Second hand laugh

All my life I have loved to laugh. I remember as a kid listening to Bill Cosby records at my Grandpa and Grandma’s house. I loved to hear him tell stories about his life and his friends and parents. In school and even now, I would go see all the funny movies instead of the thrillers or the dramas or the scary movies.

Now I find my greatest thrill in second hand laughs. That is when I hear the girls laugh. Just as they all look different, they all laugh different.

Mabel has a giggle and grin that goes on forever. It gets especially throaty when she thinks she is being mischievous or pulling a trick on her dad.  Her eyes get tight and her dimples turn paper cut sharp on the corners of her mouth. She laughs with her eyes and her cinched up nose and her cheery cheeks. Hers is not a mouth stand alone smile; it is a whole face choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Kenzo has the fast furious laugh that just tumbles out her mouth. Like a fire hose or lightening bolt, it begins with force and ends with speed. Her laugh is like the pack of greyhounds chasing the electric bunny around the race track. At the first hint of something funny, she is hopping on the runaway train of hilarity, the freckles on her nose seem to dance along to the funny song soundtrack coming from the bottom of her belly.

Suzie has the shimmer that turns into a shake. When she hears, or even better, says or does something that she thinks is funny she will let go with a glistening shimmer of a laugh. It is like the ring of waves on a summer lake when a big rock is thrown in; the waves just go on and on and. But the shake comes when she does something she sees as especially devastatingly funny. She will quickly get up to speed with the shimmer laugh and then like a roller coaster without brakes that shimmer will evolve into a whole body shake. She will get almost silent; the broadest smile is leaping from her face and her body just shakes and shakes and shakes. A hint of a sound will escape between spaces in the gap-toothed smile, but nor much, for the shake is a laugh to strong for a simple sound. Sometimes we have to stop doing the funny thing so she can catch her breath. She will laugh so hard that she nearly forgets to breath.

I like to hear them all laugh; because when they do I cannot help but laugh too, that is second hand laugh – the kind that is passed along and picked up by another.


Posted on February 28, 2008, in Dad stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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