Columns

2014.02.12 May the laughter be with you

on . Posted in Midnight Musings

I laughed a lot this weekend. Most of it was due to the raucously funny video I happened upon when zipping through Facebook on Sunday.

How funny? So funny that I called David to come watch it and sat with him while it played again. I laughed just as hard the second time around. He laughed too...absolute proof that it's funny. 

The video was a snippet of a sweet, very-in-love couple’s wedding vows. The minister was in repeat-after-me mode, guiding the groom to say his vows.

“I, Andrew Paul Daniel Engstrom, do take Melissa Renee Warren to be my lawfully wedded wife.”

When Andrew gets to the “lawfully” part, he stumbles and says “waffle-y.” His bride starts laughing, so, all decorum lost, he adds “and pancake-y” which makes her double over in laughter. Then he turns to the minister and says, “I’ve been scared of this all my life,” which sends her into new and louder gales of laughter, belted out with no inhibition.

The bride was clearly living in the moment, embracing the hilarity of the situation. It was such a beautiful, authentic, joyful reaction to his gaffe which kept me smiling the rest of the day—and because of it—into the night.

Later that evening I was heading to the couch, intent on finishing “The Butterfly Mosque,” but Rosie sent a text about dancing in the living room.

“[Did] you guys dance around the living room to the Beatles Birthday song? Hope you’re watching this special.”

When the kids were younger and their birthday landed on a school day, David used to play “Birthday” by the Beatles in the morning before they left for school. He’d crank it up loud and we’d all dance around the living room to the rowdy celebratory song as Paul practically yells,

“They say it’s your birthday

We’re gonna have a good time”

I am not a morning person, but that was always a good way to wake up.

I was really sorry to miss "The Beatles: The Night that Changed America—A GRAMMY Salute." It’s a problem for me; I don’t usually think about watching TV. We watch movies and a few shows on Netflix via our Roku, but watching regular TV is a process that requires great patience and noggin scratching without a child around to decipher which remote is the right one and which way to press what to get the TV off of static and into reception. It means I miss things I’d really like to watch such as the opening of the Olympics Games and that stunning little 15-year-old Russian ice skater.

So by the time I took Rosie’s advice and tuned in to the Beatles special, all that was left was Ringo singing “With a Little Help from My Friends” and then Paul serenading the audience with “Hey Jude.”

I missed Ringo singing “Yellow Submarine,” but got to watch a lovely little video clip Rosie sent of Caroline singing along with Ringo, complete with her mimicking Ringo’s hand motions.

But during the painfully slow process of clicking from channel to channel trying to find the Beatles special, I fiddled with Facebook on my phone and from the page of the waffle-y wedding, I somehow landed on clips of similar instances of people laughing uncontrollably, people uttering hilarious variations on the sounds of laughter, some braying like donkeys, others howling with great gaiety. 

It all put me in mind of Kathye Herrera, the person I think of first when I hear great laughter. The person who probably has the best laugh ever. To say of Kathye that she enjoys a good laugh is a bit of an understatement. Kathye has the most boisterous laugh which bubbles up from down deep and fills a room with its musicality and joy. It’s the kind of laugh that makes you laugh...just as these video clips were. 

One was of the Newlywed Game, one of my favorite shows when I was a kid….which, now that I think about it...is kind of weird. Why would a kid be interested in a game about newly married people? I think I enjoyed laughing at the foibles of the men who always seemed to not know their own wives.

But in this clip, Bob Eubanks asks the wives, “What will your husband say is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen him imitate? And be very specific because he’s going to have to do that imitation.”

The question immediately sends one of the women into spasms of uncontrollable laughter. 

“Ah! Ha! Ha! Ha!” she belts out loudly and slaps her thigh. She continues laughing, intermittently gasping for breath and uttering another long string of “Ha’s and ahs” of laughter.

Much like the bride of Andrew Paul Daniel Engstrom, her laughter makes everyone else laugh and Bob Eubanks finally gets it under control to say, “I hope the answer is this funny” and she says, still laughing, ”It’s not!”

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