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Laughter is Contagious

I saw two guys laughing in a truck this morning. They were turning at a light and passing by me. The driver had his mouth open and his head back. The passenger had a big grin on his face. It looked like he had finished the joke and was feeling satisfied that he made the driver laugh so hard. I hope those guys were happy and this was not a fleeting moment.

I followed them through their day in my mind. They stopped at Stewart’s for coffee the next town over. While they were paying their coffee they shared a laugh with the woman behind the counter. Perhaps they were laughing about the hurricane that missed the area. Maybe they were laughing because there was no more cream for the coffee and it had happened the day before at the exact same time in the morning.

When they got to the jobsite they had a laugh there. It is not often that we hear of people laughing when they get to work in the morning. I would like to work somewhere that I can have a laugh with a coworker first thing in the morning. It sure beats someone saying something mundane like “Another day, another dollar” or “Living the dream”. Maybe I should work in a comedy club.

I pictured these guys going to a pizza shop for lunch. You know the kind. They have pictures of Little League teams on the wall with the pizza shop’s name on their uniform and hats. The plaque is thanking the pizza shop for sponsoring the West Side Little League. They have posters telling us that the Back Nine band is playing at Eddie’s on Saturday night. The poster talks about the cover charge of $10 “You get your money’s worth in the first 15 minutes and the rest of the night is free!”

These guys go through the afternoon on the jobsite signing along to the classic rock songs that come on the radio. They smile at the bird who keeps pulling twine from a pile of used material. The bird is adding to its nest in an old maple tree in the woods behind the construction area.

When these guys are done for the day, they put their tools in the back of the truck, jump in their respective seats and head for home. Maybe they drive home a little quieter than they were in the morning. Maybe the heat of the day has drained a little bit of their laughter. It hasn’t drained any more of their happiness but it is harder to throw back your head and laugh after working in the muggy heat all day. The driver drops the passenger off at his apartment, wishes him goodnight, and tells him he will see him in the morning.

I liked the way their day went. Even if it was just in my head. Even if it was just a film I played out on the rest of my ride to work. I walked into the office with a smile on my face this morning. And it was all because I saw two guys in a truck sharing a laugh as they passed by me. Who says laughter isn’t contagious?

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