I have this horrible habit of laughing at the wrong times. It’s my stress reaction. I don’t laugh at really horrible things, just normal things that you’re supposed to show polite sympathy for.
Someone’s puking. I laugh. Something breaks. I laugh. Someone forgets all their lines on stage and freezes like a deer in headlights. I’ll be the super professional actor giggling like a crazy person in the corner.
I guess I’ve always been a stress laugher, but the first real instance I remember was when the guy I was not dating (you know how that goes) in high school ran out of gas while driving me home.
He had this awful old truck that I was always surprised was capable of movement. It had tons of things wrong with it, including a broken gas gauge. So he was driving along and then the car just stopped.
The old beast was just like, “Nope, I’m hungry and shall go no farther until I am fed. Or maybe ever because my wheels might fall off at any moment.”
The boy was pissed. I laughed hysterically.
I mean, what else are you supposed to do? Nobody’s dying (except maybe the truck), and being angry won’t fix anything. But apparently laughing at a teenage boy whose truck just stopped suddenly, is a bad idea. Oops.
Reactions of utmost sympathy and mournful silence are best when man toys break. Laughing yourself to tears gets you a lot of tire kicking and stony silence.
I would love to say that I learned my lesson and never laughed when a car ran out of gas again, but it totally happened again. I may never grow out of inappropriate laughter.