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May 18, 2010


Laugh Inappropriately (You Jackass)

Sometimes you just can’t help it. You know it’d be wrong to laugh. This a serious situation, damnit! But the more you think about trying not to laugh, the harder it becomes to resist.

It happens to all of us, and I love it. Most of the time. And since everyone enjoys a good list, I present to you the top five most inappropriate situations to laugh in. In no particular order.

Laugh Hard1. During a movie. Better yet, a serious movie.

You’re in a movie theatre, and half the audience is getting teary-eyed. But for some reason, you just can’t help but laugh. Dudehead laughed during Schindler’s List. And it happens to me all the time. Maybe I just like the weird looks I get from people sitting around me when it happens.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a sad movie. Have you ever been to a movie that had funny parts, which made everyone else laugh, but you seemed to laugh at all the other parts? You’re the only idiot sitting in the theatre, laughing when the dude gets fired from his job, or when his dog dies.

2. During an important phone call with a client.

You’re in an important phone call. You know you shouldn’t be browsing Fail Blog while you’re talking to that client, but you’re doing it anyway. Or something funny just pops into your head. A good memory of the time you threw your friend over a fence into an unsuspecting gardener’s yard in grade school.

Yesterday at work, Turkish was talking to a client. I was cleaning up some garbage from breakfast, and he threw his garbage to me to put into a bag. Apparently, I temporarily forgot how to catch things, because the garbage hit me in the face, and we started laughing. I’m not sure what the client thought, but Turkish was laughing so hard, he had to hang up the phone.

3. During a public speaking event/conference.

A couple of years ago, I attended a VMWare conference in Toronto with a colleague. During one of the talks, I looked over to see him scratching some paint off his jeans. He turned to me and, in his best Russell Peters impression, said, “Just got some paaaaaaint.” I started to crack up. I’m not good at holding in my laughter.

I could feel my face turning three shades of red. Maybe seven. I started to shake with laughter-induced convulsions. My colleague, who had started to laugh at me at this point, was now wheezing like a chain smoker from trying to hold it in. The more he laughed, the more I laughed. People around us started to get visibly annoyed. By the time we had finally calmed down, more than half of the people sitting around us had left and our section looked empty!

4. The big one – during funerals!

The scene: My grandmother’s memorial service. The audience is asked to read a quoted scripture from their Bibles. Turkish opens his, turns to the page requested, and finds a little piece of paper hidden in the book. On it, a short message: “Hola senor Turkish! *smiley face*” He starts to crack up. He shows it to Dom, who’s sitting beside him. Dom starts to crack up.

Laughter is highly infectious. Especially Dom’s laugh. Kudos to them both for the effort they put into hiding it, but I could hear them both from the front. I sat there and smiled, vaguely recalling hiding that little note in his book months prior. Turkish still feels embarrassed to this day, but I continue to assure him that we (the family) were all happy about the incident – my grandmother was a jovial woman, and probably would have pulled the prank herself, if she was able to. She would have been glad that it happened at her funeral.

That said, not everyone has as good a sense of humour as my family, so I don’t officially condone this behaviour. 😉

5. At the expense of others’ pain/injury.

We all laugh at those fail videos. Don’t even try to tell me this isn’t funny:

A guy gets wholloped in the jacobs by a child (been there). Boyo walks into a metal pole (seen it). Girl gets poked in the eye by her boyfriend. In those precious few moments before it hits us that they may actually need help, we laugh. Who knows why, but if it isn’t serious, then why not?

It’s truly a sad existence that someone lives if they can’t laugh at themselves. I do it all the time. It keeps me sane. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me humble. So next time you feel the urge to run away embarrassed, try just laughing at yourself, instead. Out loud. It helps. And it shows people that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

I’m really enjoying hearing some of your inappropriate laughter stories. Stick yours in a comment and join us all while we laugh at you, too!

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 19 2010

    I’m OFTEN the only person laughing at the movies. And I don’t chuckle quietly, I do the head thrown back HA HA HA guffaw.

    • May 21 2010

      I think that’s GREAT. After all, if you’re going to laugh, you might as well make it really good!

  2. May 19 2010

    Very good stuff here.

  3. Liz
    May 18 2010

    Laughing at serious movies, I totally do that. Last time was when the main character’s husband died. I suddenly smelled dirty feet. I blamed my friend, but it wasn’t her. The lady sitting behind me put her nasty foot on my armrest. We tried to disguise our out of control giggling as sobs to fit in with the tone of the theater.

    • May 18 2010

      That is so nasty! Reminds me of a time in a theatre when a guy sitting behind us was wearing SO MUCH cologne, that I had to practically bury my face in my fries to mask the smell.

  4. May 18 2010

    I’ve been known to go around making others laugh at family funerals. Defense mechanism, I guess.

    My favorite, though, is visibly trying hard not to crack up at big corporation “Harassment at the Workplace” videos. From the acting to the contrived situations right down to the thoughts of “oh, shit, that would totally be me, if unintentionally” … it’s just too much and I start chuckling. 🙂

    Besides, those are more like training videos: “How Best to Harass at the Workplace”

    • May 18 2010

      Haha! I know what you mean, Josh. I can remember sitting through some of those at the last “big corporation” I worked for. So much fromage, you just can’t help but laugh.


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