What’s So Funny?

I have recently found myself laughing in public far more often than I have before. By this I don’t mean laughing in public when someone you’re with says or does something funny (fantastically normal and not requiring a blog post); I mean laughing in public when you’re on your own surrounded by very confused members of the public. This can be triggered by a variety of stimuli – perhaps you’re reading an amusing book or listening to a funny play. For me the most common recent cause of this has been reliving funny memories from my past; usually involving the shenanigans of my friends.

A couple of weeks ago I was sat working in the office of a marketing agency when suddenly I began to snigger. I let my mind have a break from the article I was working on, and the place my mind chose to take this break was a memory from four years before. After finishing our first year of university my friends and I got home from a celebratory night out and realised what a wonderful idea it would be to bring the living room of one of our flats to the outside world. It was summer, after all, and a particularly starry night in Birmingham. With the sky being so starry (and our brains being so enhanced by vodka) we racked our brains for a method of looking up at the skies above without craning our necks. The best idea offered was to simply lie the sofa on its back – so we ourselves could lie on the floor and still enjoy the comfort of furniture.

All sounds great, does it not? One of us took the plunge and enthusiastically lay on our rotated sofa design, albeit a bit too enthusiastically and with a little too much momentum. The result of this was that my friend simply rolled off the back of the modified sofa and all desire to gaze in awe at the skies above faded as we laughed at the whole bonkers spectacle. Perhaps one of those stories that doesn’t work so well when written down, but back to the matter in question.

Flash forward four years and I’m sat in the office giggling to myself at the memory of this episode. Trying to hold the laughter in was no good – laughter works like pressure and has to be released sooner or later, whether as a long steady stream or one explosive roar. This occasion saw me remove myself to a safe location before releasing the locked up laughter in the explosive way.

I always enjoy it when a someone catches me trying to hold in laughter. It means that I no longer have to worry about holding it in, and can share with them the memory that is causing it. Even if they don’t find the cause of the laughter as funny as you do, laughter is completely contagious so one way or another your spontaneous public laughing fit will brighten up their day. While this is harder to do in situations where you are surrounded by unfamiliar faces (train travel for example) I love the idea of being able to bring a bit of the best medicine to someone’s life. Here’s hoping that I don’t have a creepy laugh.

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