The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh November 30, 2012

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

I’m sorry. That’s probably not an appropriate question coming from a business professional, and all. And it is most certainly off-topic from this blog’s usual content of spirituality and work life. But, dear reader, I believe it is a worthwhile question to consider.

So, 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 those damn kids, or the 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 let it all go.

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.

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?

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 some of you 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.

We take ourselves so seriously. Everyone is so concerned about making the right impression, meeting all of their responsibilities and expectations, trying to get people to notice their wonderful masterpiece, and well, 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 with a friend. Even if it makes you feel a little foolish.

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  • Laughter–one of my love languages!

  • What did Batman say to Robin before they got in the car?

    “Get in the car.”

  • My friend was telling me a story the other day about when he and his friend accidentally had a campfire that got out of control. His friend jumped into a car, took off driving for a few miles, ran into a WalMart and started screaming “Where are the fire extinguishers?!?!” (Meanwhile, my friend had managed to take care of the fire.)

    For some reason the sheer silliness (and, to be honest, stupidity) of someone driving a few miles to buy a fire extinguisher made me laugh so hard. I couldn’t stop. My sides hurt.

  • I do feel a certain heaviness these days. The post election rancor, the world news, the financial follies. It’s all so…dreary.

    So, I’m calling up a friend — one who I know is up for a good laugh. We’re having coffee tomorrow.

  • It’s how I am beating cancer. The person who said that laughter is the best medicine was a genius!

  • I have to admit…I am laughing right now as I catch up on your posts.

    Seriously, hubs and spend time laughing in the evening, and morning, and weekends; it is a surprise we get any work done as we crack each other up. Ahhh, it beats banging your head against a wall. And we have all done that enough…

    I love the Batman reference!

    E A Stelling

  • I remember babysitting and overhearing my 7-year-old charge leave a long voicemail message for her father about the kind of violin she wanted and laughing so hard that tears were coming out of my eyes. Her 10-year-old sister thought I’d lost my marbles.

    The same 7-year-old once told me that spring water was dirty because fish pee in it. Imagine a young girl with a slight South Indian accent doing W.C. Fields. Yeah. I almost ended up with coffee in my sinuses.

    Love your blog.