December 14, 2010

Mon Pere. Tu Me Manques.

When I was in high school I thought everything was funny. Honestly, I think I just walked around for four years snorting and wheezing at just about any form of novel external stimulus.

A math teacher once dropped the eraser and made a little noise like "urp!" and I laughed so hard I choked on my own saliva and nearly hacked up a lung right there in the front row. And those serious National Honor Society inductions where we all had to act somber and stand in front of a crowd on the risers? Forget it.

I miss those days of life before I became an adult (of sorts).

Anyway, having the propensity to laugh despite situational appropriateness had its down side. Boy did it.

One day in the tenth grade, our French teacher took the class to the theater to see a production about international travel geared toward students learning French. They would do a scene in French and then repeat the scene in English. We all expected it to be trash, but it was actually a high class show. I thought it was pretty funny, how good the show was, so I was already feeling a bit goofy early on.

As fate would have it, I was seated with some friends in the front row on the left side of the stage. We were awfully close, but we were off to the side. Therefore, my stifled laughter wasn't going to be too much of a problem. At least not until they took one of the scenes, the serious graveyard scene, directly to the edge of the right side of the stage. This is where things went afoul.

Out of nowhere, this happy-go-lucky show of traveling young adult tourists took a detour for the dramatic. One of the characters got off the train in Normandy to visit the grave of his dead father. He kneeled in front of the grave, and consequently right in my face, and began speaking/crying to his dad. It basically looked like this:

I was doing ok holding it in until I heard just the slightest inhale-after-a-quiet-laugh from my friend sitting next to me. It was too much for me to handle.

Right there, in front of a theater full of teenagers, I laughed in the face of a man saying goodbye to his deceased father. Of course, this had the dreaded ripple effect, and soon the whole audience was having a good chuckle.

I looked up at the actor through by bleary eyes and felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Not enough to be able to stop laughing, but guilt nonetheless. I then looked back at my French teacher.

I really did feel terrible. This laughter wasn't out of malice or disrespect. I knew better. I just couldn't do anything about it.

I freaking loved high school.

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