The Giggles


Sometimes there is just something that strikes you as funny, even though it may not be appropriate and it probably wouldn’t be funny to someone else. And you can’t stop laughing about it.

Kind of like this Dutch comedy show spoof.

Well, our dog BrownCoat has this habit. When he hears car keys jingle, he’s all about going for rides. He’ll run over and sit by the garage door and watch whatever you do. Get your coat. Grab your backpack. Call someone. He sits there watching you intently.
Then we ask him “Want to go for a riiiide?” He cranes his neck, cocks his head to the side, and furrows his eyebrows. We can’t figure out if he really understands us, because he gives us the same look and cocks his head to the side if we say “Wanna stay insiiiiide?” or “How high’s the tiiiiide?” Soon he starts whimpering a little. Then we say “OK, lets go” and he bounds out the door and races up to the car, wagging his tail and waiting by the car door. Makes us all crack up every time he does it.

Once the giggles start, trying to stop them is useless. The only way to get rid of them is to remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes even that doesn’t work.

So I was seeing a patient who had been burned by a hot grease splash at work. We debrided a little skin, put on some Silvadene cream, dressed his wounds, and prepared him for discharge.

As I was discussing follow up plans, he looked at me, straightened his neck out and cocked his head to the side. For whatever reason, all I could think about was “Wanna go for a riiiiide?”

I half-snorted and coughed to cover up the giggle that came out after it.

“Excuse me. I’m sorry.”

I started talking again. He did the same thing. I hid my face behind the chart and excused myself. It wasn’t anything bad about the patient, it was just the face that he made and the way that he cocked his head to the side. I couldn’t stop laughing.

The nurse had to discharge him. Every time that I even looked at the room, I cracked up. Several people sat there watching me like I was nuts.

I was temped to follow the patient into the parking garage to see if he stood by the side of the car all excited to get insiiiiide, but I’m sure that security camera footage of some doctor cracking up while watching a patient driving out the exit wouldn’t bode well for my future employment.


  1. I remember getting the giggles with two other med students during a small group lecture with a grumpy surgeon. We were laughing about the completely asinine answer another med student gave to a basic question (sadly no one liked her anyway since she was a complete byarch). She noticed us laughing and got all pissed off and started yelling at us! The surgeon was like WFT, I’ve lost control of my lecture!!!!

  2. I was laughing out loud and am still smiling as I type. I am glad I didn’t get to read this until now because it’s been a negative/tense night and i could feel myself release it as I began laughing. i reread it and laughed more.

    So funny. The image of you trying not to lose it behind the *chart* – hilarious.

    The thing is ..he probably detected it.

    I did when I said something in innocence to a former pcp and I could see he almost busted out laughing and was doing everything he could not to explode into laughter. The heaving shoulders and magenta face were a dead give away tho. 😉 I guess the image was too much for him, but it was a sincere question based on what a respiratory therapist I worked with had told me about something and after the fact ..I realized ..he may have been goofing with me. But would’ve relieved the tension in the room if he had just laughed and then explained why that couldn’t possibly happen. 🙂

    Our dog Bob loved to go for a ride to and if we said anything that sounded like it he instantly perked up and looked hopeful and eager.

    I think he is responding to ride. That was his 1st association and all the other words remind him of riiide.

    Thanks for the story.

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