You've got to laugh: Sunday Supplement #1

A pitiful excuse to show a pic of Marilyn

A pitiful excuse to show a pic of Marilyn

My Darling and I were talking about 'spirituality' and agreed that it has a lot to do with having fun, with your spirit laughing. While we were talking, I remembered writing this true story. I hope you like it.

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 ‘So what’s the plan for Christmas?’ I said. I’d been with Auntie and Uncle Rotter in Goa since late November.

‘You can do what you like,’ said Auntie Rotter, ‘but we’ve got some crystal meth.’

I was on the train down to Kerala and Mother Amma’s ashram the next day.

On New Year’s Eve I went to a Laughter Yoga class at the ashram. I didn’t want to go but the Russian I was sharing my cell with snored so loudly a siesta was out of the question.

A small blonde American woman with big white teeth and doll’s blue eyes was in charge of the Laughter Yoga class. She’d been told to teach Laughter Yoga by Mother Amma because she was too serious. She laughed like this: ‘Huh-huh-huh’.

We started the class by taking turns to stand in the middle of a big circle and say the worst thing that had happened to us that year.  Everyone else was supposed to laugh. It was meant to teach us not to take anything too seriously. The last person into the ring was a young woman.

‘My ex-boyfriend died this year,’ she said.

We all laughed.

‘He asked if I’d be with him when he died,’ she said.

Some of us laughed.

‘I refused,’ she said.

No-one laughed except me.  I shrieked. The little blonde woman went ‘Huh-huh-huh’.

After class I was starving. I went to the Western Café and ordered two gluten-free burgers. I sat down under a tree, took the top half of the bun off my burgers and was admiring them when a bird crapped on my head. I had bird shit in my hair, in my eyes and in my mouth. And, of course, all over my burgers. I started to imagine I’d caught some terrible Indian bird virus and was going to die at Mother Amma’s ashram in Kerala. Then I started to laugh.

This was what Laughter Yoga was all about.

The next day, in the Western Café,  when I saw the little blonde woman I told her about the bird and the shit.

‘Huh-huh-huh’ she said. Then she told me what had happened to her that morning.

She’d been prostrate in front of Mother Amma on her prayer mat when a big fat woman knelt down on the mat in front of her, misjudged the distance between their two mats and sat down on the little blonde woman’s head. She got her head stuck up a fat woman’s arse.

I laughed. The little blonde woman went ‘Huh-huh-huh’. We went round like this until I laughed myself out and she walked away.

This was what Laughter Yoga was all about.