I'm A Nice Person, But I Can’t Help Laughing When People Fall Down

by Christine Organ

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I don’t know about you, but given the depressing as hell news headlines these days paired with the normal chaos that comes with raising a family, I could definitely use an auto-refill prescription.

When I need a moderate dose of the giggles, I might turn on Schitt’s Creek or watch reruns of Arrested Development or The Office. I’ll read David Sedaris or Luvvie Ajayi while binge-eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Or I’ll post funny and sweary memes on Facebook.

But when my mood is so foul that I need an extra-strength dose of laughter, there’s one thing I turn to for its foolproof efficacy: videos of people falling down.

It seems there are two kinds of people in the world — those who find the hilarity in watching people epically fall on their ass and unfunny sticks in the mud. Unsure of which group you fit into? Watch this little gem and tell me if you don’t practically give yourself a hernia from laughing so hard.

Look, I’m not a bad person. In fact, most people would say I’m a really nice person. Even though I cuss like a sailor, I’m quite polite. I reject meanness in all forms, and I’m beyond empathetic. I cry during commercials for cleaning products, for fuck’s sake. I’m not awful, I promise.

But I’m a sadist motherfucker when it comes to wipe-outs, falls, and general clumsiness. I just can’t help it. It’s like when your doctor hits that spot on your knee, and before you know it, your foot has torpedoed into her chin. Yeah, that. And I’m not just talking a tiny case of the giggles. I’m talking doubled-over-tears-rolling- down-my-face hilarity that sounds like a hyena giving birth.

Of course, I assume while watching these things that the person wasn’t injured. I would never wish harm on anyone. But if you’re gonna slip on your ass, then someone might as well get a chuckle out of it, no?

I’m an equal opportunity laugher when it comes to falls too. One night a few years ago, my husband and I went to check in on our kids before we went to bed. As soon as we opened the door, we saw our younger son shift and wiggle his way right off the bed. He fell with a thud and a groan. My husband gasped and ran to his side while I ran from the room in a hysterical fit of laughter while my husband gaped at me in horror.

“You laughed at your own son falling out of bed,” he hissed in shocked dismay.

“I know,” I choked out between fits of laughter. “I can’t help it! Did you see how he just plopped over?”

I even laugh hysterically when I’m the victim of my own clumsiness. In fact, my own epic falls might be the funniest of them all. Several years ago, my husband and I were at my in-laws for dinner. We had just gotten two new puppies who were not in any way house trained (truth be told, twelve years later, they still aren’t completely house-trained) so we had them gated off in the tiled-kitchen so they didn’t leave messes all over my in-law’s pristine beige carpet.

After we finished dessert, I eagerly grabbed the leftover plates to clear the table. Look at me, being all helpful, I thought, and practically skipped to the kitchen with my arms full of crumb-filled paper plates. I quickly hopped over the metal dog gate separating the kitchen from the dining room, but my shoe got caught on the gate and instead of scaling over the gate like a lithe gymnast, I fell over it like a drunk pole vaulter. I literally flew across the kitchen floor before I landed by the garbage can on the opposite side of the room. Plates and crumbs surrounded me as I lay in a crumpled heap on the floor. My shoulders shook and I couldn’t move.

My husband ran to my side, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?! Are you okay?!”

I couldn’t speak so I just rolled over, with tears streaming down my face, laughing so hard that no sound was coming out.

“Did you hit your head? I think you hit your head. What’s going on with you?”

I shook my head no, gasped a few breaths, and kept on laughing.

“I fell!” I cackled, like it was the most hilarious thing in the world. Because it was.

Honestly, just thinking about the way I flew over that gate while plates and leftover food sailed through the air (the dogs loved that) and fell on my ass causes fits of laughter all these years later. And don’t even get my started on that time I fell on the treadmill or slipped on the ice and needed arm surgery afterward. Hilarious, I tell you. Absolutely hilarious.

At this point, you’re probably either nodding in agreement or reading with mouth-agape horror. Regardless, I’ll leave you with this last video as your daily dose of laughter for the day. You’re welcome.