Laughing for no reason

I was going to do something food-related as my 30 Day Challenge for May 2012, to encourage me to cook more, but I ended up spending the first few days in transit, and so that just wasn’t a viable option. What I decided to do instead was something a little simpler:

For all of May 2012, I will make myself laugh every day.

Mostly this has been done while walking, usually walking home from work. My favourite tactic is simply to fake-laugh with really corny “Ha, ha”s or “Pfffts”, until eventually it sounds so silly that I just start laughing. It started when I made myself laugh simply by thinking that it would be funny to challenge myself to make myself laugh.

Laughing with others

This past weekend, I was in Ottawa for the Ontario Regional Contact Jam, which is basically a dance retreat. It was an amazing experience on all levels. One of the coolest moments was when I entered one of the floors, and the lights were out… some people were still, some were dancing, and two were laying in a corner, chanting or singing. I laid down next to them and began adding a bassline, and we sang all sorts of wild things, a few other people joining us. At some point, laughter came to mind (perhaps I heard somebody chuckle) and it occurred to me that this would be the perfect time to laugh.

“Ha…hahaha…haha…”   I sang breathily, then promptly burst out laughing at how ridiculous it sounded. After a few seconds of me laughing, others found themselves drawn into a fit of laughter as well. More people heard the commotion and came to investigate, and ultimately we had a pile of maybe 15 or 20 people laughing in full.

Three otters perched on a rock, all with open mouths, laughing.

I'm the one in the middle.

This continued, ebbing and flowing, for probably five to ten straight minutes before ultimately turning into song again. When we finally broke up (the lights were turned on) we had all had an immense ab workout and were feeling so relaxed and simultaneously energized. It was an amazing experience, and several people commented to me that they hadn’t laughed that hard in a decade. Personally, I think it’s the most I’ve laughed in my life, although that’s a record can’t wait to beat.

That was going to be the end of the post, but it occurred to me you might like some laughter yourself. In such a case, try this video of purportedly “the man with the most contagious laugh in the world.”


Laughing Otters image by Jenny Rollo.

A portrait of Malcolm Ocean

I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm trying to figure out how humans work so I can help make humanity work. More about me.

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