Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A-Z Day 12

Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly.
L is for Laughter.

Everyone enjoys a good laugh. I can recount on one hand moments when I've been reduced to tears from laughing, and one count where I laughed so hard my stomach hurt - but it really does make you feel great afterwards.

Today, the word 'hilarious' is thrown about willy-nilly and, to mymind, has lost its true meaning. How often do we now hear about the latest 'hilarious film of the year', only to discover it raises a chuckle at best? All too often.

It is true what is said about laughter; it is the best medicine. In terms of the brain, laughter can stimulate the release of endorphins, which in term can relief some physical pain. Then there is the the boost in the production of anti-body producing cells and the enhancing of T-cells which helps to boost the immune system of the body. So laughing can, in effect, make you better, or at least help you on the way to recovery.

Have you ever had that God-awful moment of laughing in the most inappropriate of places or times? Back when I first went out with my wife I, as a self-confessed agnostic, decided to attend Sunday mass with my girlfriend (now my wife) as I was curious about the Catholic faith.
Well, it was during mass that we both had a fit of the giggles, and no matter how hard I tried I just could not stop it. I snorted like a little piggy, I went red in the face from holding my breath, I even broke out into a sweat from trying to exert physical and mental will power in preventing myself from laughing. And what was the cause? The scrape of a shoe on the polished woodblock floor as we knelt to pray that sounded (but really wasn't anything like) just like a fart. And it would be my wife who would start the laughing, and one glance from me to see her giggling away would illicit this horribly uncontrollable laughing fit.

Never had a church ceiling ever suddenly looked so interesting. I could have quite happily strangled my wife back then - this she did to me on several occasions in mass. Now I look back I can appreciate the funny side of it, but at those times part of me experienced something akin to an out-body-expereince where I recoiled in horror at my inane fit of the giggles, whilst another part of me really went with it and had a good time.

Thankfully I've never had the giggles at a funeral, nor did I have them during my marriage ceremony. I did however, as a young teen, laugh at our PE teacher and was rewarded with the dap (old school term for a soft soled gym shoe made from canvas) across the behind - three good whacks.

The bizarre thing about a real fit of the giggles is that you just never know what might spark it off, which in itself is possibly what makes it so special - given the situation. So I leave you with a compilation of babies having the giggles, and I dare you not to at least crack a smile. Enjoy.

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