Last night my husband and I were binge watching Curb Your Enthusiasm on-demand. It was one of those “laugh out loud” episodes – funny from start to finish. Although I know Larry David’s humor is not for everyone, I love it. It’s bold, quirky, and often inappropriate. “Rolling Stone” magazine once wrote, “Some comedians say the things that everyone else is thinking; Larry David says the things that nobody realizes they’re allowed to think.”
In the opening scene of this particular episode, Larry and his manager/friend, Jeff are commiserating about not having tickets for an upcoming Dodgers game. They want to ask their friend, Marty Funkhouser, a season ticket holder, but Marty’s dad just died, so they aren’t sure what they would say. “Hey, Marty, I know your father just died, but what are you going to do with that extra ticket?” Out of context, it’s not funny, but if you share in Larry David’s humor, it is. It’s sort of like the Mary Tyler Moore classic episode, “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” when Mary finds herself hysterical – with laughter at the funeral home. Both scenes reminded me about a situation I was in at a friend’s relative’s wake.
“I know you’re laughing, Laurie Ann,” a voice far too familiar was standing behind me.
“Diane, don’t get me started,” I pleaded, the corners of my mouth already beginning to turn. I was at her grandmother’s wake; a lovely woman who lived well into her nineties. Although it certainly wasn’t the place to get the giggles, they were on the brink of erupting -for no apparent reason, but what else was new?
Shoulders shaking, which conveniently mimicked sobbing from behind, I told her to step away, knowing I would need to collect myself before facing her father, whose mother lay before me. I stood up to share my condolences with her dad, a serious man. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Mr. Dillon.” I started, struggling to contain myself, “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” It was easier to stick to the standard script, rather than improv.
“She was a special soul.” he responded. Then added, “They broke the mold after she was born.” I went on to tell him about the time Diane and I visited her in the nursing home. Two teenagers out shopping for the day, making that stop was not in our plans, but of course we popped in. “Grandma,” Diane shouted, “This is Laurie Ann.” After she introduced me, I looked at her and said, “Hello, Mrs. Dillon. How are you? I met you once before.” She looked at Diane, confused and answered, “She said she met me in a store?” Finally, I was able to release the laughter stuck in my throat!
That’s the way it was for us – always laughing inappropriately. Our mothers were the same, so we blame it on genetics. I don’t know what it is that makes me laugh, but I’m glad I’m not alone!