I am prone to laugh out loud at something that amuses me. I’ve lost count of the times Kelly has said to me, “What’s so funny?” because I am laughing. Not chuckling, you understand, but laughing from the gut. I thought I would make a list of things that make me laugh out loud. These are in no particular order.
- Reading. I often laugh at something I read. This is especially true if it is something written by Andy Rooney or E. B. White. After calming down, I have this terrible habit of reading aloud what made me laugh to whoever is in earshot. I call this a terrible habit because I would hate anyone who inflicted such misery upon me. This is how I know Kelly has a good heart.
- Bloopers. I could spend a large chunk of my life doing nothing but watching bloopers from classic television shows on YouTube. Whenever I am feeling a bit down, I’ll watch bloopers, and come away with tears in my eyes. Not from sadness, but from laughter. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen off my chair laughing at bloopers.
- Pride before the fall. Although I should be ashamed of this, whenever one of my kids does something stupid and then falls down because of it, my first reaction is to laugh. “Don’t run around in there!” I’ll shout, “the floor is still wet.” Off the kids go, running, until the legs go out from under one of them. I am helpless with laugher at this point.
There are things that should make be laugh out loud but only make me chuckle. Here are a few:
- Most jokes people tell. I think this is because most people are lousy joke-tellers, or are excellent joke-tellers, but tell lousy jokes.
- Television sit-coms. I will mostly chuckle, with a rare laugh out loud. The bloopers are usually much funnier than the sitcom. I wonder if it has ever occurred to someone to produce a sitcom, but never air it; instead air only the outtakes.
- Stand-up routines. I chuckle at these as well. Here the jokes are better, but these days, they are cleverer than they are funny. Clever only gets a chuckle.
There is one thing that made me laugh harder than anything I’ve ever laughed at in my life, but that I will never laugh so hard at again: my grandpa’s laugh. His laugh is indescribable, capable writer though I am. I am not even going to try. But when he got going, it was a phenomenon that would reduce me to jelly. I try now and then to recall the sound of that laugh, but as time passes, it fades more and more.
There is only one joke I have ever heard that produced a similar laugh out loud reaction and reduced me to jelly. No, I’m not going to tell you the joke. Why? Because it is an excellent joke, and I am a lousy joke-teller.