Can someone explain why watching someone fall down so hilarious to me?
I know it’s rude to laugh. I taught my girls from a very young age that if someone falls down you must first ask if they are okay and offer to help them up. Then you may laugh if you must.
That’s probably not the best advice, but I have always laughed when someone falls down, so I was trying to add a little parental wisdom in there first.
Slippery When Wet
I took a new job as a waitress when I was about 17 years old. The manager, a rather large man, was showing me around the restaurant. A frequent sight in restaurant kitchens is wet floors. That’s good because it means they’re always mopping; but also bad because it’s so easy to slip and fall if you pick up your feet when you walk (shuffle, shuffle, shuffle only on wet floors).
Manager Marv must not have shuffled or didn’t see the wet floor and WHOOOP, down he went. I think he may have bounced a little and I laughed. Not only laughed but laughed out loud, and then couldn’t stop. My own mother didn’t advise me, and apparently common sense at 17 hadn’t kicked in, to inquire about his possible injuries, and show a little maturity and empathy. The remainder of the tour I kept snickering.
I never went back there again. Back at home, after I finally stopped laughing, I came to the realization that I was a real asshole about it. Although, I will admit, that just now reliving that moment, I am currently, again laughing. I know: rude.
Smile, You’re On Candid Camera
When I worked at the post office in human resources on the third floor, we had a security monitor that showed if anyone was getting on the elevator from the main first floor lobby. I happened to be near the monitor one day and saw an older co-worker coming back from lunch, getting ready to get on the elevator. It was winter so she was bundled in a heavy coat, but it also meant that people had snow on their boots, leaving the floor wet. Just as the elevator doors opened, WHOOOP, down she went.
When Mrs. E. eventually got to our office some of the other, apparently more mature, co-workers greeted her to check on her welfare. I’m sure the poor woman was embarrassed that it happened, and even more so when she learned that many of her co-workers saw it. Actually, I suspect I was the only one who witnessed it first hand, but the cackling sound of my laughter brought others rushing to the front counter to see what was so funny.
Same deal, I couldn’t stop laughing and every time I thought about it, uncontrollable snorting and belly laughs ensued. I recall she was pretty pissed that I was laughing at her. I couldn’t even say, “I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you” because she clearly was not laughing – at all. And neither was anyone else in the office.
I needed that job though, so this was not a place I could never again return to.
Did You Get Dropped On Your Head As a Baby?
I dropped my cousin’s baby. She was only a few months old at the time. I offered to carry her. It was winter. We were walking into the mall and I hit a patch of ice. WHOOOP, down we went. I did somehow manage to break the fall of the baby and my wrist took a brunt of the impact, with a scar as evidence of the incident. Baby-child was startled, but not hurt.
My cousin stood in shock of what she had just witnessed. I don’t recall my reaction at the time. My roommate Robin was with us and I do vividly remember her laughing to the point of almost hyperventilation or piddling her pants. I guess that’s why we were such good friends.
Now I try to warn people who don’t know me all that well. “I’m sorry, but if you fall down, I will laugh. I know it’s rude. I know it’s immature. I will still laugh. I will try to check on your welfare first, but no guarantees. I won’t want to laugh, but I won’t be able to stop it.”
That was all pre-cell phone days, so there was no video of any of those events. But I know for a fact some of you would have laughed too if you had witnessed the above slips, trips, and falls.
Laurie Laughlin: Funny Motivational Humorist Speaker
Laurie Laughlin, is a Funny Motivational Speaker who lost her parents and her home at a young age, lost a job that she truly enjoyed, lost her health, her entire life savings, and she even lost the ability to trust and to feel safe. But the one thing she never lost is her sense of humor.
With a degree in Homeland Security, background in lie detecting, direct sales, and stand up comedy, she now enjoys her days as a corporate keynote speaker.
In her most requested program about resilience, Laurie shows audiences how they can use laughter to push through difficult times to keep going despite setbacks and challenges.
Laurie loves her basset hounds, strong coffee, crossword puzzles, and witty banter.
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