Why are things more funny in a quiet place - feature image of theater

Why are Things More Funny in Quiet Places?

Phyllis People 28 Comments

It’s official—we need a good laugh today. I have to share with you the concert experience I had last year. Dear friends of ours had invited us to go to hear a wonderful artist in concert. The night came, and we were dressed up and in our places all ready for the concert to begin.

Right in front of me a young couple walked in and took their seats. They were dressed to the nines, as we say in the South. He was taking selfies with his telephone, posing dapperly in his fancy suit. Once they settled in, he began to read the program.

Oh, my goodness. Evidently, she had not told him it was a classical concert or that the musician would be playing alone without the assistance of the orchestra that normally accompanied him. As he spied the single chair on the stage, he snatched his head toward her and said, “What the heck?!”

Oh, that was all it took. I got tickled, and about that time the lights dimmed and the music began. Yes…all classical. I was trying so hard not to look at this young man, but when he started looking at her with glares that could kill someone, it was all I could do to hold in my laughter. It was totally silent in the concert hall except for the notes played by the cellist. I was gasping for air as I tried to keep my laughter at bay!

His next move really sent me into hysterics. He started running his fingers through his hair like Barney Fife does on The Andy Griffith Show. And to make matters worse, his hair was standing straight up on top of his head. Then he laid over in his lap like he was getting sick. I prayed for intermission so I could laugh out loud, but no—another piece began. He sighed and said, “Will this ever end?” The precious wife starting rubbing his shoulders, attempting to console him during his suffering. He was sweating, and, my goodness, you would have thought someone had stabbed the man. I had tears coming down my face. This I would expect from a 12-year-old boy, but this man was in his 30s.

I absolutely would not look at Neal. No way. I knew he could feel my chair shaking as I tried to keep quiet. It became harder and harder, and then finally—intermission! The young man jumped over four people to get out, and I am not sure he ever realized that his wife was still in her chair. Truthfully, he probably hasn’t spoken to her since that evening. And I doubt the selfies made it on their social media.

During the dinner that followed with our friends, I told them all that went on in front of me, and this became the comedy show of the week. We all recounted the many times we had gotten tickled in church, at funerals, and at events that were supposed to be very quiet.

Moral of the story, don’t sit by me if the moment is to be quiet. If there is anything that will make you laugh, I will always pick up on it first and lose it! Laughter is refreshing, and it comes at the most unusual times—I just love the humor in life!

Can anyone else relate to a situation like this one?

Comments 28

  1. We were attending a funeral for a friend’s mother. As the family came down the aisle, the people stood in reverence and respect. The pew in front of us was full of little frail ladies,all friends of the deceased. The pews were not anchored to the floor. When we all were seated,we tipped the pew and almost tossed the ladies . We laughed till we cried, our shoulder were shaking,we were grasping for control. The more we tried,the worse it was. My pastor was seated behind us,and he was laughing. Talk about humiliation,

  2. My sister and I took our mother to a little country church (this was in Georgia) for the funeral of her sister. Thank the Lord she sat up front with the immediate family while we sat with the family too but further back. Now we were not young but in our fifties I think. We did pretty good sitting there in the midst of family members we didn’t know, until these three old men got up to sing. I don’t remember the name of the song but it was some gospel song. They started singing and I punched my sister and we got tickled. We were laughing so hard and trying to hold it in our shoulders were shaking. I know the people around us were thinking we were so upset. We would settle down and kinda get control, they would start on another verse and I would punch her again and off we would go again. We were crying but it was from laughing. I think the song was “I Have a Mansion just over the hill top”.

  3. What a great story! This happened to me at an evening yoga class… the class was lit with candles and so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Watching my 6’3″ fiance try to do yoga for the first time was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I was laughing so hard I had to leave the class!

  4. What an enjoyable afternoon read! I laughed so hard at each persons comments I need to go redo my makeup! In Jr. High school I had 6 friends that were and still are like sisters to me…..years later one of our friends daughter got married …..all my sista girls sat together in the church…….we have no idea what caused us to start laughing uncontrollably , but it was a chain reaction ……someone started and the other 5 chimed right in. I remember it like it was yesterday . We were a mess…..no Kleenex or self control! Thanks for bringing back a great memory !

  5. Things are funnier in quiet places. Or just in places where it is inappropriate to laugh. I was eating at a Mexican restaurant with a male friend in the Chicago suburbs years ago when the mariachi band decided to serenade us. It was a slow night and I guess we were the only couple who looked even slightly romantic. They were a perfectly adequate band and doing their darnedest to please and entertain, but I got tickled and even with the lead singer right in our face could not keep my mirth contained. Of course it was contagious and so my dining companion also started laughing. It was so embarrassing.

  6. I love a good laugh too. We need them. People are so funny., esp. my grandchildren. I told my Mom about you and the banana sandwiches, about your walk with the Lord being so good, and that you are very down-to-earth.

  7. When I was in high school, I sung in a southern gospel group. I was 1of 5 girls all the same age except for my first cousin who was 1 year younger. My cousin and I were always close and always getting “tickled” in the most REVERENT of places- church, funerals, concerts, bible study, etc.
    Our little group of 5 girls sang all over N.C., VA., S.C. We each had our own microphones with large speakers to amplify our 3 part harmony. One evening while singing at a church “singspiration”, 1 of our microphones quit working. The song we were singing featured a solo part of our pianist with the rest of us backing her up with soft harmonious “ooing” and “ahhing.” That required the rest of us to get very close to our microphones. Now, since 1 of our “mics” was not working, it became necessary for 2 girls to share one…guess which 2…yes, my cousin and me.
    All was well until she and I had to get really close to the “mic” to softly render our harmonious “oohs and ahhs.” We felt our cheeks touch, and that suddenly ended our participation in the song. I first had a little chuckle which started her chuckle and then we started giggling unable to sing at all! Our mothers (sisters) were sitting in the congregation shooting eye cannons at us, which made us laugh even more. The pianist had her back to us oblivious to our performances until she saw the people in the audience laughing. When she turned to look at us, she lost it too. I have no idea what the other 2 girls were doing, but we never finished that poor song. However, we did get a great free will offering from the congregation and lectures from our mothers all the way back home.
    I still giggle now as I’m sharing this wonderful memory with you. As for me and my cousin…we still get the “holy giggles.”
    Love your story and that you shared it. Wow, you provoked some happy memories…thank-you!

  8. This has been the story of my life!! I’m always worried about the next time it will happen to me. It has happened in university lectures, funerals, church, concerts etc. In fact, it started in middle school. We had to give speeches in front of the class and while I excelled at that, all it took was for me to glance at one of my classmates, usually a boy making a goofy expression, and I would lose it! It got so bad that the teacher let me say my speech facing the windows. A terrible bout of laughter kept creeping up on me at my uncle’s funeral as I found the cantor’s high pitched voice funny and yes, I could not look at my husband or son, but kept biting the inside of my cheek( It was sore for weeks) This reminds me of the classic Mary Tyler Moore show, when poor Mary finally has a fit of laughter at the funeral for Chuckles the Clown.

    1. Roma – we must be kindred spirits. When I read this article by Phyllis, I immediately thought of that Mary Tyler Moore show years ago, and how that episode sent me into fits of laughter at the time. It was a classic and still is!

      Years ago, I remember taking my mother to a doctor’s appointment. My daughter was about 10 years old and went with us. While we were waiting in the waiting room for mother, there was a man was sitting on a chair in front of a built-in bookshelf for magazines. When my daughter reached up for a magazine, it somehow slipped and landed on this man’s head, wide open forming a v-shape, sort of like a hat. The man must have been very sick or totally out of it, for he sat there with the magazine on his head and never seemed to notice the magazine was there. We could not decide whether to tell him a magazine was on his head, remove it and apologize, or act like we did not notice either. I am not proud to say that we said nothing and never found out if he ever did notice… because my daughter and I began to snicker and shake with uncontrollable laughter, and actually had to leave the doctor’s office — whooping and hollering when we got to the parking lot. We still talk about this today some 35 years later.

  9. Oh, how I can relate! One hot summer, one Sunday the air conditioner was broken at church and the windows were opened. Naturally, a fly or two got in. During the middle of the sermon, a lady with a giant hat (back in the days when we all wore hats to church), stood up and swatted at a fly, and yelled loudly, “Got it!” (Now I have to say, this particular woman was always prone to the dramatic, but this was way over the top, even for her!) Everyone, including the minister, was so stunned by this behavior that they sat in unbelievable silence. Everyone that is, except my mother and I who began to shake with laughter. We dared not look at each other, either, because we would have burst into fits of laughter. But oh, how that service was so long after that! Laughter is wonderful on so many levels, but it certainly breaks the tension, alters the mood, and generally makes us all feel better. Thanks for sharing. Have a great Labor Day weekend.

  10. Great story! There IS some psychological/physical reaction that makes you want to laugh more the more inappropriate the situation is. It has a name, but I don’t remember it.
    I feel kind of sorry for the wife, who cared enough about attending that she bought tickets (two!). I hope his behavior didn’t ruin the experience for her.

  11. Oh, that was soooo good! LOL. I am the same way. If I get tickled at an event like that OR if I see someone else do it, I am doomed! 🙂

  12. thanks, I needed a good laugh tonight! te he….many many years ago at a Church Christmas Eve service which is tradition, as we were presented with candles and a program before we were seated my husband and family members and myself were singing Christmas Carols they passed out the long white candles had a paper doily at the base and we were t o pass and light the candle to the right of us and when all the lights go dim we sign Oh Holy Night the stars are brightly shinning and as my husband bent his candle towards mine to light it I whispered “why is your candle so short?” he showed me what he had done. He twisted his candle into a circle at the base with the warmth of his hot hands!
    I was caught off guard as I’m usually so serious at the Christmas Eve Service with family. I don’t know what happed to me but I started to giggle and couldn’t stop and the harder I tried to stop the more I shook and everyone was looking at me and they started to laugh. If was so hard to get my composure and I started to pray and pray and I know the Lord has blessed me with a funny bone, but this was embarrassing and on Christmas Eve! Everyone still talks about how dangerous it is to sit next to me…but I know in my heart our dear Lord knows me best….It was a really great Christmas that year and on Christmas Day I was the topic! haha California Carmel

  13. Love the story! And if I am not supposed to laugh, it is guaranteed that I will!! You must have been so sore the next day, trying to hold all that laughter in. I do not know how you did it.

  14. I love this story! I have the gift of being easily amused and my husband has the gift of being very funny. He always seems to be able to make me laugh and, very often, in the most inappropriate places. Let’s just say that I don’t have the quietest laugh.

  15. I was 9 months pregnant with my second child at Christmastime. We were going to a special concert at church one Sunday night and were running late. Our son, who was 3 1/2 was with us. We walked into church, and it was dark because the presentation had started. People had to shift over so we could all sit down. As my hugely pregnant self sat down, the pew made a most unladylike noise in the silence. My son’s head swung around in my direction, and in a very loud voice, he said, “Mommy! Say excuse me!” I was mortified but so enormously tickled I could not stop giggling. My husband finally asked if he needed to take ME out! Still one of my favorite stories, and my son is 34 years old now! His sister was born just a week or so later.

  16. On V-E Day, I and 6 high school girl friends attended a prayer service at church. At one point the minister started with the phrase “Lest we forget…” then repeated it twice , but he had such a lisp that it came out “Lescht we forget…” which struck us as so funny that we started to sniggle which shook the pew causing us to continue, the pew never ceasing to vibrate. That was in 1945 and I can still remember the agony of trying to stop. What a way to celebrate the end of the war in Europe.

  17. Hilarious! I just wonder how the wife managed to get him to a concert hall or what she had told him to get him to go. Let’s just say if he had done something to deserve it, I think it was the perfect punishment. I’m still laughing.

  18. It happened to me at my father’s funeral. A man kept singing funeral songs. Just when I thought he was done, he started a new one. I rolled my eyes, my sister giggled then my whole family burst out laughing. It was so embarrassing.

  19. Ah, the memories. When I was young, 10 years old or so, I would go with my parents to concerts in our small community. They would let me sit with my friends. Well, you can guess how young girls are. There was always something that would set me off and I would begin to giggle. I would try so hard, but still the giggles came. I could feel the look my mother was giving me but still I giggled. Then came intermission and there was my mother making it clear that I was to sit with mom and dad for the remainder of the concert. As I grew older, I was far better at controlling myself. Giggles or no giggles, I will always be grateful for the many cultural experiences my parents gave me growing up.

  20. Used to happen among us girls, sitting together in a church pew. Nothing funny at all, but one of us would get tickled over something, and the rest of us suffered silent, shaking, feet jerking hysterics, all while our dignified priest glared down at us. Now, he certainly wasn’t funny, but we giggled all the more.

  21. Oh my gosh, Phyllis, I laughed so hard reading this. How many times has that happened to all of us. I’m not exactly sure why it happens,but it does…in church or at any solemn occasion. This made my day! Thank you for sharing!

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