Blake’s Advice Column
When I watch videos on my laptop or phone, I usually use headphones so the noise doesn’t disturb others. If the video is funny, I laugh. Like most people, I love comedy and I love to laugh. In recent months, however, my father has frequently made a point of telling me that my laughing is disturbing, especially when no one else can hear what I’m laughing at. He says the sound can be startling, and that I sound maniacal or hysterical. Naturally, I feel guilty, and it tends to ruin the enjoyment of whatever I’m watching. What should I do?
From Lincoln, Nebraska
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I understand how your father would be startled if you unexpectedly broke into laughter. But more than likely, the real reason why your father gets annoyed, is that he is a miserable old man that gets irritated when anyone cracks a smile about anything! So, maybe you should consider one of these. Try stifling your laughter. He’ll probably get even angrier when you start making some weird faces and making strange noises to prevent your snickers from surfacing. Look at only sad videos that reduces you to tears, while crying uncontrollably as if your best friend just died… that owed you a lot of money. Look at videos that are terrifying, as you scream accordingly, and try to look as if you just saw a ghost. At that point, he’ll probably insist that you only watch things that makes you giggle, which is what you wanted in the first place. He feels everyone in your immediate area should know what you’re laughing at. Give a play-by-play analysis out loud, that explains every moment in the video you are looking at. It’ll be just a matter of time, that will annoy him so much, he’ll prefer just hearing you laugh out loud, without any ongoing commentary. In fact, if you do that, video tape it, and put it on Youtube. This gives you something else you can watch and laugh at… and drive him even crazier. I hope this helps.