Jings, crivvens, fit a rare idea.
The funny folk at Beano comics have conducted a UK-wide Hilarity Report to find the giggliest place in the land. Titter to the top Sunderland, with Dundee fourth and Aberdeen seventh, locals here are apparently havin’ a laugh an average of 27 times a day.
But I’m damnt sure the researchers couldnae hive gone onywye near some of the bods I meet on my daily ramblings roonaboot. You know the ones I mean. As you pass, you flash a smile with a friendly: “Fine/affa day.”
In response they down their dull eyes or turn their grumpy faces away, some uttering a grudging: “Mmmfffmffmm.”
My wee comedian
I was brought up by a mum with a cracking sense of humour. She could find the funny side of everything, even when you’d think she’d actually want to weep.
Like the memorable day on the packed bus when my twins were about two; she on that exposed seat at the front, facing the rest of the passengers – not a place for the easily embarrassed, because a’body stares at you – my loon on her lap. Me with my quine, directly opposite. Then came the ultimate humiliation.
My son did what he used to love doing in the privacy of her hoose; reached up and whipped off mum’s precious, bonnie wig. While I started to slink doon, red-faced, in my seat, she was more than unfazed.
Shoulders heaving in hysterics, she wrestled the hair from the boyo, plunked it back on her napper, and whispered: “Yer my wee comedian.”
Her audience of passengers loved the show.
The laughter magnet in my life
Fits of the giggles became my delightful daily treat (along with cigarettes) when I met my pal Jenny at The High. Among quite a few posho quines from grand hoosies, we classed oorsellies as the proud working classes – always ready to do something daft. Which we duly did at school, during our myriad weekend and holiday jobs and – with some unfortunate results – wherever Saturday night found us; Madam’s, BB dancing, later Beach, Palace, The Mitch.
If one of us spotted something or – more usually and cruelly – someone even remotely amusing, it set us both into gusts of muffled snorts. Eyeliner and mascara a’streakin’.
I lost the laughter magnet in my life. But, ticky-bets, she and mum are making heaven a pretty hilarious place
Except there was a massive problemo, which actually made us laugh even more. Jenny had a weak bladder. I mean weak as in incontrollable. If she lost it with laughter, she lost it, if you get my drift.
The way I knew she’d got to tiddlin’ point was when – in a vain attempt to staunch the flow – she’d doon on her hurdies, fingers in her ears to block oot my comments about the ongoing funny. Or else she’d just make a desperate, cross-legged run for it. I could often follow the drips.
Ironically, as she aged, her bladder improved. She said we’d just grown too old to be daft. Too true. Sadly, Jenny died suddenly nine years ago. I lost the laughter magnet in my life. But, ticky-bets, she and mum are making heaven a pretty hilarious place.