Tag Archives: laughter

Nervous Laughter

I laugh a lot. All the time, even when I shouldn’t. If laughter is the spice of life then my life is the hottest, “sign-a-waiver chicken wing” SPICY! My normal laughter sounds, well, normal. Varies in intensity, generally robust and of an average tonal quality that doesn’t cause people to run their nails down a chalkboard to escape its sound. That is my normal laughter.

Now, my nervous laughter, on the other hand… Whenever I hear my own nervous laughter, I have to resist the urge to punch myself in the face. It doesn’t even sound like me. When did Fran Drescher and Homer Simpson mate and produce an offspring that has now inhabited my body and is taking over my laughter?

Is it that bad? Yes. It sounds like a cross between a braying donkey and a giggling toddler. A monkey in heat and a smoker’s cough…

Cute donkey.

Cute donkey.

It isn’t alone either. My nervous laughter has an entourage. It is usually accompanied by some additional, equally unattractive sound effects. Snorting, guffawing and loud inhalations/exhalations join in to form a united front of embarrassing chortles.

And it can’t be stopped. When I’m talking and I get nervous, my foreign laughter punctuates each.and.every.sentence.¬†Once I’ve got the nervous giggles, short of tearing out my larynx, the only thing I can do is officially exit the situation before I can exorcise this sound. Demons and all Drescher/Simpson offspring out!

To my good fortune, it is mostly when I’m on the phone that this happens and I can hide behind an invisible connection. I guess the lesson learned is don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Or is it an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Or maybe it’s if you make me nervous, you will pay with bleeding eardrums. Right? Is that your take away? Hmmm…

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