Saturday, June 09, 2007

You Had to Be There

I had a moment of hysterical laughter last week, when Mom and I went to see my sister in St. Louis. I'm sure it was partly due to stress and exhaustion, but I couldn't get a grip on my laughter.

At day's end, Mom and I went 4 flights down the elevator, across a walk-way, down an escalator, and down another escalator into the parking garage. As we got back to our car, Mom said "I think I should pee before we leave."

Ok. Back up the escalators, across the walk way, into the main lobby, whereupon mom missed the last step in a small stairway. I turned to see her stumble along, grasp the rail, and recover her footing, without falling. I grabbed her arm, and said "are you all right?!!" "Yes," she said, very seriously.

And then, "I have to carry my purse in front of me now though, because that made me pee a little."

It was her matter-of-fact tone that did me in; I started laughing, and I could not stop. I laughed all the way down the hall, sent Mom into ladies room, stood outside laughing, and was still laughing when Mom re-emerged. She began laughing, then, too, and while we were buckled over, trying to catch our breath, she said "What are we laughing about?"


Several years ago, my friend Shy Smiley and I walked from downtown to Kamakura restaurant, after sharing a few beverages at the Esquire. When we got to the parking lot, SS ran into some friends she knew, who in turn, introduced her to someone else. There was a bit of confusion over his name though, one of those "you can call me John, or Jack, but not Johnathon" scenes. SS popped off, "but just don't call me late for dinner, eh?"

Why that undid me, I will never know. I'd never heard anyone say that before, and I thought she'd taken leave of her senses. Turned out it was me who'd lost my mind. I exploded with laughter on the spot, and once again, couldn't stop. Smiley accompanied me on into the restaurant, and then ushered me into the foyer, where we laughed off every bit of mascara we had on, before composing ourselves for dinner.


I know you're all sitting there with a blank stare on your face. But I also know you've had your own "had to be there" moments.

And I want to hear them. Tell me, about your funeral giggles, your inappropriate laughter, your complete hysteria.

I'm sure I'll think it's funny.

Or, I'll think you're nuts.


  1. That would be the time when my husband and I were playing a board game with another couple. It was one where you were given a word and then had to make up a believable definition of that word. The real definition is then added into the pile and you read them all off and get votes from all the players to see what they think is the real one. The word was "hopo". I do not even remember what it really means now. Anyway, someone made up the definition that it is when you pee just a little bit in your pants. Not all the way. Yeah, as I sit there laughing hysterical, 9 mos pregnant with my third child...needless to say.."I hopoed".

  2. LOL. (And Frugalmom,I can relate!)

    When my grandmother was alive, she belonged to a fancy country club. Mostly, it was because she played bridge there. And having been widowed at a very young age, it was nice to have a built in social circle. But anyway....

    She used to take us there for dinner. One night, my sister and I went to the ladies' room. I stood up on the toilet to peak over the top of the stall where she was sitting to make her laugh. You know, we were eating with a bunch of old people and needed some fun in our lives, right?

    So I peaked over & it wasn't my sister. It was an old lady. I burst out laughing so loud and slipped and fell off the toilet. I could NOT contain myself. My sister came in my stall where we laughed until we cried and waited for the woman to leave.

    Still unable to catch our breath, we went back to the table. Only to realize that woman was at the next table.

    That was a long meal. :)

  3. One week at church, after the kiddies had gone into their Sunday School, we grown-ups settled in for the grown-up stuff. There was that pause of complete silence after the shuffle of a dozen kids are gone. The music has stopped and we wait for the minister to start.

    Someone farted. Loud.

    My husband and I got the giggles. We were able to contain the volume of our laughter, but we silently giggled, under our breath, for 20 minutes (or more?). The tears were streaming down our faces. I'll use your term of laughing all my mascara off. My tummy was hurting.

    The one thing that still bugs me is that we were the ONLY ones laughing. Aaaah, to me mature.

  4. Gosh Lori, I started typing mine and it got so long and I got to laughing thinking about it I decided I will make it a post. I'll work on it for next week =)

    Thanks for nudging the funny bone memory!

  5. I can't think of anything at the precise moment (though when I was younger, my favorite cousin and I would laugh hysterically over anything---it didn't matter if it was funny or not, we'd find a way for it to be worth gut-splitting laughs. Oh, there's nothing like laughing that way!!), but I have to say that I'm laughing hysterically over your first story. "What are we laughing about"!!! I can picture the whole scene. Hilarious. Guess I'm in the mood for that story.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I cracked up big time with your "what are we laughing about?"

    I can't think of anything really funny at the moment.

    I can share something that my sister and I thought was funny, though I don't know if anyone else would.

    During tax season, my dad would work long hours. We attended church fairly regularly and he would fall asleep in church. My sister and I would just look at each other (sometimes we didn't even need a reason-we'd just giggle just by looking at each other.)

    My dad would start snoring in church and we'd hear that catch in his breath as he woke up and start giggling some more.

    Sometimes we'd giggle because one of us was trying hard not to giggle and it'd come out in one big rasberry-like noise-with the mouth tightly closed.

  8. Funerals get me every time. I've never been to a funeral where I didn't burst out in giggles during the service. Even my dad's...

    Luckily, I can just bury my face, and with the shaking shoulders thing people think i'm sobbing uncontrolably.

    It's utterly pathetic.

  9. Ok. I'll share two...

    The first one was last week, I was driving around with True (he was driving) and at a light someone honked the horned really loud at us...True immediately snapped: "Don't honk your horn, that hurts".

    sound corny, but the sad whiney way he said it had me crying with when there is utter silence, we look at each other and sing: don't honk your horn cuz it hurts...and everyone looks at us with blank stares.

    The 2nd: my grandma's funeral. There was a kid in front of her casket, he looked at me and proceeded to make a gesture like he was cutting his throat, like saying : Old lady croaked.

    I looked at him and demanded he stop that right that minute. He didn't say a word and proceeded to 'gut' his throat with his hand...

    I ran to my mom: who is that kid? and why is he doing that!!!! I want to know who is mom is so I can scold him..!!

    My mom looked at me and whispered in my ear: That is your cousin's son..and he is deaf/mute. That is why he makes that gesture!

    I was embarrassed but at the same time me and my mom couldn't stop this day we 'cut' our throats and giggle histerically...due to my ignorance..

  10. bettycat1:58 PM

    Well, since you mentioned funeral....just after my 84-yr-old grandma died I was at the funeral home with my dad and my teenage daughter while Dad attended to some of the arrangements. Jody and I went up to the casket in the very, very quiet chapel room. Now, back when I was a little girl, I completely believed that, once dead and in a casket, a persons' feet and legs would curl right up like the Wicked Witch's did in the Wizard of Oz. I mean I really believed that. As I grew older I managed to dispel the notion, but it has ALWAYS crept into my mind. So I decided to look. I lifted the drape at the waist area and had a peek. Grandma's size 11AA bare feet were both pointing to two o'clock. I let out a very loud pppffffftttt!!, dropped the drape, and whacked Grandma's neatly folded hands as I jumped back. "Oops, sorry!", I said to her. Jody and I looked at each other and began to laugh. Hard. I'm pretty sure Grandma was laughing too. By now we were hanging off the edge of the casket, doubled over, tears rolling down our faces. I looked to the back of the room to see my dad and the funeral director just smiling and shaking their heads.

    Some years later, and this may seem really inappropriate, but at the time it was hysterically funny...when my dear brother lay dying and in a coma with hundreds of tiny tumors in his brain...and Futurama came on in his room and it was about a planet that was a brain, and....oh, never mind. You pretty much had to be there. We were howling. We laughed at his feet too, because they looked a lot like Grandma's.

    Thanks for letting me share this - I'll smiling at both of them for the rest of the day!!

  11. You guys are all cracking me up. Frugalmom, Hopo seems a good word for my mother's story too.

    Wendy: I'm still laughing at this; I'll never forget it!

    Nancy: Farts are always funny, I can't believe you two were the only one's giggling.

    Nancy2: I'll keep looking for yours!

    JayAre: My mother is funny as heck. It's been a long time since I laughed so hard I couldn't catch my breath.

    Shari: I know that sound; good at funerals.

    Jazz: My sister and I have done that sobbing act at many a funeral.

    MaryP: Both stories too funny. I'm glad you didn't smack that kid.

    Bettycat: Oh, you reminded me of another. Upon ordering my father's casket flowers, my mother pulled out his wallet, began pulling money out to pay for the arrangement. I was mortified, and hissed "Mo-THER, Dad is not paying for his own casket spray!!!" She put the money away, and we sat giggling our heads off--as she wrote a check. He had to be laughing also.

  12. I have a tremendous range of humor-I can enjoy or particpate at almost any level. About twice a year, something will hit me funny in an abnormal way, and I lose it! Most people do not understand why something can hit you funny, when no one else is reacting like you going "over the wall"! Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after one of these laughing fits?

  13. BuffaloDD: Yah, they can be quite "cleansing."

  14.'s a long story...suffice it to say that in the right group of friends singing the words "kill the ki-weeee, kill the ki-weeee" to the tune of Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyrie' still sets us off.

    We had to leave the restaurant we were laughing so hard.

    Yeah...pretty sure you had to be there. :)

  15. At my best friend's wedding her sister, my fellow bridesmaid, swore up and down she wasn't going to cry. She refused to take any kleenex down the aisle with her. So about halfway through the ceremony I start to hear sniffles and soon I'm seeing tears. She's pantomiming madly, "Do you have a kleenex" and I'm shrugging, because I totally don't. Without skipping a beat she bends her head down and blows her nose into her bouquet. I damn near died. I was so happy we were all facing forward, but I've always wondered what the audience thought of the entire wedding parties shoulders going up and down in unison as we tried not to bust out laughing. Thank heavens she wasn't throwing that bouquet!


Back talk! Comment here!