When I was in high school, I had a friend who, when he witnessed something funny, would say, “I sat there laughing my butt off.”

I realized back then that there was probably something wrong with his statement, but only recently have I figured it out. Here’s the problem.

If you are sitting there laughing your butt off, your derriere is going to dwindle down to nothing eventually. In other words, you’re not going to be sitting for long if what you are witnessing is truly funny. With no more than a postage stamp bottom firmly in place, you are soon going to tip to one side or the other. Having laughed your butt off, you’re going to be laying on your side. From this position, of course, all is not lost. You can engage in “side-splitting laughter.”

But what has happened to you is no laughing matter. As we all know, when a person loses a lot of weight, there are parts of his/her body that will never put weight back on, or at least not like it once was, say one’s face. What if, having dwindled one’s sitter-downer down to nothing to sit on, one can’t put the weight back on? All the weight goes to one’s stomach or contributes to multiple chins.

This is why I join with the native people of Ugooruk in saying,  “May you find laughter, but not too much in one sitting.”

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