“I am going to the crown hotel” my husband said,”This damn thing is a pain to take out” he continued to mutter, and suddenly both of us burst out laughing. The conversation sounds incoherent right.
Well this came from an old conversation where we built a dective story as we watched one of those jasoos serials, we had created a scenario were a jealous wife follows her husband to the crown hotel, dresses up as a waitress and poisons the girlfriend with a rare poison. On the face of it is a mundane story and nothing really funny about it, but everytime someone says crown hotel it brings to that moment of fun that we experienced together without worrying about judgements.
Actually laughter is the physiological response to humor and is combination of two parts, a set of gestures and the production of sound. When we laugh the brain get us to do both the these activities simultantous. If we dain to laugh heartily then the arm, leg and truck muscles get involved too.
The encyclopedia Britannica describes laughter as rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory involuntary action. It involves 15 facial muscles. Fifteen facial muscles contract and stimulation of the zygomaticus major muscle occurs. The epiglotiss gets into action, making us gasp as the air intake occurs irregularly. The vibrating vocal cords release sounds that range from giggles to guffaw. The sonic structure of laughter reveals human laughter consists of variations on a basic form that consists of short vowel like notes repeated every 210 milliseconds. Laughter can be ha-ha-ha variety or the ho-ho-ho kind but not a mixture of both. Humans have a dector that respons to laughter by triggering other neural circuits in the brain, this in turn generates more laughter. This makes laughter contagious.
Humour researcher Peter Derks calls laughter response a really quick, automatic type of behaviour, and how quickly our brain recognizes the incongruity that lies at the heart of most humour and attaches an abstract meaning to it determines whether we laugh.
Philosopher John Morreall believes that the first human laughter must been a gesture of shared relief at the passing of danger. Since the relaxation that results from a bout of laughter inhibits the biological fight or flight response laughter may indicate trust in one’s companions. Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another when they feel open and free and more the laughter, greater is the bonding in the group. The connect between bonding and laughter could be another reason of laughter being contagious, which is a common desire not be singled out from the group.
Shubha Vilas in book the Stolen Hope which is a part of the Ramayana the game of life series (https://kitabikida.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/ramakatha-and-upakatha-from-game-of-life/) gives an interesting insight on humour.
Humour during ones own failure is the sign of acceptance
Humor during another’s failure is the sign of arrogance
Humour at ones own pain is tolerance
Humour at another’s pain is insensitivity.
PS: note I strongly object to the use of the word Better Half, in a marriage both the partners are equal.