Writing laughter into words


Laughter to me is a form of forgetful explosion. Imagine the colours in a bubble, how they pop and float across the room in small circles and tiny flakes. Imagine a volcanic eruption, that point of expelling, letting go of the built-up lava without a care of what has occurred underground or what will go up or go around.

Happy children

Laughter is freedom, a perfect depiction of how to lay aside every weight; a kind of reflex purgation that builds up from the lower belly surpasses every urge to be digested and makes its way to rest on the heart, till that pumping station has no choice but to render this beautiful uprising to the lips for ears to hear.

Laughter is expressing the rainbows in my heart. I open my mouth, throw my head back and forth, jerk my body, and sometimes even clap my hands in the air -laughter is rest; a watery type of joy that can be unsure, sometimes unexplainably blurry, but never redundant. 

Sense of humour

I do not know if laughter means one thing to me or if it connotes only joy, happiness, and satisfaction. I do not know because laughter is irony too. It is how I open up my mouth to make that sound with gloom in my eyes and anger in my guts. It can also be my response to failed expectation, the scuff that suddenly leads to a wry "Haq Haq Haq;" the best response for my disbelief, the 'Na me be dis' type of disappointed expression.

Maybe it is hard for me to make one complete sense of laughter, but I like to think laughter is multi-layered; it is everything from extreme to cautious. It is all seven colours of the rainbow. It is a result of both rain and dry land. Where it starts or ends remains a mystery.  Laughter to me will always be many things inexhaustible. It is to hold and to expel, to fold and to unwrap, to hurt and to heal, to hold dear and to let go. 

However, this is where my sense of humour draws the line, I find a reason to laugh from almost anything. My sense of humour is complicated, there is a thin line between what I consider humour or hate. I do not mind a good laugh over silliness, goofiness, or cluelessness, and at the same time, I could find it insulting. 

How to take a joke

What is funny or ludicrous to me usually depends on context and motive; if it comes across as spiteful or derogatory then it is no longer a source of laughter for me.

For example, In secondary school, I slept a lot in class and I was not the most sociable. During our graduation when I was called out as the best graduating art student, some students and a few teachers were a bit shocked.

Two students and a teacher literally walked up to me to say that I looked too dumb for the prize(I was quite shocked, narrated it to my friend, we laughed it off that day but..) I found everything about the statement mean and demeaning and I refuse to see how they meant well, to think they were smiling the "well-meaning" Smile and saying congrats as they spoke. The human mouth sure needs a filter sometimes.


My sense of humour can accommodate anything, so long as the joke or comment does not promote inferiority complex, obstruct justice, victim shame, or leave anyone devastated. For example, I don't like it when people make jokes about my weight or hair no matter how harmless. I just think it is in nobody's place to have an opinion about it except I ask for it. I don't like "yo mama" or "your father" jokes. I just think everybody has their spot, don't always try to point it out or poke it.

Funny jokes

If we must laugh, it must be because of amusement, comic relief, wittiness, even absurdity. Just not anything that takes away dignity or joy from the human person.

NB: Special thanks to Ìbùkún for making me write this essay and taking time to edit it. I love you.

Do you love to laugh? What do you find funny or annoying? Do you believe there are any barriers to humour? Tell me in the comments. Cheers!


  1. I have a theory that we laugh at jokes that dehumanizes a person because we want to see ourselves as better and higher than they are. Well some people.

    Honestly speaking, yes i laugh at jokes sometimes but i have always mentioned how different i am when it comes to comedy. For me, its the facial expressions that does the job for me, its the how a statement is said that does the job for me, that's probably why if you come to me with a joke and i don't laugh, that's the reason. I'm not saying i'm better before someone twists my words, i'm saying 5/10 times your jokes might not be funny to me and there's a reason for that.

  2. The first part!!!...and the facial expression always does it for me too. Your reasons are valid. Thank you for reading

  3. Louddd itt!

    I love a good laugh. I can literally laugh at anything. The 'rain and dry land ' was relatable cos I can be laughing at something you did in a 'I go comot your teeth just now ' mode... Haha

    But yeah, anything that promotes or picks on what we perceive to be people's flaws, body shaming of any sort or just a desperate attempt at a comeback is a no no for me.

    I really hold in high regard people who can crack you up without making you feel less about yourself or any other person.
    Thanks for this.

  4. For me eh,Laughter is one of my personal quality,let me put it that way. Its something that I can't do without,this is cos it relieve stress,increase pain tolerance, and support the immune system as well as serve several other purposes... Laughter helps me reduce anxiety and negative emotions and lot more.
    But it can be so disheartening who its not done with the right intention. Some people like using their follow human as subject of discussion and start laughing for maybe cos of body image. Laugh for the right reason,for amusement and not to shame or reduce the dignity of human.

  5. Laughter is a good medicine for the body and soul cause I find it comforting especially when the joke is harmless or derogatory but some people find solitude in shaming others and making them feel less, That's why I keep to myself a lot.


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