A Case of the Giggles

Today’s post is written by Jacque.

Last week I was visited by a case of the giggles. The giggle incident was almost worthy of the Mary Tyler Moore episode in which she gets the giggles at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral.  Several friends were horrified.

When Lou and I arrived home from Arizona February 2, it was abundantly clear that while we were away, the mice did play in three drawers of the kitchen. Immediately I cleared out the drawers, then washed everything in them.  Lou set the traps.   These mice were wily!  It took 2 weeks to catch the first one in the knife drawer, a pink, sleek, healthy specimen which had apparently thrived in its makeshift home.

mouse

However, there was still evidence of mouse life appearing in the empty drawers. Lou reset the traps.  Nothing happened for several days, then one morning the bait was gone yet the trap was not sprung.  Then last Saturday I opened the plastic lid drawer to check the trap line to find the trap vanished, the drawer strewn with mouse blood and droppings.  An event had occurred.  The picture of the scene is what you see above.

drawer

I started to giggle and could not stop.  Giggling, I called to Lou to come look, then he started laughing.   Still giggling, we searched all the places we could access that might hold a mouse attached to a trap.  Nothing.

That evening I hosted my Open Studio Group and Potluck—a group of artists that gathers once a month to work together on projects, laugh, and entertain each other. I told my mouse story, giggling hysterically.  They were horrified.

“I can’t believe you are laughing!” one of them said.

“I know. I can’t help it.” I replied lamely, still giggling.  “I am like Mary Tyler Moore at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown.  It’s gruesome, not that funny, and hysterical.”

What gives you the giggles?

40 thoughts on “A Case of the Giggles”

  1. hot russian tea

    i can’t remember why at all
    steve gross and i were at a restaurant 1972 some good weed and our girlfriends we stopped at the restaurant to do a social sit down and i think i said i was going to order hot russian tea (which i did regularly there) and started to laugh.it became a trigger and with no warning reason or explanation each time it was uttered was funnier than the time before
    ribs hurt , couldn’t breathe, had to pay the bill after 30 minutes and go home just out of self defense

    a little song a little dance a little seltzer in the pants

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  2. Holiday season 1982 – not a high point. Went with a couple of girlfriends for an afternoon of window shopping (although why this would make three broke gals feel better I don’t know). On the lower level of Ridgedale there was a little tiny seasonal shop where I found And a Small Sheep in a Pear Tree. Clearly French inspired with the silliest hand drawn pictures of nine sheep dancing, 2 turtle sheep, 5 golden sheep, etc. The calling sheep each had a telephone (the old black kind). It struck me as hilarious… I started to laugh and really didn’t stop for the rest of the afternoon. I did buy the book and then had to explain to wasband why this was a good use of our hard-earned money, which was difficult because I started to laugh again.

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      1. If the book is used, it’s quite likely it is an independent bookseller selling it. Amazon gets its cut, but most of the money goes to the seller.

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  3. Charming, wonderful mouse sketch, Jacque!

    Our family once ventured into the fanciest restaurant we’d ever been bold enough to enter: The Tea Room in Younkers store in downtown Des Moines. We felt like country rubes who were out of place in that sniffy, upscale place. Almost instantly began giggling at things.

    My sister had ordered a Jello fruit salad. The waitress rushed by with our food. When she slapped her tray on a serving table, the Jello lurched side to side and hopped off the plate onto the metal serving tray. It looked like it was thinking of bolting from that room full of diners with knives and sharp teeth. The waitress shot her eyes left and right in a sneaky gesture straight out of a cartoon, then grabbed the quivering salad in her bare hand and slapped it back on its plate. With great dignity she then served us, but by that time we were laughing too much to eat.

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      1. I don’t think you’re going to find it, BiR, it never happened. It’s one of those wonderful stories that has taken on a life of its own to the extent that many of us could swear we’ve seen the clip.

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  4. My best friend and I got the giggles watching the burning of Atlanta scene during a showing of Gone with the Wind at the Palace theatre in Luverne when we were in high school. I have no idea why.

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  5. I’m not a giggler, or ever have been. I do have some stories, but my incision is infected so I am off to deal with that. Hope to get back to add to mix.

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    1. Appt. at 11. So three tales.
      I had many plants and gold fish in my classroom. A college instructor I had said all classrooms should have living things in them, for one reason for students to see death as part of life, with which I agreed. One morning we came in and one of the fish was dead on the floor. A homeroom student came in as I unlocked the door. She could not stop giggling about the suicidal fish. I had her in the first period. I took her awhile sitting in the back of the room, where I told er to sit until she got control of herself, not as a punishment. In homeroom for a few days she would get giggle fits.

      In Oral Interpretation at the U, five of us were doing a group project. During a rehearsal close to performance time we got to giggling; I do not remember why. We could not get through it. By chance a McKnight Fellow in acting walked by the room we were in. He watched us and got the giggles too. Then he told us how in summer stock they had a scene they could barely get through each performance that summer, which hardly calmed us down. He kept telling us to stop and take deep breaths and listen to the word we were reading. At the presentation we were fine, but we got a B because we never got our timing quite right. That is the last time I giggled. Maybe the only time.

      One day I was preaching in the small church I served. My daughter, now a pastor, and her best fried (the woman who lost half her family in the Alaska plane crash recently) got the giggles and could not calm down. They were 18. I tried not to be embarrassed and the congregation tried not to be embarrassed for me. In a small church it was more obvious. I am still waiting for my 14-year-old grand daughter to give me pay back. My daughter is expecting it because Lily is a giggler indeed.

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      1. I’ve had the giggles in church more times than it would be appropriate to admit.

        Once we were sitting in front because Dad was going to be a reader. He didn’t like speaking in public so this must have been a big deal for him.
        It was in the days of the early lapel microphone with the string attached so you looped it around your neck and clipped it back on the mic. Except Dad couldn’t get it attached. He probably tried a dozen times before just holding the mic and speaking. Meanwhile, I was falling off the pew in a fit of giggles.

        And the time someone dropped the collection plate in the balcony on the cement floor. CLANG! And then the jingle of the coins as they rolled around.

        Or the time a pew collapsed; no one hurt, just the one guy on the end sliding off onto the floor.

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        1. Hm, that didn’t post where I thought it was going. Not that it matters… just meant to go under PJ’s church stories…

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  6. I am not a giggly person in general, but it does happen occasionally. Just recently, Jim and I were re-watching old episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” and there was a scene coming up where a guy is being trained by Barney on how to pick up women. So Barney slyly introduces this sad fellow as a local expert from the zoo on koala bears. The hot woman he is introduced to, says “Oh now wonderful! What’s your favorite thing about koala bears?”

    We knew the man’s reply, and we both started laughing hysterically, anticipating the whole scene. His answer was “their meat is delicious” which send us into another round of falling off the couch. Not sure why it struck us so funny, or why we started laughing at the beginning of the scene anticipating the hysterical punchline — but there you go. It was fun.

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  7. Delightful sketch, Jacque.

    Just last night, I got the giggles. Background: yesterday, in order to use up some ingredients, I made a pie with a layer of mainly cream cheese & whipped cream (with some lemon juice) and a layer of lemon curd on top. Into the frig it went to chill for a few hours.

    Then last night, I was up in the attic working on a project, when I got a text from daughter:

    “how long does the pie need to chill? asking for a friend.”

    The “asking for a friend” part cracked me up and it took me a while to calm down.

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  8. It’s wonderful how just the littlest, silliest thing will sometimes set us off.
    Wish I could come up with a perfect example, Best Friend in high school and I could usually clear a swath of theater seats around us with our giggling at movies…

    Watched an old Red Green episode Friday night that had me in stitches. Will keep thinking…

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  9. Giggling is one of life’s simple pleasures, and you never know what’s going to set it off, and often you can’t explain it to others. Ask my husband who smiles but often can’t comprehend what has set me off no matter how hard I try to explain it.

    Nice post Jacque, and what wonderful illustrations.

    I giggle with some regularity, but there have been a few times when it has been particularly memorable, usually because it was completely inappropriate to the time and place. Here’s an example: In 1972 wasband and I arrived in the Twin Cities with the grand sum of $600.00 to our names. Dirt poor, and not knowing anyone here, we decided to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the St. Paul Cathedral, this despite the fact that neither of us had attended church in years.

    We arrived early, and claimed a couple of seats toward the back of the cavernous sanctuary. As the church slowly filled, we were struck by the fact that the more well heeled, and better dressed, parishioners tended to work their way to the front pews no matter how late they arrived. It was quite the parade. We were glad we had chosen our seats in the back where our drab, cheap clothes fit in better.

    By midnight the church was full and the mass began. The bishop, arrayed in colorful liturgical vestments, assisted by a cadre of priests, deacons, and alter boys in varying degrees of finery, set in motion the smells, bells, and whistles of the ancient rituals of the Roman Catholic High Mass. We were in awe of the grandeur and spectacle of it all.

    It was an elaborate a festive celebration, but eventually it was time for the collection of alms. We watched as the collection plate neared us. It wasn’t a plate, it was a wire basket on a long wooden handle, passed in front of each person in the pew. As this collection device drew closer wasband and I looked at each other in panic; we were both thinking the same thing: were the holes in the basket so large that our quarters would fall through? We both started giggling, and the more we tried to suppress it, the worse it got. We didn’t dare look at each other, but that wasn’t necessary, we were both shaking and sputtering so bad we eventually had no choice but to leave. We exited before the basket was passed in front of us, so we never did discover whether or not our two quarters would have fallen through.

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  10. Laughter is hard to explain.
    Two weeks ago I replaced a kitchen faucet cartridge. The Moen kind. Done dozens of them no problem.
    But this one was a problem. Eventually it worked, but the handle falls down. Internet research says either it will fix itself over time or I need a new washer.
    Kelly kinda remembers the last one doing this and said it will stop shutting itself off in a week or so. I have also ordered a new washer kit. Meanwhile, I put a bottle under the handle to hold it up. Course, then, being a guy, I can’t find that bottle when I need it because it’s 6″ away from where it’s supposed to be. And every time I do the bottle trick I think ‘When is this going to get better?’.
    And then one night Kelly says ‘I thought this would be better by now’. And I did a spit-take and laughed until my stomach hurt. The can’t-breath-can’t-talk kinda laughing. Completely out of the blue.
    But it sure felt good.

    Yesterday daughter and I were taking a four wheeler ride. I love doing fish-tails and donuts in the snow and ice. She got the giggles over that. And when she laughs, I laugh. It was great fun.

    My mom gets the giggles. My favorite memory (and I wrote about this here a few years ago I think). I was 16 and had my driving permit.
    I’m driving a big old Buick LeSabre and Dad in front next to me with mom in the back seat.
    It’s night and dark as I drove out of the bowling alley parking lot, I crossed the first two lanes of the road thinking it was a four lane highway. Except it wasn’t. It only had two lanes.
    And the ground disappeared and the headlights show…. Nothing… until we go down into the ditch and back up into a church parking lot and I drive out and get back on the road and head home.
    Dad is yelling …something… with arms gesticulating wildly. I just drive. And then there’s a break and from the back we hear Mom giggle. She just kept picturing what we looked like to other cars coming up the road.
    And Dad gave me credit that I just kept driving and not stopping with us hanging in the middle of the ditch.

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    1. Saturday Sandy made a frozen pizza. She did not realize there was a cardboard circle under it. When she pulled it out with the pizza peel, the cardboard dropped onto the heating element. She called me in panic. I reached for the long tongs that always sit in a container by the stove. Not there. Sandy last week did he latest reorganizing, for aesthetic purposes, not utilitarian. We could not find them. By then the cardboard was on fire. I closed the oven door. The flames died down. I dug out some short tongs. Opened the door. The handle fell off the door. So I left the door shut and let it burn itself out. Fortunately our smoke detector did not go off, which would alert the building alarm. I left it alone for 30 minutes. Pulled open the door. Just ashes all over the oven. Took me 15-20 minutes to clean that out. Took 30 minutes to put the handle back on with 1.5 hands. Got it done. Looked on the wall by the stove. There hung the long tongs.

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    2. I think your mom hit the nail on the head, it’s that mental image you get that others can’t see, that’s what cracks me up anyway. There are mornings when reading the newspaper, I’ll see in my mind’s eye an image of a situation described in the paper, and I’ll start laughing. The more I think about it, the funnier it gets. Soon tears start rolling down my cheeks and I’m gasping for air, and, of course, husband thinks I’m going nuts. He asks what’s so funny, but I just can’t explain it. I’ll take a good laugh anytime.

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  11. My sister and I have been known to practically fall over laughing – the only specific I can recall was in the few months after her (adopted) son was born. There is a photo of us sitting on her bed with two week old Evan between us, looking at him and laughing hysterically. I’m trying to imagine who was there that took the photo.

    OT: check out the leaping river otters on Bing.com today, kinda makes you laugh…

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  13. I used to get fits of giggles where I wouldn’t be able to stop. The last time it happened was about 10 years ago. My family and I were visiting the former copper boomtown/current arts community of Jerome, AZ. The town was, literally, carved into the side of Mingus Mountain (which has to be one of the coolest names for a mountain I’ve ever heard). As we were driving down the side of this mountain, there was a herd of cattle grazing along the steep-sloped side. One of my brothers pointed at them and said casually, “See that? That’s where they get lean beef.” It caught me by such surprise, I couldn’t stop laughing for about 1/2 an hour.

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