Laughter — Can We Ever Get Enough?


In Junior High, I had an English teacher who was very conscientious and had a dry wit.  I believe his name was Mr. Henderson.  One day he made a joke about something — I can’t remember what that was — but the whole class laughed. He was hugely pleased by our response.  I found it funnier than even the rest of the class and continued to laugh till I was crying.  After a few minutes of this, he smiled and said “Okay, let’s get back to the lesson.”  But I wasn’t done.  I continued to laugh. My stomach hurt I was laughing so hard.  He stopped smiling and said “Okay, Sandie, we’ve had our bit of fun — time to get to work.” The rest of the class had quieted down as they felt the tension rising. I could tell he was getting annoyed, but at this point I was in hysterics.  He was getting annoyed at me for laughing at his joke. Then came his punchline — “I’m going to have to give you detention if you do not stop laughing”.   The irony of getting detention for laughing at his joke didn’t escape me and I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair as I blurted out “Sorry!” He then told me “You have detention!”  My good humor did not diminish even at this proclamation. I, normally one of a teacher’s pets, a goody-two-shoes was getting detention for laughing. I thought my sides would burst. He let me be at this point till I finally became exhausted and quieted down.  At the end of the class I got up and as I walked to the door I looked back at Mr. Henderson.  He looked at me benignly (as was his way) and I gave him a big smile and left the class room.  I went to detention the next day.  He was the detention teacher. He smiled at me as I entered the room and I knew I was forgiven.  I almost started laughing again.