Thursday, January 13, 2011
The feeling in the room is calm and reverent. Everyone in the spacious room is sitting quietly on the green padded benches paying especial attention to the speaker.
The young man at the podium finishes his elocution and the intermediate hymn begins. The entire congregation sings the psalm with fire and gusto. As is customary; my sister and I alternate between the different parts and our voices dance an ever-changing duet. In the third verse; which carries a sacred message to its singers; a sudden high vibrato Snow White voice resonates in the bench directly in front of us. The composure that most suits the occupants of a church meeting begins to crumble. The tickling in our throats bubbles over. Laughter emits.
As the organ*s reverberating sounds and the chants of the singing congregation drown out the spurts of laughter squeezing past our lips; we struggle to regain at the least a reverent appearance. Giggles erupt nonetheless and the merriment continues. Without the use of our own voices to cover it; the operatic sounds of Snow White*s voice serves as a constant renewal to our amusement.
The hymn comes to an end as hymns are wont to do. The time for self-control is here. The moment is at hand.
The thing about giggles in sacrament is that they can*t really truly be controlled. Containing something that requires a moment of vocal expulsion in a place where silence is key for the sake of the meeting; is a mission impossible.
Observe.Covering the mouth doesn't cut it. Sound leaks right between the spaces in the fingers. In fact; it increases the startlingly loud factor by producing a kazoo effect. Taking deep breaths is a joke. That only increases the air capacity for the bubbling of giggles. Holding breath produces the same results as deep breaths. Looking to the Bishop only adds to the silliness as the need for control increases. Giggles are as wild animals; the more you try for control; the less control you have. Giggles as we all know; are supercalifragilistically contagious. The contagiousness increases with containment. If I gain control; my sister loses it. If she gains composure, I bail. It doesn*t help that my roommate Pan joins our nonsensical ways. No matter how hard we fight for control; we lose it. The chuckles and guffaws slip through.
To end the story; the closing hymn was sung as loudly as possible until the giggles inevitably begun anew. We will never inform Snow White of our amusement. It's better this way.