Have you started laughing and been unable to stop? Most likely this has happened when you weren’t supposed to laugh at all.
Years ago, I went with friends to Steve Martin’s film LA Story. In one scene, Martin’s character, Harris, stops to talk to one of those highway signs that light up and give drivers information, like slow down, heavy traffic. But to him the sign flashes, “Hug me.”
“What?” Harris asks.
“I’m a sign post.”
Only a few people in the theater laughed. There weren’t that many people anyway. But I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Several minutes later my friends asked me if I was okay or if I needed to leave. But the more I tried to stop, the more I laughed.
I couldn’t even repeat the story without laughing and tears.
Nobody else thought it was that funny.
“Hug me! I’m a sign post!”
My friends would give me that look. You know. That look you get when you’ve said something people don’t know how to respond to.
“But it’s a sign post!”
Other than Sara Jessica Parker writing her name on the palm of her hand, I don’t remember anything else about that movie.
This week I’ve been reading a novel I wrote. (Unpublished!) I haven’t looked at it in a long time. Some scenes I love. What was happening to the characters was awful, but I love certain scenes. Reading them I feel happy, like I can write, like I could actually be published one day!
And I want to hand those scenes to someone and say read them! (Hug them!)
But I think the sign post is funny, and nobody else does.
This worries me.
I’m a writer!