#862 The Laugh Echo

Looks innocent

While sitting around the lunch table in tenth grade my friend Mike accidentally squirted himself in the face with a juice box. He thought it was empty and squeezed the daylights out of the thing, causing streams of apple juice to just drench him completely. His hair soaked, his eyebrows dripping, his mouth slowly and painfully dropped into a Perfect O of Shock while everybody around him just rolled with laughter.

For years after that, whenever that crystal-clear image of Mike’s sticky, juicy, and surprised face suddenly popped into my head, I burst out laughing. I just couldn’t help it. I had a Laugh Echo.

Yes, The Laugh Echo is when you laugh out loud after suddenly remembering something funny that happened a while ago. It’s a random and hilarious event that can occur with family, with friends or — for bonus points — by yourself in a crowded public place.

Teach us, young one

Now according to our egghead pals at Wikipedia, laughing is great for us. Yes, it helps protect our heart muscles, lowers our blood sugar after a meal, helps us sleep, juices up our antibodies and blood flow, and gives us mini cardio workouts throughout the day. Honestly, have you ever seen babies just laughing uncontrollably for no reason? They know the score and are probably just remembering something funny that happened in the womb. Folks, it’s like I always say: We can learn much from The Baby.

So next time you let out a big Laugh Echo in public, just love it lots. Because life’s too short, my friends. Let’s squeeze in as many laughs as we can get. Then at the end, when we’re old and gray, when our bones are brittle and our hair is hay, how will it feel when we look each other straight in the eyes and just burst out laughing?

I think we both know the answer to that.


Can you look at this and not smile?

Photos from: here and here

53 thoughts on “#862 The Laugh Echo

  1. yes! yes!
    lately Laugh Echoes have been hitting me on the train more and more often, but i think anyone who witnesses this thinks there’s just something funny playin in my headphones : (

    but what a beautiful post! from the womb to the brittle bones, full circle, wonderful : ))) i admit i shed a (happy) tear!

  2. I had a laugh echo just a few nights ago as my wife and I were listening to my father’s Christmas Dinner Prayer. He was going on and on, reading from a dusty old prayer book, and I thought back to damn near 20 years ago. My grandfather Ed’s prayers were legendarily long and drawn out. He’d go on a tangent about starving children in some godforsaken 3rd world country nobody except him cared about. We’re talking 30 minute prayers. “And bless all the children in Bangladesh” blah blah blah. There was something about Dad’s ridiculous prayer and remembering Grandaddy’s that had me snickering about 5 minutes in. Only my wife noticed. I hope.

    Thanks for mentioning that. Brought back some fond memories for me. Happy New Year Neil!

  3. Love this post! It’s so cute and sweet. Especially the baby. We can, indeed, learn much from the baby.

    Former Dave, you made me think of think of times when my sister and I used to have major laugh echos in church! We’d get the stink eye from our dad. Sometimes we’d get laugh echos from remembering the previous stink eye.

  4. These ‘laugh echos’ are no good when done in an academic class; for instance, a large lecture with 400 people.
    When one laughs while the professor is speaking with seemingly no provocation,well, his or her neighbors in the lecture think you may be weird.

  5. That is so awesome, wonderful post! Sometimes I will just see or hear something and and a silly memory will just pop into my mind…..

    license plates from Ohio do it to me all the time…bio father used to miss the Jonstown PA exit every time, and he would blurt out, “We are in F-ing Ohio again!” So every time I see an Ohio tag, I wonder if they are from that quaint little border town with the dirty name! :>

    Wishing you all peace, love, health, and happiness in 2009.

    1. I was in a meeting one time, sitting up in the front. While the VP droned on and on, I started doing word play with names. I changed each letter to the one above – A became B, C became D, etc. I worked with a Roxanne, and her name translated to Spyboof. Her last name was even funnier and the combination gave me a serious case of the giggles. Right there in the front row. I have thought of that often, and now I have a name for it. Thanks.

    2. That’s a really sweet story.
      Reminds me of a “real” small place in B.C. called Fauquier.
      Try to say that a few times and have a good echo laugh!

    1. OMG XD HILARIOUS! i was cracking up 10 seconds in. thank you for this laugh yoga session ;P

      1. How to spend your lunch hour!
        Tai Chi, Qi Gong, with Dr. Steven Aung. TRUE and for real!
        This is Awesome!

        1. hey somebody told me my 2 ply story is on laugh yoga- how’s this happen anyway- thought 1000 awesome kept everything?!*
          oh well, if laughing, awesome!

  6. That laughing baby kills me. Sweetest face. Laugh echoes happen to me at least a few times a day either on the subway or here at my desk at work. People look at me oddly but I don’t really mind.

    Maybe it’s just me and I’m a terrible story teller, but whenever I try to relay what I’m finding funny at the moment, it’s never really that funny to other people…and then that makes me laugh more :)

  7. I got an echo laugh the other day.
    I was trying to sleep when I broke out into laughter at this thing that my friend said almost six months ago. The funny thing is it wasn’t a very funny thing to say but I went into a laughing fit when she said it and another laughing fit when I remembered it.

  8. Thank you for giving this phenomenon a name. I never knew what to call these, and they happen to me all the time – when I’m alone, with friends; trying to go to sleep, traveling…. the shower O.o.

    I’ve learned to embrace them when they attack in public. I’d encourage the rest of the world to do the same – and then maybe they won’t seem so weird!

  9. My oldest daughter took a picture for her Costco ID and showed it to me and told me she looked just like John Cleese. She did, too. In an earlier ID, she looked just like another Python, can’t remember which. But I swear if I’m lying in my coffin, and happen to think of her handing me that ID and saying “Yes, just doing it now, Deah,” I will start laughing like a crazy person.

  10. I usually played goalie when we shoveled the pond for pick-up hockey. Once, for some reason I was out chasing down a puck and the opposite goal was empty so I tried a rink-long shot and ended up doing a somersault half-flip on the ice. I can’t get the picture out of my mind of the other guys literally laughing so hard they couldn’t stand up any more. This was 40 yrs ago and it still brings me to tears thinking about it.

    1. Oh, Terry, that made me laugh just imagining it. And it reminded me of a major laugh-echo of mine — I had to be 14 or 15 and my dad was pumping gas. He put the pump away and went to step over the curb but picked his way foot up too soon and missed the step. He tried so hard to regain his balance, but ended up doing a summersault and rolling right back into a standing position, then continued to walk on to the gas station to pay — and looked around as if to say “I meant to do that”. It was the funniest thing ever and my mom and I still laugh about it to this day!
      Thanks for the laugh-echo!

  11. nawww look at the baby :) but the grandpa… not so much :P LOVE this quote! “They know the score and are probably just remembering something funny that happened in the womb.” i loled.
    You know what else is awesome? Laughs that actually ECHO. This is the only time that having a laugh that is mocked, and is really loud, high pitched and in frequent bursts, is good :D

  12. Yes! I really love laugh echos !
    I think your site is one of the best sites ever.
    It shows people they may not give up.
    Go on with your life !
    Man, I really admire you.

    p.s. I’m sorry if my English isn’t that good, I come from Beglium, but now I’m on vacation in Crete & I red about you’re site on the internet.

    Much love & do never ever ever give up. There’s always a reason to live for, trust me.
    U can do it ! really.
    haha =D

    1. I usually get it while I’m lying in bed, I’ll think of something funny and just burst out laughing by myself. That’s the best.

  13. I have to post again because I had a severe laugh echo all morning, this morning. I kept thinking about that “Bed Intruder” remix video on You Tube (I’m already LOLing right now thinking about it) and I’ve just been sitting in my cube looking like a maniac smiling and laughing by myself as I recite the lyrics to myself.

  14. My favorite television show happens to be British. It is called Coupling and was on a few years ago in the UK. One of the early episodes is called “The Giggle Loop” and is an entire show based around the concept of the Laugh Echo, or as they call it The Giggle Loop. You should definitely check it out.

  15. Aw, poor mike. The same thing happened to me but it was half and half and it sprayed my room mate…And yep, there’s the laugh echo.

  16. A few years ago, my friend and I were driving to Atlantic City from NYC (about a 2 hour drive). We didn’t say a word to each other the entire time. When we got there and stepped out of the car, we both looked at each other and laughed. That was truly awesome! We still bring it up every now and then.

  17. January 24 is Global Belly Laugh Day. On Global Belly Laugh Day we celebrate the great gift of laughter. We celebrate past laughs. I love the term the Laugh Echo. The celebration of the Great Gift of Laughter is playful, easy and fun. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. Join the Belly Laugh Bounce Around the World. Thank you Neil for awesome #862.

  18. I was working the graveyard shift at this residential treatment facility for teenagers in the ’80s and mostly we would have people stationed up and down the hallway at desks while everyone slept. I went out the back to get a coke and found a balloon on the ground so I brought it back with me. There was a guy (like everywhere else) that we all tolerated though he could be somewhat of a s***. I’m sure you all know him, too. Anyway, he was seated with his back to me as I came back down the hall and on impulse I held the balloon up a few feet above his head as I passed him and let it go. It was totally silent and nothing happened for a second or two as I walked past him. Then the balloon made it’s slow way down till it lightly grazed his ear. He jumped out of his chair with a yell and we just fell about the place cracking up. Oh, great and wonderful gods of irony an humor……

  19. Awesome!! This reminds me of how brother who at the time was about 4 or 5 years old. He watched this short movie called Presto about a magician and thought it was the most hilarious thing ever so for the next week or so, out of nowhere he’d burst out laughing and each time we asked him what was do funny, he’d say THE TRICK MAN! he would even laugh during church and our dad had to take him out until he’d stop. An awesome person experiencing an awesome moment

  20. This is the perfect example of how if you start taking time to notice the little things than little things can be awesome. Thank you so much for reminding us how many joys there are in life.

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