I escorted my wife to a funeral this afternoon. The father of her half-brothers passed away and we went to pay our respects. We took our seats on the last pew, some pews behind the family. The service started as most services with the congregation joining in a couple of hymns. Afterwards two of his step-daughters gave a eulogy. A wizened old woman shrunk from age approached the podium and I asssumed that she was going to say a few words of eulogy for the departed but then the hillbilly gospel music started up.
I knew then that I should not just leave but run as far and as fast as my legs could carry me. Things that most others find mildly amusing or even distasteful, I find hilarious. But it was if demons themselves were pinning me to my seat forcing me to bear witness to some strange ritual. Then she started singing with a voice cracked from old age.
When she started singing I was reminded of the John Mellencamp Album 'Scarecrow', where his grandmother sang a song about a baby crying on a train and a small giggle escaped me. Then my mind wandered to a thought that this sweet little shrunken old woman looked like Maxine of the Twisted Hallmark cards with her wild shock of white hair and owl glasses peering over the podium and a small giggle escaped me. Then I recalled the stand up routine of Kathy Griffin, where she talks of having the church giggles, and although when I heard her routine I thought that I knew what she was talking about but I did not have a clue as to the depth that this condition can overcome one's senses. I experienced sheer physical pain from the conflicting emotions. On one hand, this was just too funny to keep from laughing and on the other hand a funeral is not the place to break out in hysterical laughter and must be avoided at all costs. After I snorted while trying to suppress my laughter, it caused Angry Joyce to laugh. When she started laughing, I could no longer contain myself so I faked a coughing fit and fled from the church.
I was able to suppress myself for the most part until I reached a respectable distance from the church; about a half block away. Then I was able to bust out laughing; a thigh-slapping, gut-busting, tears rolling down my eyes, relief of hysteria. For this I know that another black mark will be entered in the book of life by my name. If there were any doubts about my destination after death, these questions are now answered.