make the spontaneous sounds and movements
of the face and body that are the instinctive
expressions of lively amusement
This word was a bit hard for me because I did not come from a very fun or funny family. There were many reasons why that was so, but the main one is that my parents were not storytellers. Gut laughter comes from living a fun life and then developing the stories that go along with that life. That is the whole premise of the book that I am almost finished writing.
There was no laughing around the dinner table when I was a child. As a matter of fact, we mostly were required to eat quietly so my dad could hear the news or a sporting event being broadcasted on the television in the next room. We children were to be seen and not heard.
That is probably why we all loved it when the greatest storyteller of all time, our Uncle Tom, would get going. He was animated and expressive, and we all fully expected his eyes to pop right out of his head.
He was a Pittsburgh policeman who worked as a beat cop in one of the highest crime areas of the city. He interacted with lots of interesting people who became the characters in his masterfully told and probably a bit exaggerated stories.
Many times we would laugh until we cried. And many times we would beg him to tell another . . . and another.
I realized early on how much I love to laugh--long before I knew that "laughter does good like a medicine." I actually crave laughter, and am thankful that I inherited the storytelling gene. It has enabled me to tell myself a good one when I need to.