Your Giggles Are Killing Me

I clench up every time a table of three or four people erupts in loud sustained giggling. Laughter is basically about the releasing of feelings that you’ve kept bottled up for whatever reason. Freeing these suppressed judgements and emotions from the cage is exhilarating — an occasion for pure joy. I’ve been there a few thousand times in my life, and will hopefully go there again very soon. But it’s over within five or ten seconds, max. And then I settle into “the space.” Because I don’t have that much bottled up to begin with. No healthy person does.

What good are you if you can’t be Zen about things? The Zen guy or the Bhagavad Gita gal lives 24/7 with the hum of the universe animating his/her spirit and zapping every molecule, and therefore he/she doesn’t explode in spazzy giggling fits at breakfast tables…on and on and on, dropping silverware on the floor, getting louder and louder.

It’s not “she knows too much to argue or to judge” — it’s “she knows and feels too much to giggle for 30 or 40 seconds straight.”

The fact is that anyone who succumbs to boorish and sustained giggling fits means they’ve probably got a shitload of bottled-up feelings and rage and bad memories, which obviously indicates they’re living in a fairly conflicted or repressed place, and are therefore probably miserable to some degree, not to mention immature. So if you’re the type of person who giggles in loud, prolonged, hyena-like bursts in a Swiss breakfast room at 8:25 am you’re probably a bit of an asshole. You probably need years of therapy, but if you haven’t done the therapy by now you probably never will.

Does it matter to you that you’re irritating others with your gales of hideous gaiety? Of course not. Why should it? You’re on your vacation and you worked hard to pay for it and so you can do what you want, whenever you want…right? So you’re a sociopath to boot.

  • Perfect Tommy

    HE training for department store Santas: “Please, only one ‘Ho’, two ‘Hos’ max. Three will take you well over five second mark.”

  • Classic. Just classic. Rage, bitterness, and sweeping judgements about total strangers, this post has it all! I also happen to agree with it…

  • Peter Buchanan

    Kind of ironic that you talk about being Zen, considering that you get a hissy fit about the tiniest things and are unable to realize that the world doesn’t follow your own personal rules…whatever you are, you are most definelty not Zen…

    • Jason T.

      Here here. Post of the day.

  • Marty Melville

    “Hello, all you happy people.”

    • hupto

      A gold star for the Droopy quote!

  • Perfect Tommy
    • TheAngryInternet

      Well, Zen is part of the Mahayana tradition and not the Tibetan tradition, but the basic point is sound. Just check this out: http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Philosophical/Buddhas_Dont_Laugh.pdf

      • TheAngryInternet

        Can someone explain to me why “deleting” a post in Disqus apparently just results in the poster’s name being replaced with “Guest”? Anyway, sorry for the double post, this one isn’t supposed to be here anymore.

  • RoyBatty Returns

    Bet I could make some choice sweeping generalizations about folks who wig out whenever people do more than politely laugh for some time allotment they came up with.

    But then, that wouldn’t be very Zen of me…

  • Perfect Tommy

    Technically, we don’t see this guy laughing over the time limit, so he probably stops abruptly at the ten second mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NKtV4GJ4zc

  • Glenn Kenny

    Jeff is doing a performance art remake of Polanski’s “The Tenant,” and this is part two—part one was the cleaning lady episode. “The gigglers are trying to turn me into Simone Schull!!!”

    And yes, the “other people aren’t very Zen like me” bit is priceless.

    • Arthur Crittare

      Zen Like Me: Why is the World Laughing?
      – a new e-book by Jeffrey Wells

  • TheAngryInternet

    Zen is the worst possible school of Buddhism to invoke in some anti-boisterous-laughter crusade. For starters, the “Laughing Buddha” motif is traditionally said to be based on a Zen monk. And then there’s this:

    Another favourite motif in Zen Buddhist art is that of the ‘three laughing monks’. It relates to a traditional tale of a monk who had taken a vow never to cross the bridge connecting his island hermitage to the mainland. He was visited by two fellow monastics, and on seeing them off, they were so absorbed in conversation that the island monk had walked across the bridge before he was aware of his own actions. All three of them then collapsed into a helpless fit of laughter…The monk, so the story goes, returned to his hermitage and never broke his vow again. But neither did he brood on the one time he had broken it.

    Indeed, humour in Zen Buddhism has been changed from something to be avoided if at all possible to a teaching device in its own right. Time and again we read of Zen monks and their masters laughing uproariously, of revered teachers clowning around, playing the fool, joking even about things ordinarily held sacred by other Buddhists, not excluding the Buddha himself. Again and again we read about a Zen master who ‘clapped his hands and gave a loud roar of laughter’…

  • Raising_Kaned

    The fact is that anyone who’s bothered by others succumbing to boorish and sustained giggling
    fits means they’ve probably got a shitload of bottled-up feelings and
    rage and bad memories, which obviously indicates they’re living in a
    fairly conflicted or repressed place, and are therefore probably
    miserable to some degree, not to mention immature. So if you’re the
    type of person who quietly rages while others giggle in loud, prolonged, hyena-like bursts in a
    Swiss breakfast room at 8:25 am you’re probably a bit of an asshole. You
    probably need years of therapy, but if you haven’t done the therapy by
    now you probably never will.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    Are you the kind of asshole that also complains about (the many, many beautiful) women who moan too loudly during climax? Not that you’d know about that.

    Let’s be honest here: you’re just jealous of the freedom that other people express whilst “letting go” (laughter and orgasms are called “releases” for a reason, dude…they’re UNCONSCIOUS — not SELF-conscious — acts). I have been there myself, so I know what it sounds like. And it sounds a whole helluva lot like, “if I can’t enjoy myself the way you are, then you’re not allowed to, either.”

    So who’s really the sociopath here who needs therapy?

    • MisterQuigley

      Context – Jeff sits down in a cafe to write, gets frustrated at tourists laughing at the next table, equates their laughter to his inability to think of anything provocative to write about = light bulb!

      • Raising_Kaned

        Pretty much. The reason I take JW to task so often is because I (sadly) can relate…

        They’re usually pretty fucked-up feelings that come from bad places, though.

        • MisterQuigley

          Hey, don’t get me wrong – I’ve been reading you for years as well. I enjoy your fucked-up feelings…

  • Perfect Tommy

    “It’s good to laugh during processing…Even if it is the sound of an animal.”

  • Arthur Crittare

    Jeff, It comforts me that you are a highly evolved spiritual being of light.

  • George Prager

    “They killed the Giggler!”
    http://youtu.be/vuKeUAavpnU

  • Steven Gaydos

    TRIVIA FACT: Jeff Wells was lead singer of the little-known 60s rock band Crabby Appleton. Actually, that’s not a fact, but it could be, should be.

  • Breedlove

    Jeff, serious question, do you consider yourself a more or less happy person? Do you wake up in a good mood most mornings or a shitty one? I’m curious if you’ve ever been treated for depression or been in therapy. Not really my business, I guess.

  • roland1824

    Everyone’s already taken you to task here, but you need to correct lumping “laughter” in together with “giggling”. Giggling and easily gigglers are there own breed and can become annoying after a while, no doubt. But earned, shared hearty laughter is a completely different animal, welcome medicine for the soul (and body–look it up).

  • Gabe_Toro

    What is this shit about? My laugh is DELIGHTFUL.

  • Jason T.

    Laughter is a wonderful thing and I don’t fault anyone who enjoys it. God only knows we need more of it.

  • Steven Gaydos

    This is ABSOLUTELY the MOST JEFF WELLS music video I could find. It’s perfect. Trust me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZliOYYOA9w

  • The first half of I AM LEGEND plays like Jeff’s one and only wet dream.

  • hupto

    I am Wells, and YOU WILL NOT LAUGH IN MY PRESENCE or you will be subjected to a strongly-worded blogpost!