall owning a pair however as we (husbands) often do to prevent arguments, I copped to remembering that I did. I honestly thought I did and since it was not a hill to die on I went along with it. By this time we are in the drive thru at McYuks ordering breakfast and my wife is laughing so hard that she’s choking. She is saying she roped me in and how gulible I am. She’s in tears so much so that she pays for the food and drives off. Fortunately my son reminds us and we go back. The young lady in the drive thru is trying to stifle her laughter. We get our food pull over and laugh for 10 minutes.

    I thank God for laughter, this is but one of the amazing gifts He gave us, His beloved.

    Thanks for the reminder that sometimes, you just gotta laugh.

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