It was late in the evening but I was dragging my feet about getting to bed. Technically speaking, I was in bed, or at least on it, but instead of taking out my contacts and going to sleep I was surfing Facebook and reading a list of funniest Tumblr posts. 

I like reading lists of “funniest”: funniest autocorrects, funniest cat fails, funniest tweets about the debate etc. Even when I find the content funny, I am typically able do this without actually laughing out loud. Not last night. For reasons which I still don’t understand, last night’s posts tickled my funny bone to the point where I found myself suppressing actual laughter. Not just light chuckles or subdued giggles, but laughter that bordered on hysterical, quickly turned to tears, and got so out of control that I couldn’t stop. I laugh/cried all my makeup of as the Curmudgeonly Lion looked on in worry.

“Are you laughing or crying?”

“Yes!”

“Why?”

“These… These posts! They’re not even that funny!”

I recognized that the laughter was not rational. Deep behind the laughter and the tears and the helpless hiccuping gasps I knew that my laughter was disproportionate to the humor of the posts that I’d been reading, but I couldn’t stop myself. In a strange and frightening way I was both completely aware and completely out of control of myself.

The episode only lasted for a minute or two, maybe less. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and get my head on straight, which took some effort, but was not a monumental task. And just like that it was over. 

I’m not sure that I could say what brought this on- surely it was a displaced reaction to something else going on in my life besides Tumblr posts, but I couldn’t say what. The rest of my day before the incident was uneventful to the extreme- I started doing new work at my temp gig that is repetitive and tedious to the extreme, but not to the point of inducing hysteria (although spontaneous naps were a ferocious nemesis all afternoon). Maybe it means nothing. Maybe I’ll never know why it happened. I suppose if nothing else, at least I got a good laugh out of it.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 11, 2016.

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