Saturday, September 27, 2014

No laughing matter.

All buttoned up and spick and span for Sunday family service.

The seriousness, the holiness of the occasion, the advanced age range of the terribly proper congregation, all contributed to building up the conditions for mass hysteria.

It had started fairly normally: "Our Father, who art in heaven", "those of us who move in Sundry places", (I always thought it was Sunday places, or perhaps something to do with ice-cream)...the first hymn.

All things bright and beautiful.

Then it all went pear-shaped.

It was my sister's fault.

She responded to my suffocated giggling, with a wide grin and gasps of withheld laughter.

"Shh, shh, shhh.....', my mother attempted to keep the tension under a lid.

"Shh, shh, shhhhhhh....."

We were as if contained in a pressure cooker.

"Shh, shh, shhhhhhhh....."

Then.... we got to the wretched chorus.

"Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God, Almighty."

The spectacularly tone deaf warbling was too much for us.

"Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God, Almighty."

"Shh, shh, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

Our father, on holiday from being the main man, was feeling rising embarrassment.

How could his children, his children, his children of the cloth, behave so badly, in a.....holy place?

God's house?

God knows, but God it was funny.

"Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God, Almighty."

How many more bloody times would she sing the chorus?

It was aural torture.

By the third repetition, we were rolling around in our pew, our sides splitting with manic hysterical laughter.

The congregation, continuing the hymnal massacre, were beginning to  glance back, giving us, and by association my father, dirty looks.

Oh, the shame, the shame!

I was picked upon (as usual) as being the instigator of the outbreak of giggling.

I was dragged out of the church, down the aisle, looking back in triumph at my elder brother and sister left to the mercy of Our Father in Kingdom Come.

I took a few deep breaths.

I felt a whole lot better.

No laughing matter.

And yet, and yet, it didn't stop.

At school, it appeared that I was in a sort of church.

We were sat in congregation for delivered sermons, lectures, instructions, drills, exercises.

This was no laughing matter. 

This was serious education.

We were told to turn to page 46, 57, 79, 987 and we did it as one.

We stifled our yawns our enthusiasm.

This was serious. 

We religiously filled the space in boxes.

We follow the ritual.

"Shhh, shhh, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

All together now.

The Life of Brian

"Regardez l'image page 9."


All together now, in Italian...


Courses are serious, very serious, serious.

"Have you finished yet?"


"You were very badly behaved."

"Sorry, but it was just too funny."

"This is serious. It's no laughing matter."


  1. "we haven't done comparatives yet"

    We had a teacher of one of my students, when he mainstreamed back to his home school, complain because we had covered too much - he had learned too much. What was she supposed to teach him now?


    Last week my friend and I saw a movie in which a body as being buried, and I couldn't understand a piece of dialogue, so I asked my friend what was said (yes, like two old people). He said, "They said grsxmbpydjkdghl." At which point we both cracked up, laughing until we cried, all the while the funeral scene in the movie theater was playing out. We got lots of stares at our rudeness. Yet we couldn't stop laughing. And actually to make it worse, a baby was being buried. LOL whether it was ok or not!

    So yes, I understand. Get out of rows and go ahead and laugh.

    1. I think the funniest play in the English language is Waiting for Godot. I am that guy, the laugher, in the audience, during Godot. Now it appears you are as well.
      And opera. Soprano voices crack me up. I just stopped going. Too embarrassing for all concerned. Too serious.

      Randamn thought: we fill the church pews like filling in the blanks.

  2. If the making process is dead, the zombie product must follow. Right, Brian? Sorry, Brian's in the kitchen...eating brains.