John B Keane: Giggle the silliest form of expression known to the human body

A GIGGLE is a laugh of sorts, studded with minor spasms.

A GIGGLE is a laugh of sorts, studded with minor spasms.

It is the silliest form of expression known to the human body.

Animals do not giggle, but it may be that have little to giggle about in a world where man is often unkind and always temperamental.

Giggling is generally associated with young girls and small boys but often the habit of giggling, particularly in young ladies, goes on long after childhood.

This can be infuriating and, indeed, unnerving.

I remember, once, asking directions of a number teenage misses on a roadway.

They did not seem to hear my question.

One giggled, and, in a few moments, she was joined by others.

It was not uncontrollable giggling.

That only arises when the unfortunate victim looks discomfited and dismayed.

Luckily for me, I had some experience of giggling, and it was stopped when I giggled in return.

My giggling was louder and I set out to mimic the original giggler, who presently opened her mouth without making any noise at all.

In fact, she looked downright embarrassed.

The others soon followed her example when I asked , secondly for directions.

The group just stood there as if I were addressing them from Swahili.

Strangers are nearly always the subject of giggling.

Now this I can understand in a girl of five or six, but it is hard to accept in a teenager.

While it does not suggest an incurable deficiency, it nevertheless indicates the possibility of an unstable future. Perhaps it is only fair to warn teenage giggles that a latter-day husband may not take it too kindly if his request for his supper is answered with a giggle.

What makes one girl a giggler and another a non-giggler?

The reason lies in a reluctance to depart the childhood scene, a fear of growing up and a mistrust of the adult world.

I like small girls who giggle, but when big girls giggle it gives me a headache, and I am concerned for the future of the home and the world in general.

There is, of course, a cure for giggling.

First you take a small tomato or an onion and wash it carefully. If you haven’t got a tomato or an onion, any round object will do.

This round object should be thrust gently into the mouth of the giggler and allowed to simmer there for 15 to 20 minutes - longer, if the giggles are of exceptional volume and duration.

The round object should then be removed and allowed to rest in a hygienic place.

The process should be repeated every seven and a half minutes, until the giggling has stopped.

Some people foolishly believe that a giggle is the daughter of a laugh.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

A laugh is always respectable, whereas a giggle can be dis-respectful and annoying.

The classroom is the favourite forum of the gigglers. Here they may giggle with impunity when addressed in a commanding tone by the un-lucky teacher.

No class is without its quota of gigglers, just as no forest is without its laughing jackasses. They may be a necessary part of the whole, since we are told that it takes all types to make a world. A giggle however, is only as foolish as the person who voices it and the whole classroom must not be made to suffer.

In addition to being a fiddler, Nero was a giggler and Hitler used to giggle foolishly when confronted with his own mistakes.

Those who find themselves of their own fault, in embarrassing situations are notorious gigglers and, instead of endeavouring to rectify the error or misdemeanour, giggle with a sort of conviction which has been known to be contagious.

It is the contagion of giggling which presents us with the true dangers of giggling.

If our presidents or prime ministers giggled in emergencies and contingencies, we would be in a nice state.

Fortunately, they do not giggle.

Ignorance may be the root cause behind the giggling of mature people and it is for that reason that I am so set against it, because no country can afford a sizeable percentage of ignorance without a slowing down of maturity.

Let me stress again that the giggle is in no way related to the laugh.

They are not even 41st cousins.

The giggle is derived directly from the shriek and has close affinities with a full blooded scream, but, whereas the scream and the shriek are frequently justified, there is never justification for the giggle.

Whenever you see a young lady sticking out her tongue at somebody you may be sure that the girl in question is a giggler, but in such instance the giggle is not sufficient to convey the proper modicum of the subject.

When you read this I do not expect you to laugh.

This I can understand because it isn’t very humorous anyway... but please, spare me the humiliation of a giggle.