Puddles Of Laughter

Times I started laughing uncontrollably at inappropriate moments:

  • An important funeral
  • A high school friend’s wedding
  • Somebody else’s wedding
  • My high school drama tournament (to be fair, so did my partner)

And then also those times when I started laughing uncontrollably and also wet my pants, which happened constantly when I was growing up:

  • When Shannon Thomas and I were taking KC Jones to a toga party in high school, and we stopped on the deserted town square because something blew out the window, and Shannon’s toga blew off and down the street and she wasn’t wearing a bra, and I wet my pants and it filled up my cowboy boots and we had to take KC home with Shannon in nothing but a waist-length parka and panties and boots, and KC was mortified and didn’t talk to me ever again.
  • When my brother gave me a ride on his motorcycle when we were 10 and 11 and I started laughing for no reason while we were in motion and I wet my pants (and his, as it turned out, since I was sitting behind him), and when we got home his best friend was waiting for us in the driveway so we both just sat there like there was nothing unusual about the fact that we weren’t getting off the bike and I kept snorting because I was trying not to laugh, and his friend finally just hung his head and went home because we were acting weird.
  • When I was putting on a puppet show with some neighborhood kids for their parents and their parent’s friends and I suddenly started laughing uncontrollably and then wet my pants in front of the entire audience, and everybody actually laughed. Which was a relief.
  • How I used to wet my pants whenever I sat on a velvet chair, especially those at jewelry stores.
  • The time I wet my pants at the mall, and my grandmother, Neta, told me to stand up so she could clean me up and a man sat down in the plastic seat I had been sitting in so we just quietly left.

This makes me think of Neta, and the infamous night I spent with her.

The doorbell rang, and she didn’t answer it so I did, and there was a super creepy woman standing there. She had long, stringy gray hair and she was kind of bent at the waist, looking up at me coquettishly. I recoiled, and then she started cackling like a witch, at which point I started yelling for Neta.

The lady at the door was Neta, as it turned out when she whipped the wig off her head, and the cackling was just her laughing at me. So then I ran for the bathroom because I was laughing so hard, and while I was in there I thought I’d smoke a little cigarette (which I’d stolen from her pack), and it exploded. And then Neta knocked on the door and said, “everything alright in there?” and I said, “sure.” And it took me awhile to come out, but while I was in there I stared at the figure she had hanging on the wall. It was shaped like a cuckoo clock, but the face was the mad magazine guy and he had a long, green tie that said, “pull me”, and when you did, he spit in your face. I remember thinking I had the coolest grandmother on the planet. And also the craftiest, and not only because she’d just played the long con by planting cherry bombs in a pack of cigarettes she’d left out just for me.


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