‘From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.’ Dr. Seuss.

20 May

When I went to see the movie Deadpool I knew even before I went in that I was going to like it.  And I was right.  It was fast, funny, violent, hilariously profane and starred Ryan Reynolds.  What’s not to like?

deadpoolSo I was happy.  I had fun.  But not nearly as much fun as the young man sitting four rows down on the left.  This guy was having a seriously good time.  At one point he was laughing so hard I thought they were going to have to carry him out on a stretcher.  And it wasn’t obnoxious laughter either—he was laughing in all the right places—he just seemed to be having so much more fun than everyone else.  And it was contagious.  I think I spent at least as much time laughing along with him as I did at the movie itself.

Which made me wonder—would I have found the movie as amusing if I had been sitting watching it on my own at home—or even if that young man hadn’t been in the audience?  Probably not.  A shame really, because I’d like to be able to laugh like that more often, and I’m not really sure why I don’t.

It’s not like I never find anything funny.  I giggle a lot.  And probably even smirk, chuckle, snicker, titter, and maybe even snort (very unladylike, I know) on a fairly regular basis—but that real full-on, from-the-gut, makes-your-eyes-water-and-leaves-you-gasping-for-breath belly laugh . . .  not so much.

fartBut the thing is, you don’t really ‘decide’ when you are going to laugh, do you?  Or what you are going to laugh at, or how hard you are going to laugh.  It just happens—and often at the most inopportune moments. I’ve just read a blog where a man told a story of when he and his brothers were at their mother’s funeral and their grandmother unexpectedly sent forth a very loud and unapologetic burp, sending the brothers into fits of ‘quiet hysterics’ . . .  (I guess they should be grateful granny didn’t fart—that might have sent the whole congregation into meltdown . . .)

But sometimes it doesn’t even take a granny-burp.  Sometimes there is no obvious reason to be laughing whatsoever, other than someone else is already laughing and you seem suddenly, and inexplicably, incapable of not joining in.

laughing-image-0182Scientists think this ‘contagion’ effect might be because laughter may have been a precursor to language and that our ancestors may have laughed to show they were friendly and meant no harm to others.  Consequently we are hard-wired to respond to laughter.  (I guess that is also why sitcoms still use the ‘laugh track’.  My advice, they should track down that young fellow that was at my cinema—he was a laugh track all on his own.)

And it seems that we humans don’t hold the exclusive rights to laughter either.  Experts (I always want to put that word in inverted commas, but I don’t want to offend anyone, so I won’t) believe that other animals laugh too, although, at this stage they seem to believe that apes and rats are the only others to do so.  The chimps and gorillas I get—closest living relatives and all that (and we all know someone who actually sounds like a chimp when they are laughing, don’t we?)

lauging ratThe rat thing is just a tad weirder.   Tickling‘ experiments done on rats (because why wouldn’t you want to do a tickling experiment on a rat?) discovered that when rats were being tickled, they produced high-pitched, ultrasonic vocalizations (chirps), and these sounds were only made when they were playing.  And, what is more, these rats actively went out of their way to get more tickles (as you do), further indicating that they were actually enjoying the process.  (These giggly rats also preferred to play with other ‘chirpers’, which stands to reason really—why spend time with the grumpy old codger in the corner when you could be having a chuckle-fest with the fun crowd?) 

dogrollingI was a little surprised though, to see that there appears to be no evidence that cats and dogs laugh.  As an owner of three incredibly silly and giggly dogs, I am absolutely convinced my girls spend the majority of their (awake) time laughing. (The same experts who did the rat experiments above would no doubt call this ‘anthropomorphizing.  I have one thing to say to that—have any of these experts ever owned a dog?)  

Grumpy-CatAndokay, sureI admit that you don’t often see cats rolling around on their backs, tongues hanging out, eyes rolling madly, while waving their legs in the air with gay abandon when something amuses them (behaviour far too uncouth for most cats)—but you can just tell from their expressions that they are laughing (hard) on the inside . . .

smiley dogsAnyway, I am not quite sure how I managed to get from Deadpool to tickling rats but the long and the short of this story is that I am planning another trip to the movies this weekend and I am kind of hoping that young man is going to be there again.

I am feeling in need of another really good belly-laugh . . .


Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “‘From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.’ Dr. Seuss.

  1. stevetalbot51

    May 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Fart jokes? I think I know who “Anonymous” might be 🙂


    • sallyinthehaven

      May 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Not to give anything away – but I think you might be right . . . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous

    May 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Great read sal . Saw a programme on the rats a while back and was really interesting. Why should the human species be allocated all the fun? My Molly laughs I’m sure… and makes purry dog happy noises when getting back scratch. As for a good laugh…. nothing like a good fart joke. You know I love those.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sallyinthehaven

      May 25, 2016 at 7:38 am

      So many fart jokes . . . so little time . . . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Talbot

    May 21, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Sal, did I ever show you the video of Ryan & Pa Steve on the motorised scooter out the front of our place? Steve called us outside & we thought they were playing chasing on the front lawn. We went out on the balcony & there was Ryan sitting on Pa’s lap hooning up & down the road on the scooter beeping the horn. In telling this story, it doesn’t sound that funny, but somehow it tickled our “collective funny-bones” & Em & I started laughing hysterically. The more they hooned & waved, the more we laughed! Funny that a belly laugh can happen so unexpectedly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sallyinthehaven

      May 23, 2016 at 7:51 am

      You did tell me – you even showed me the video. I could hear you and Em laughing in the background. Once that ‘funny stick’ comes down it’s very hard to stop. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. stevetalbot51

    May 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Tickling rats, giggling dogs, purring cats – it’s all very smile-worthy Sal 🙂
    You are right about the cats, they wouldn’t do the slightest thing if it threatened to bring down their haughty superiority!
    But when all is said and done …. I think we could all do with some of the drugs that the young man is taking.
    Hope you enjoy the movie on the weekend, with or without his company 🙂


    • sallyinthehaven

      May 21, 2016 at 7:53 am

      My choice of drug at the cinema – huge coffee and a box of maltesers. Maybe he was on the red cordial . . .

      Liked by 1 person


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