Forbidden Laughter: Times I’ve Laughed when I Shouldn’t Have.

If there is one thing that gets me going, it’s being in a quiet room, where everyone is solemn and serious, and proper behavior is EXPECTED.

That’s just ASKING for a Patented Friar-Induced Giggle Fit.   Here are some of my more memorable ones:

If sitting through a boring Catholic Mass isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

I’ve lost count at the times I’ve laughed in church.

How about rolling the church pamphlets into cylinders, and using them as a telescopes to look at my buddy across the auditorium?

Or as an Altar Boy, snickering while carrying in the cross in front of 200 parishioners?     (YES!  I was an Altar Boy once….DON’T LAUGH!)

But I especially remember the Gitchi Manitou episode.

Oboy, I’m going to burn in hell for THAT one.


Tabernac.  Build a Big Mac
Ages ago, when I worked at McD’s, one of the shift mangers gave us a pep talk at a crew meeting.

But he was French-Canadian, so he had problems with certain words.   He didn’t know to say tray or spatula, so he improvised with “take dah Bun-Shovel, and put de burger Hon it…“.

(Snicker!).  BUN SHOVEL?

Alone, I would have been okay with that. But my partner in crime, Cliff, caught my eye across the room.

And that was the end of THAT.

Cliff and I fed off each other.  We proceeded to giggle with each “Bun shovel”.

The thing is, the manager was a nice guy, and he was sincerely trying hard to do a good job, and speak his best English.

And we were being jerks.

And everyone else was listening so INTENTLY…so SERIOUSLY.

Which only made the forbidden laughter (pffft!)  even funnier.

Bun shovel .


Take da burger, and put hit on de grill….with the spatule…(Snicker!..hahah).

Pfft.  Hahahh!  (Snicker).

Hopen de Door.   With de Ot Hair.


It got to the point that all we had to do was LOOK at each other, and we’d start to lose it.

After 10-15 minutes, we were in tears, ready to piss our pants.

The Store Manager had to intervene.  He furiously called the two of us outside, and read us the Riot Act, like we were a couple of five-year-old kids.

We tried to apologize, but it took quite a while to calm us down.

I’m amazed we weren’t fired on the spot.

(But who could blame us?)

Come on…how can you resist BUN SHOVEL..!?!?! 😀


When Stark Trek II (The Wrath of Khan) came out, I was somewhat less (ahem) mature than I am now.

So when I watched this in the theater, I was not exactly the best-behaved audience member.

I made fun of the bad acting.  I mocked the special effects at every opportunity (getting constantly elbowed by my friends in the process, telling me to shut up).

Then, at the end of the movie, Spock died.

(At this point, I was already laughing so hard, I was on the verge of being thrown out of the theater).

But when they had the funeral scene, it sent me right over the edge.

It’s when Scotty took out the Bag Pipes.


No.  Freaking.  Way.


I just spent 2 hours watching star ships fire photon torpedoes at each other.

And now you’re making me watch James Doohan wear a KILT.

And (hmm-hmm pfft!)….play the freaking BAG PIPES!

You have got to be SHITTING ME!

Then Scotty started to blow, and out came the “Amazing Grace”


(Oooohhhh….I guess I’m supposed to be sad now).  😀

I vaguely remember repeating “BAG PIPES…???” over and over.

My friends kept shushing me, saying: “Friar….will you PLEASE SHUT UP!”

But I would have none of it.

I just kept laughing and laughing harder and harder.


Then, a strange thing happened.

A few more people in the theater started to giggle.   Then a few more.

Soon the whole theater was guffawing, in an avalanche of laughter that I had triggered.

As we left the theater, my friend shook his head, and called me a KNOB.

He pointed out that if it had been ANY OTHER theater in the country,  when Spock died, there wouldn’t’ have been a dry eye in the house.

But only you, Friar…ONLY YOU…can get the whole house laughing.

What was otherwise one of the saddest moments in the movie, turned into a comedy fest.

And I alone, was responsible.

It was one of my proudest moments.

Explore posts in the same categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

44 Comments on “Forbidden Laughter: Times I’ve Laughed when I Shouldn’t Have.”

  1. themadhatter1 Says:

    lol yea i remember some of my biggest fits of laughter happened when i was in church as well, like one time i was sitting in the back and this little kid took off running and wasnt paying attention and ran strait into a wall. i literally had to get up and leave for a few because i was crying i was laughing so hard

  2. Writer Dad Says:

    My grandfather died in June. I loved him immensely. It’s too bad the priest as his funeral was a total douche bag. My grandpa was 99, so his death wasn’t unexpected. Yet this didn’t stop the priest from making the same speech he would have made at any other funeral. He started talking about how we can’t let grief get the best of us, and we should never think about taking our own life to trade for his. Then he says, wait for it….

    Jesus threw himself under a bus for you!


    I couldn’t stop laughing.

    Then my sister started… then my mom.

    It was horrible and funny and awesome. My grandpa would’ve loved it.

  3. Jenny Says:

    Oh My God Friar! Those were absolutely hilarious stories! I can totally relate about laughing uncontrollably at the wrong time! It’s bad when you do it during rehearsal after the director just read you the riot act and the line is something to the effect of “This show is in need of a director!”

    You should check out my blog, I just finished a post on laughing as well!!

    Friar, were you in my brain tonight?? Do I have to have Wendi send you to your room??

  4. Friar Says:

    AHAHAH! Oh, man, I can just picture that kid…SMACK! Oh, I would have lost it too.

    Why is it the BEST laughter comes from Church? 😀

    WTF???? Jesus went under a BUS for us? (Hahahah!) 😀

    Funeral or not..that’s pretty funny!

    (I had a similar experience…the day my Dad died, we were in the funeral director’s office, and he “left us alone” to decide on which coffin to pick. The cheap model, or the expensive one.

    Naturally, we were still all in shock, and we could barely decide.

    I took a napkin, and made holes for two eyes and a mouth. Made it look like a ghost and I said “Oooooh…take the expensive coffin…the EXPENSIVE ONE..!”.

    Like with you, it was horrible, yet funny, and I got my whole family laughing. We were happy again (if only few 10 seconds). But it was worth it.

  5. Friar Says:


    Must be something in the blogsphere…I’ll have to go check out your post now.

    Don’t get Wendi started…she’ll send us to bed without supper too! 🙂

  6. Karen JL Says:


    My god Friar, those were great. I’d be proud of getting the whole theatre laughing too…I’m sick like that. Here’s one of mine (tho I do have a very non-PC one but don’t know if I can bring myself to tell it).

    I was in a play where the ‘killer’ was supposed to sneak up behind me and put a straight razor to my throat. I had made one (community theatre) out of wood that looked pretty real from far away. When he came up behind me and swung it towards my throat, he *smacked* me right in the mouth! I yelped but stifled it because I was *such* a pro. I was fine, let’s move on.

    But this guy was such a sweetie in real life, he paused, and loudly whispered, “Are you OK?”

    I. Lost. It.

    I cracked up loud and large. He was coming to KILL me but, “Are you OK?” I laughed on and on, hand over my face and we continued the scene with me like that. It’s all on video and it’s still funny. Good times. 😀

  7. Kelly Says:

    Writer Dad,

    What a horror. Someone should take the guy aside.


    I haven’t yet recovered fully from your Gitchi Manitou post. I hope new readers click through. It’s one of your most painfully funny posts ever.

    Oh, the Star Trek story. That is a good one. I haven’t seen the movie so I don’t know if I’d agree with you on its hidden humor, but I can so clearly imagine being one of the friends and wanting to kill you or slink out in embarrassment!

    Ever the class clown, eh? Blog-o-land is better for it. 🙂



  8. Brett Legree Says:

    Hey Friar, remember that manager who said that at first he resisted, but he eventually got it in the end from Big Brother? And no one could help but laugh? Everyone at The Factory laughing?

    I think that was one of those times, too. Though we all had the last laugh. We are here. Big Brother has “moved on to other endeavours”… 🙂

    @Writer Dad,

    The way I remember reading it, I think God sort of threw Jesus under the bus, or tied him up in front of the oncoming bus, or something like that… I’d have challenged the priest on that one…

    And back to the Spock is dead thing. Sheesh, why do folks cry when something like that happens? Does anyone really think the franchise would let a core character die? I mean, so there was that other follow-on ST movie where Kirk “dies”, but a friend of mine told me that in one of the books that came after that, he didn’t really die, he was sent through some time-space vortex thing…

  9. My sister and I were notorious church gigglers despite our mother’s attempts to silence us with her murderous glare (actually, that just made us laugh harder).

    I don’t know about you, but I think God wants us to laugh and have fun in church. It’s his place, after all, and he’s got a great sense of humor 🙂

  10. Friar Says:

    @Karen JL

    🙂 I wish I would have been there to see that. What did the audience think? (Were they in on the joke, or did they sit there puzzled?)

    I always like it when actors break character and crack up…Tim Conway used to do it to Havery Korman on the Carol Burnett show all the time….those were the funniest sketches ever.

    The Gitchi Manitou was one of my best giggle fits ever. 🙂 Thanks to my brother Spalpeen.

    He has a long history of doing his to me, at inappropriate moments. (Especially in front of my poor Dad, who would be ready to blow a gasket). I have a few other similar stories, which I’ll slowly get around to writing about.

    AHAHAHAH…!! Yes, I remember that manager who said he “got it in the end”.

    Dont’ think he ever caught on to how funny that sounded (which makes it even more hilarious).

    And you wonder…Bill Shatner is probably more popular today than he was 10 years ago. If there’s potential to make $$$, wouldn’t suprise me if Hollywood DID revive him again.

    I don’t know much about God, but I’d like to think he’d agree the whole man-made church rituatls are boring and silly, and that we’d be fully justified in having giggle fits.

  11. Oh, I am so bad for this. Note to self: do not attend any serious event with Friar; recipe for disaster. I have been at funerals, weddings, seminars, Big Cheese presentations at work, where I have had to stuff my fist down my throat to stop the giggles. At one all staff meeting, two of us had the white linen table cloth stuffed in our mouths to keep from being fired.

  12. Friar Says:

    @Urban Panther.

    (Napkins in the mouth!?) Seriously?

    Just HOW did you think that would help? (It would only make me want to laugh MORE!) 😀

    Yep. Sounds like you and I would start a chain reaction together. If we ever were at the a Big Cheese event together, they’d have to keep us at least 100 meters apart.

    Oh, I am SO BAD for that.

  13. Steph Says:

    Oh boy, do I have church stories! Like the time my uncle, who’s a priest, was lifting my baby sister on high, baptizing her, and it was all quiet, and I let out a loud fart. My cousin and I still talk about it and laugh like morons. Or like the time my sister lit a lady’s hair on fire at the Easter candlelight service….

    Laughter in forbidden places is the absolute best. You can’t laugh harder, I think, than when you have an accomplice and/or when you’re not allowed to and it’s inappropriate. I used to laugh a lot when I was getting yelled at by my dad who doesn’t speak English very well, especially when he’s pissed. He would say stupid or just grammatically incorrect things, and I would make him livid with my busts of laughter! Which of course got worse when he was all like, Oh, you think this is funny, do you? Let’s take this outside!


  14. Steph Says:

    Ahhh… [wipes tears from eyes]. Now I’m laughing while trying to edit this stupid 20-page bibliography.

    Thanks, Friar. I needed that.

  15. Friar Says:


    Notice how CHURCH LAUGHTER seems to be a common theme here?

    Makes you wonder what fraction of people take church seriously, and what fraction or on the verge of giggling and laughing. (But you there’s a huge number of potential gigglers)

    Hahahah! I can related to Dads. Mine spoke perfect English, but when he got really mad, he’d stammer and the things that came out of his mouth were really funny! (Poor Dad!)

  16. @Friar – actually, I could be anywhere I could make eye contact with you. Okay, let’s be honest. We just couldn’t be in the same room together.

  17. Brett Legree Says:


    I think we both need to apply for jobs where Panther works, and then you & I can make faces at each other during the Big Cheese meetings… see if the napkin thing works then… 🙂

  18. Friar Says:

    @Brett and Panther

    We’re like sub-critical masses in a nuclear reactor. Seperate, we’re harmless. But put us together, and you get a runaway chain reaction.

    I have way more respect for people who laugh at pompous rituals, then the sour-pusses who pretend to LIKE this kind of shit.

  19. Steph Says:

    Dudes, you could join Panther’s Boyz group if you work where she does!

  20. Steph Says:

    We’re like sub-critical masses in a nuclear reactor. Seperate, we’re harmless. But put us together, and you get a runaway chain reaction.

    Too awesome. You make me miss my old friends. Can I be a sub-critical mass too?

  21. Friar Says:


    Oh, sure. You can be a sub-critical mass too.

    Or, if you want, you can be the Stephanium initiator.

    It’s like the Polonium they use in a standard fission bomb. It’s placed in the core with the sub-critical mass. When the bomb goes off, it generates a whole bunch of extra neutrons, to help set off the big KABOOM!

  22. Natural Says:

    I have that problem….when things should not be funny, I find the humor and sometimes I end up LOL. Can’t help it. The more I try to hold it in, the more my shoulders shake.

    Like your stories it’s contigeous.

  23. Friar Says:


    I think people like you, who find humor in unlikely situations are blessed, and lucky.

    Life’s just too damned short to take things seriously. 🙂

  24. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – the play was a comedy at least (but not that scene) so they were confused at first, then laughed right along with me. I think most realized that wasn’t part of the act. The joys of live theatre is talking about all the stuff that went wrong afterwards.

    Good church story (but I wasn’t there). At some friend’s wedding, the bride and groom had to kneel at some point. When they did, someone had painted ‘Help Me’ on the soles of the groom’s shoes! All who noticed cracked up. 🙂

  25. Friar Says:


    So you draw, and you ACT as well. (Renaissance Women, you are!)

    Heh heh. Oboy, the church stories just keep coming in, don’t they? What IS IT with Church that brings out the best/worst in us?

  26. Steph Says:

    woohoo!! I’m the Stephanium initiator!! That’s my new title. I like it.

  27. Cath Lawson Says:

    Friar – Am LMAO at the thought of you laughing in the middle of Spock’s funeral. Nobody thought it was funny when I laughed my way through Pulp Fiction either – but it was just too hilarious and OTT to take seriously.

  28. Matt Says:

    Here’s one more for the funeral laughter pile:

    When I was a sophomore in high school my best friend died in a plane crash. His mom asked me and a few of his other friends to be pallbearers. So there we are in the front row, the message is just ended, and a song for a moment of reflection starts playing. And a guy in the row behind us starts quietly singing along. And he’s TERRIBLE. We in the front are fighting to keep from looking at each other because we just know we’re gonna bust out laughing if we do. My friend would’ve appreciated it, too.

    Oh, and a wedding one.

    My wife and I got to a wedding just as it was to start so we were in the back row. We got to watch the bride come in, and her dress had an especially long train. Which someone stepped on. So as we watch her slowly walk in we get to see her body keep going as her head has stopped, so her head is slowly being pulled back by the stuck train until they figure out what was going on. ALMOST busted out laughing, but didn’t. No, that came when the priest stepped up and started the ceremony and he was–I swear to God–the Impressive Clergyman from The Princess Bride. Accent, inflection, the whole bit. I quickly made my way outside–now relieved to have been stuck in the back row–to get the laughter out of my system. I was out there for a while. And I’m laughing now as I recall it!

    Nowadays, I have to keep from laughing when I’m reading stories to my children and my brain thinks through the real implications of the ridiculousness of the stories. I mean, c’mon. Donald Duck is taking a _goose_ he _purchased_ to his Grandma for her _farm_ so she can harvest its eggs for _breakfast_? How messed up is that?

  29. Kelly Says:


    No time to tell the story this morning, so I return. Warning: More than my usual lewdness ahead, though I swear it wasn’t my fault.

    A long time ago, I was sitting at my desk, with people in meetings all over the place. Time to be quiet, right? Co-worker walks past and hands me this enormous cucumber which he’s very proud of, because his plants are all giving out bumper crops. We have a nice discussion of cucumbers and tomatoes, blah blah, and because he’s a nice guy I try not to make a juvenile comment about cukes.

    Another guy comes in to work, and there’s a bottle of wine on his desk from a grateful client who popped in to say hi before he got there. Who-ee. Then cuke-dude comes back by, and brings two cukes in to him. This guy and I are always trading the most horrid jokes which even Janice might blush at, so I hold up mine after the gardener has left and all I say is, “It just keeps getting better and better.”

    He breaks up laughing, make a million jokes about which one his wife will prefer (I’m whispering “stop! stop!” while stifling laughter), and finally says, “Can you imagine what my wife will say if I come home with two huge cucumbers and a bottle of wine? She’ll say, no thanks, *you* have a nice night, honey, I’m going to the club.”

    I lost it. Meetings be damned. I had to leave the building after I couldn’t get myself under control, and if he so much as looked at me the rest of the day, I was in tears again.

    I never asked whether people heard us laughing during their meetings. I just did not want to know.



    *thinks twice before hitting “submit,” then…*

  30. Friar Says:


    (Spoken in Marvin the Martian’s Voice).

    Oh, Goody. The Stephanium Initiator.

    Where’s the Kaboom? Where’s the Earth-Shattering KABOOM? 😀

    @Matt and Kelly
    Hilarious stories, from both of you!

    I like this post…it gets everyone talking about their funniest moments.

    PS. Would Donald ever eat Duck Eggs?

    And Kelly, as soon as you started to mention “Cucumber”, I kinda suspected the direction the story woudl turn..! 🙂

  31. Friar Says:


    I remember Pulp Fiction. At first I didnt’ know what to think, but after 15 minutes, I caught on that it was a twisted comedy, and I just laughed all the way through.

    Like when he’s waving his gun around the car, and accidentally kills the guy in the back seat. That was so STUPID, it was FUNNY. Best scene of the movie. 🙂

  32. veredd Says:

    I can relate. There’s something about the NEED to be quiet and solemn that always makes me giggle. I guess we are both rebels. 🙂

  33. Kelly Says:


    As soon as I *saw* the damned cucumber…

    Well, you know me. And if you knew my buddy, it was completely inevitable.

    I had the giggles again trying to type it. Funniest work scene ever, for me.



  34. Steph Says:

    Funny this cuke story comes out. Our plant it going nuts, and every time I pick one, I giggle. We can’t keep up and we’ve got a gazillion flaccid ones in the fridge now…

  35. Rita Says:


    I’m SO glad that you outed yourself as an altar boy and saved me the trouble. I can tell you, though, as a teacher, let’s say I’ve “dealt with” a few situations where my class clown provides the “CONTAGIOUS GIGGLES.” What I have found most effective is to laugh along with the kids. Usually, what is said IS funny. It requires laughter. And this is in my 7th grade Holocaust Class!

    Sometimes a good break-out of laughter helps get rid of that need to show the kids that teachers can be human. You probably would have done VERY WELL in my class.

    And I, too, laughed my way through Star Trek II. Why would they play Amazing Grace, a Christian Hymnal for a Vulcan? Not just a Vulcan, but a Vulcan played by a religious Jewish actor? (The Vulcan hand sign was invented by Leonard Nimoy to use, because it is the sign that you belong to the “Jewish Priestly Class.”)

    You are too much, Friar…now that Dave Barry has retired, why are you NOT writing a newspaper column? Tell me…what do you think about weasels?


  36. Friar Says:

    Yes! Another rebel/partner in crime. You can join me and the Urban Panther and get ourselves in trouble at the next Big Cheese Meeting! 🙂

    Cucumbers. Of course you’d have brought that up! (Why wouldn’t you?) 🙂

    I’m just waiting for your accomplice Janice to show up (she’s slowly been making her way through my other posts).

    Flaccid cucumbers? Oh, just BEHAVE! 🙂

    I think you must be a pretty cool teacher, if you can laugh with your kids, especially in a 7th Grade Holocaust class.

    When you study something intense like that, you’d need laughter to release the nervous tension. Better to laugh, than to cry.

    As for Spock. Yeah…how bloody STUPID! BAAAAAG PIPES…? (Hahahahah!)

    What’s ironic, is this came back to haunt me 20 years later,when they played the @#% BAGPIPES at my Dad’s funeral.

    He wasn’t even Scottish, he was POLISH! And he HATED the pipes. (Just that sold old guy volunteered to play them and my Mom was too polite to say no).

  37. Rita Says:


    I just saw your comment about Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. SO WEIRD. I was going to write about them in my comment, but I didn’t think anybody would understand who or what I was talking about! Now THAT was television, watching them trying to keep straight faces and make the other laugh while remembering their lines…and when Carole and Vicky go into it…I am ROTFLMAO NOW just remembering…Carole coming down the steps with a curtain rod at the shoulders in her

  38. Friar Says:


    You can still find those clips on Youtube. (I looked at them a few months ago). My Gawd…I forgot how FUNNY those sketches were.

    I remember the curtain-rod dress. 🙂

    What about Tim Conway playing the Evil Nazi, trying to torture Lyle Wagonner with the puppet?

  39. Rita Says:


    GWTW parody. NOW THAT WAS FUNNY TV! Thanks for bringing up such great stuff!


  40. Rita Says:

    YES. The NAZI PUPPET SCENE. Oh Jeeze, you even remember Lyle Wagonner.

    I gotta go pee.


  41. Friar Says:


    “…Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinaaaaa…” 🙂

  42. Cath Lawson Says:

    @ Friar – that was my favourite bit too – it was hilarious. I’m glad I’ve found somebody else who finds it funny.

  43. Amy Derby Says:

    Friar, you crack me up. I’m a bit behind in my blogreading here, so I know I’m laughing late, after everyone else has already moved on to the next laugh. But I needed a laugh tonight. Thinking about myself sitting in a church gets a laughing fit going for me every time. 🙂

  44. Friar Says:


    I wish they’d show those old re-runs on TV again!

    Yes! Yet another pagan/sinner who laughs in chruch!

    We’re all going to burn in Hell for that, aren’t we?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: