I’m currently in the stage of weariness that results in humor incontinence. Last night for example, while catching up with some friends over dinner, I asked my friend Sarah what she was doing after graduation; then, before she answered, I burst into peals of laughter that lasted for upwards of 10 minutes. Sarah is brilliant, so it wasn’t as though the thought of her actually graduating was humorous to me. (Then I finished laughing and wept a bit into my salad, but I think that was an emotionally healthy response to nibbling Romaine lettuce while Sarah and Christine chowed down on ribs).
Normally I would just shrug this situation off with the mantra ‘this too shall pass,’ but this morning I ran into a problem. This morning, a guy walked into my life styling a Fu Manchu mustache.
For those of you who have thus far managed to avoid this unique form of aesthetic torture, a Fu Manchu simulates what would happen if a caterpillar were to crawl across one’s upper lip and die, leaving its carcass dangling down the sides of the victim’s face. A Fu Manchu is usually straggly and always bizarre; if I am not mistaken, one of the techniques employed in Guantanamo to ‘encourage’ prisoners to talk involves forcing them to stare at pictures of a Fu Manchued Brad Pitt.
And herein lies my dilemma. So far, this guy has walked past me four times, and each time, my humor has leaked. It starts with a mouth twitch, which, when suppressed, moves quickly into a nose flare. It’s all downhill from there. My lips curl into a smile, my shoulders start to shake, my eyes brighten suspiciously, and by the time Fu Manchu boy walks past me, I’m a quivering mess, desperately reaching for my water bottle so that I can at least conceal my ill-contained laughter. (This plan is not effective. Not only does it fail to conceal squat, but I’m 0 for 4 on keeping the water actually in my mouth rather than snorted out my nose, spewed on my shirt, or choked down my windpipe).
I realize that a spastic, water-spewing, humor-leaking girl is not in any position to be laughing. At anyone. For anything.
I realize that there are far worse facial hair styling options, such as the handlebar mustache, or worse yet, the inexplicably popular tuft of unadulterated ugly known as the chin strip.
I know that this guy presents with quite an attractive visage, and if “pulling off” a Fu Manchu look was a manageable feat, he would be well within the range of accomplishing it, particularly since the mustache itself is one of the best “Fu Menchu” I have ever seen.
But it’s still a Fu Manchu.
And I can’t help myself.
I know laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, but if this little giggle fest of mine continues much longer, it may end up being veritably poisonous to my social life. (Badom-CHING).