Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Laugh

laugh - verb
1. to express mirth, pleasure, derision, or nervousness with an audible, vocal expulsion of air from the lungs that can range from a loud burst of sound to a series of quiet chuckles and is usually accompanied by characteristic facial and bodily movements.
2.to experience the emotion so expressed

One of my closest friends said this to me today: I wish I found things as funny as you do.
For some reason it felt like a huge compliment, although I suspect it was more a statement tumbling over the edge of annoyance. I laugh a lot.

It fits very well with the theme of this week, which seems to be people talking about my laughter or me being painfully aware of my own laughter. Example time.

1. People who in mental age fluctuate between 5 and 80 should probably not study Children's Literature

Last week I was catching up on my reading. I was in the LRC (Pretty much exactly the same thing as a school library, but when they call it the Learning Resource Center, they get to pile in a whole bunch of computers, a cafe and some study areas, make it look fancy and then brag about it in their brochure). I want to point out right away: I was not in the silent study area. Even so, I tried so hard to laugh quietly and not burst out in manic giggling that I nearly chocked.

So much laughter got caught between my lips and the back of my throat, that I couldn't breathe or swallow. If I had opened my mouth a large and inappropriate sound would inevitably escape, making every person in the library turn around to witness the giggling that would follow. That didn't feel like the best option to me. I considered using my book as a shield to hide my face, but when I lifted it up in front of me, I saw the sentence that got me in trouble in the first place, and a horrific, high pitched humming began deep down in my throat. Desperately I tried to get rid of some extra air by breathing out through my nose, which did absolutely nothing but make me sound like I was practicing yoga breath. By then I was already getting dizzy, shaking with laughter, tears running and my cheeks bulging like a hamster trying to save a winter's worth of laughter in its mouth. Ungraciously, I lost the battle. Ever wondered what it sounds like when a hippo has been holding its breath for a very long time and then gasps? I don't anymore.

2. I should probably not play Mikado with Santa, if there are other people near.

Last week I played Mikado with Santa, and I was winning. I always win. Except this once, when I let him win, because he was being a sore looser and I figured it wasn't worth the money if we would only play 6 games before he lost interest, so it would be an investment to let him win for once. (Or maybe my hands were shaking, I can't really remember). It was his turn, and as he skilfully edged the Mikado (highest scoring stick) out of the stack, I could feel my victory slip. Oh well, I thought graciously, I'll win the next one. But as the Mikado was clear of the heap, Santa got cocky, waved the stick in my face, lost his grip and dropped it. It hit the heap, causing havoc, giving me loads of free points and happiness. I laughed in the appropriate fashion: Loud, Wild Eyed, Evil.

Every syllable of that laugh drove home the hurt and confusion over the lost Mikado. Which was now mine. For free. Because it landed way off the side of the other sticks. It was a brief laughter, two seconds or so, but it was enough to celebrate the moral and actual victory that passed to me in that stupid, foolish move.

However, I forgot that there was an extra person in the kitchen. A normal one. One who doesn't understand the pleasures of beating Santa in Mikado. He stared for a second, composed himself and said: That was... quite a cackle.

I answered: Yes I'm a witch.
Santa shrugged (he's used to my evil laughter by now).
But in the tension that followed we both knew this had been a horrible error in judgement. Too much personality on show. And the smugness in Santa's face said it all: I might have won the game, but I had lost the sanity card. I still haven't gotten it back.

Amendment to 2.: Santa is a nickname for an actual person I know. He's not an imaginary friend, and it's not the real Santa. I wish it was. The real Santa has probably got no time to practice Mikado, and he doesn't seem like a guy with very steady hands. But I already win every time, so it doesn't really matter, but he could give me sleigh rides, which would be good too.

3. People who have never had a blueberry should never admit to it. It can get you stabbed in the feet.

Santa's never had a blueberry. Ever. Not in pie, not in cake, not in pancakes, desserts, nothing. Having grown up in Norway, next to a forest, going to a kindergarten with a tiny forest, and having a idealistic mum who every autumn would fill the freezer with jam (because if one should ever need jam, it would be a shame to have to buy it) blueberries has been such a common occurrence in my life that the very idea of someone never having had one...

Santa told me while leaving the LRC months ago (and I'm still laughing). It took way too long before I realized he wasn't joking. I was laughing so hard my voice just came out as a shriek as I kept asking follow up questions:

Me: III II IIIIIH IIIH IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH???? (Have you never had a bluberry muffin?)
Santa: No.
Me: HH HHH HHH (Ha ha ha)
Santa: Why is this so funny?
Me: II! II! II IIIH HII IIIIIIIIIIIIH IIIH IIIIH-IIH? (Have you never had blueberries on pancakes?)
Santa: NO! I've never had a blueberry!! Oh, will you get up??!

By that point I was laughing so hard I had to crouch down and put my head between my legs because I was scared I would faint, die or scare people. I looked deranged with mascara smudged around my face, bent double, gasping for air while squeaking questions, sitting down seemed like a safer option.

But he wouldn't let it go! He kept yelling: WHY IS IT FUNNY THAT I NEVER HAD A BLUEBERRY?
It was downright dangerous. He could have killed me.

We spent a good 45 minutes (I was very dizzy so my sense of time and distance might be a bit off) on the walk back to the flats, which normally takes around 3 minutes. By the time we got there my face was blue, and I said it was from all the blueberries, but Santa wasn't amused, and all the way up the elevator I was trying to compose my self and failing miserably. When we got in to the apartment one of Santa's flatmates wanted to know what was funny, and I nearly screamed in her face: Santa's never had a blueberry!
I then resumed laughing so hard I had to support myself against a wall, but she didn't understand why it was so funny, and she looked like she wanted to stab me in my feet, and I got scared and stopped laughing.

Twice I could have died. Over blueberries.

I have been accused of laughing too much, but I now know it's just jealousy.

4.  People should wish they found things as funny as I do.



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