Have you ever "gotten the giggles"? In an inappropriate place?
I can probably count on one hand the number of times it has happened to me. It happened today.
I was sitting in the sanctuary at Kossuth Baptist this morning, pen and notebook in hand, getting ready to hear the Bible Study Fellowship Lecture, minding my own business.
I looked over at my mom next to me, and noticed her BSF homework had a large brown water stain right down the crease. She then had distractedly doodled around the stain with blue ink. So that it was no longer merely an embarrassing blemish wrinkling her paper, it now held a place of honor alongside her answers to questions of Peter's denial.
I let out a quiet snort to indicate that she had been found out.
She looked at me with this sheepish look, gave me a half-smile and said, "it's not what you think."
Then we made eye-contact and exchanged secret mother-daughter knowing glances.
And I felt the laughter stirring.
I tried to squelch it, but out it came. Thankfully I was able to keep it muted, but muted uproarious laughter sounds like old man-wheezy laugh, and it is really quite painful.
The laughter continued. My shoulders were shaking, my eyes were burning, I couldn't breathe. But as much as I was trying to stop laughing, I was desperately trying to not make a sound and not draw attention to myself (or my mother who's shoulders were shaking right along with me). Of course, we were sitting in the front, and to make matters worse, we were not discussing trivial topics. BSF on any day would hardly be described as a carnival cruise ship (maybe pontoon boat), but today we were talking about the arrest and trial of Jesus. I can hardly imagine a more inappropriate time to laugh.
However, like a leaky oil well, the laughter bubbling up from inside me was not capping itself anytime soon. I also made the mistake of looking down again at that brown stain on the paper and on my way up I made eye-contact with my mom, bringing new eruptions of laughter. And I began to squeeze my eyes shut and plan my escape route. I tried desperately to think of sad things, and I was imagining myself to be the first woman ever force-ably removed from a BSF lecture. Not to mention the spectacle that would follow as they tried to cast out the demons (because really, what person in their sound mind would laugh at the betrayal of Christ). I won't lie, I was sending prayers for help (although I wonder how they were perceived as I am sure they arrived on bursting bubbles of laughter.
During a brief pause in the spewing fountain, I was able to take a deep breath, followed by another. Mercifully, the laughter was stilled, and I was able to regain composure with only a few hiccups. I certainly could not look in my mom's direction, so I steeled my gaze at the teaching leader and focused my thoughts on the 600 soldiers that came to arrest the unarmed Christ. A sobering thought on any occasion.
I learned at the end of the lecture, that the water stain did not happen in her purse, instead something in a cooler in her trunk leaked out onto her paper, laying in the truck.
Yes mom, you are right, that is not the same at all.
I'm just REALLY glad I didn't have to pee.