I have a terrible problem. For whatever reason, I often laugh at inappropriate times. It doesn’t matter if someone is hurt or angry; if I find any part of it funny, the laughter escapes and I instantly look like a jerk. And the harder I try to stop, the more difficult it becomes to control.
My mother still gives me a hard time about an incident that occurred more than 15 years ago.
I lived at home while I attended college. My parents’ home sits on about 4 acres. I frequently took responsibility for mowing on the John Deere lawn tractor. I enjoyed it as it was usually the only 3 hours a week of solitude I had between my studies and the three to four part-time jobs I was always juggling. One late spring, I was studying for finals and didn’t have time to mow. I can’t remember why, but my dad wasn’t able to do it either, yet we were all home when Mom decided she would take on the task.
She started out fine out in the open, but when it came time to maneuver between a small tree and a large wooden trellis, she over-corrected, panicked and slammed on the gas thinking it was the break. She rammed the tractor straight into the side of the brick house. We instantly rushed to her. My dad was cool, calm, and collected. He put one hand on her shoulder and talked to her while using the other hand to turn off the ignition. My mom, obviously in pain, contorted her face and grabbed her swelling knee. It was turning purple and blue. I freaked out. I was instantly worried about her, but then the giggles started in. In my mind, I couldn’t get the image of her slamming on the gas, powering into the middle of the frickin’ house, inertia taking over and catapulting her into the body of the mower. It was awful! I was being insensitive. I felt awful for laughing, but I assure you I could not stop. I had to go into the house to try to regain my composure. I didn’t really succeed. I brought her an ice pack but was laughing as I helped her put it on her knee. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m so sorry.” I didn’t look sorry.
To this day, if someone tells me a story or comes to me upset about something, if there is any element of physical comedy to envision, I am a gonner. I’m aware of the problem, but I cannot seem to overcome it.
This post is in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Giggle.