Some people have awful laughs. It’s not their fault. Laughter is completely subconscious, but I can’t stand people with terrible laughs. I wrote about bad laughs before in the post 10 Things I Hate Part 5, so I’ll just quote myself from there. I hate “annoying laughs. This one is completely unfair since laughter isn’t conscious. If you have an annoying laugh, there’s not much you can do about it. Still, I hate people with annoying laughs. An annoying laugh just makes me not want to say anything funny to you ever. I turn into someone without a sense of humor at all. I apologize if I’ve ever talked to you in person, and all of a sudden, I stopped being funny. I did this because your laugh is horrible. I just thought you should know.”
I’m fortunate to have a good laugh. It’s not overly loud or jarring. I don’t snort or cackle. It’s not a giggle or a guffaw. My laugh comes in a fairly standard configuration and it’s completely genuine. It rears its head a lot since I pride myself on finding humor in most things. Humor is what makes this world bearable for me. If I couldn’t laugh at myself and the preposterous predicaments I find myself in, I don’t think life would be worth living.
I laugh at my own failings, particularly if they involve pratfalls. Once, at work, I tripped over a hand truck and did a graceful 180 before I fell flat on my ass with my left leg up in the air, tangled in a mess of metal. I stayed in that position for a good minute or two because I was laughing too hard to get up. I wish someone had captured it on video.
My laugh compliments my sense of humor. It’s shiny and sleek. My sense of humor regularly flies below radar. Sometimes, I’ll say something witty and it takes a little while for it to sink in. People won’t actually get it until a minute later. My sense of humor is fast and ironic and wry. It is full of absurdity. It translates the senselessness of this world into a joke in two seconds flat.
I surround myself with people who cajole my laughter out of its comfortable, little cave. They bait it with funny like the mechanical rabbit circling a dog racetrack. In a social setting, if you don’t make me laugh within the first couple of hours of knowing you, odds are pretty good that I won’t continue the conversation. A sense of humor is a must. The one exception is my cat. He has no sense of humor at all, but he does a lot of stupid things that make me laugh, so it’s a fair trade-off.
All of my closest friends are quick-witted. They recognize the absurdity of life and turn it into funny – quickly, succinctly, sarcastically. I have a friend who can come up with the best tagline for something, anything, in no time at all. Some of his phrases are so infinitely quotable that people have posted them on Facebook right then and there. He should really be in marketing or advertising. Those are the type of people with whom I surround myself and each one of them has their own unique brand of humor. Some of them have a sense of humor like mine where, if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it altogether or it takes a minute for it to sink in. I always listen very closely to those people.
I love when they are all together. We used to have a weekly poker night that was less about poker, and more about laughing until you can’t catch your breath and you’re crying. Deep belly laughs make the world go ’round. Well, they make my world go around anyway. If there’s one thing I never want to give up, it’s laughing until I cry. If I ever lost that, I’d eat a bullet right then and there.
Even laughter itself can be funny. One of my friends has an infectious laugh. He will start laughing about something and not be able to stop. He does this waving motion with his hand when he’s laughing so hard he’s crying that looks much like the gesture you’d make when you put food in your mouth that’s too hot to eat. This six-foot tall tough guy turns into a southern belle on a plantation gesticulating with an imaginary fan. His laughter makes me laugh, which in turn, makes him laugh that much harder. Hours later, when he’s calmed himself back down to normal, you can mention whatever was funny in the first place and it will start all over again.
Sometimes, I don’t hear my own laugh enough. Sometimes, it’s gone for weeks on end, but it always comes back. My own laughter is the best sound. It means that I’m shaking off the hardships of this world, if only for a brief second. It means that this life is indeed worth living at least in that moment.