A Fit of the Giggles

We’ve all laughed at out-take shows when newsreaders or interviewers suddenly get a fit of the giggles at something which, on reflection, is not really very funny. More to the point, I’m sure most of us have done it at some time. These bouts of helpless hysterics usually occur at times when laughter is not appropriate, as dozens of wedding videos on You’ve Been Framed demonstrate. But it happens to the best of us and here is how I went into giggling meltdown over one short sentence.

I was working for a marketing firm, editing two magazines and writing copy for websites. There were three of us in the office one day when the phone rang and I took the call, which was from a client of ours. We had done a website for this firm and they were moving into new premises, so the manager was ringing to give me the address details that would need to be updated on the site. I knew the woman at the other end of the phone, as she’d been in the office several times during the building of her site, so the conversation was quite relaxed. I got a pen and paper and asked her for the new details.

Their new premises were situated in a building called Saville Exchange. I wasn’t familiar with this address and, as it was essential that the information on their website was accurate, I asked if it was Saville with one L or two. She sighed and told me it was two, like I should have known this. In my defence I said that I had never heard of this building, and anyway, Jimmy Savile only has one.

“Well that’s more than I needed to know,” she said in a deadpan voice. It took a moment for these words to register in my brain, but when they did that was it – I was a giggling heap. I tried to take further details but I was helpless. Tears ran down my face and my colleagues on the next desk broke off from their discussion, wondering what on earth was going on on the other end of the phone. Finally, after what seemed like ages, my giggling subsided and I took the rest of the details. After I had hung up, having apologised for my breakdown, I repeated the conversation to my colleagues, who barely raised a smile.

And that is the strange thing; looking back on it, it’s not really that funny, as is often the case with giggling fits. What made me go off like that though, I think, was the completely unexpected answer the client gave after my genuinely innocent comment about the elderly disc jockey.

Whatever the reason for it, I’m glad it happened because it didn’t half brighten up my day. Laugh? I nearly paid me poll tax.

About Joe Young

Supposed writer from the north-east coast of England.
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One Response to A Fit of the Giggles

  1. ckandrew says:

    I once had a fit of the hysteriggles in the middle of a psychiatric case meeting (no, I wasn’t the subject, not that time anyway) and I had to leave the room. And all because … nobody said ANYTHING, not for about nine minutes after one particular comment by one of the charge nurses. I waited for someone to say something and then began to think I’d walked into a prayer meeting or a seance and still nobody spoke and then this bloody fly started landing on people and STILL nobody spoke … Now I know it’s a trick they like to play on New People. And I fell for it, but it was so funny at the time … goodness knows why!

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