Do you ever find yourself trying to suppress uncontrollable laughter because the setting you find yourself in isn't right for it?
I feel terrible for saying this, but this happened to me when I was much younger and was found giggling like a girl at a relative's funeral. These fits of inappropriate laughter still overtake me at times in church services and other religious functions. I'm a regular casualty of laugh attacks during group intercessory prayer times and in quiet hospital waiting rooms. I know, I'm sick.
I know that others find themselves in these humorous little pickles at times. In fact, my friend Grayson found himself in one of these awkwardly hilarious situations tonight as we played for a church out here in Ohio.
The story: We had sound-checked, arranged our things, set up a merch table and prayed before getting up on stage to do our thing. We greeted the crowd, thanked them for braving the chilly weather and launched into our set. Meanwhile, high up in the sound booth perch, the audio engineer made his adjustments to the board and worked the sanctuary's acoustics.
Earlier that evening, we had met this audio engineer and found him to be really friendly. He explained to us that he was a DJ, specializing in rave events and euro-trance music. We nodded our heads in an affirmative manner, but were simply disguising our ignorance of this musical genre. All I had to contribute to the conversation was that we were from California and we were geographically close to Burning Man. It wasn't much to say, but, as it turns out, it was enough to keep this guy excitedly talking about his musical interests. Most of his words were actually deep bass sounds and inexplicably scratchy throat rhythms, but I, being a drummer, was able to interpret most of this percussive discourse--only losing a few phrases in translation. I blame these losses on our different dialectical backgrounds. It turns out that he hailed from Germany and was deeply influenced by European trance, and I, well, I don't know if I've been influenced by anything related to trance, ever. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Anyway, we got on stage and Grayson began singing the first song when I noticed a slight quiver in his voice. He's usually flawless when he sings, so I did think it a bit strange that such a sound would come from his angelic voice. However, I kept my head down and focused on my percussing duties. He seemed to regain composure and the show went on.
Only after the show did I learn the reason behind this subtle glitch in Grayson's singing. It turns out that our DJ/sound man, who was situated at his booth in the far upper back level of the sanctuary, began to twirl two flaming orange globes on a rope wildly around his head as Grayson began the first song of our set. Grayson had looked up to make eye contact with those in attendance when he noticed the orange balls orbiting the sound booth. Once he realized that a one-man trance was underway in the upper level, a laugh began to make its way out his throat. It was Grayson's suppressing this laughter that caused the shakiness in his voice.
Fortunately, for the both of us, I did not see the flaming orange balls being swung around or I fear that I would have, undoubtedly, been a casualty of one of the most warranted laugh attacks in history.
What's one of the most inappropriate laughter outbursts you've had?