Have you ever had this experience: You're in the theatre enjoying a comedy when something
hilarious causes you to spontaneously erupt into unbridled laughter, followed by a fit of
extreme embarrassment as you suddenly realize you are the only one in the whole theatre
who cackled at the scene.
Well, it has happened to me and I know it has happened to some of you too because I've
heard you. From some far off corner of the theatre I hear an explosive burst of laughter
from a lone individual and I can't help but think "What is that person's
problem?" So my question is "What's going on?" While I have just used all
of my lung power in this latest roar of laughter I don't even hear a giggle or a chuckle
anywhere in the whole place. I mean, isn't that one of the big reasons we still go to
theatres, so we can join in the crowd? I could stay home and pop in a video but sometimes
I enjoy hearing other people in merriment. I can deal with the one or two second delay as
the rest of the crowd finishes reading the subtitles and then begins to laugh. It's just
the times when no one else in the whole place laughs (besides that other annoying
foreigner in the far off corner) that bothers me.
I know it must be something to do with the subtitles but how do you turn something
hilarious into something that is not funny at all? Is that one of the job
requirements? Do they intentionally hire people with no sense of humor to do subtitles? I
know the Japanese have a sense of humor. I see them laughing at my local izakaya all the
time. Japanese television is full of silly behavior and if I don't count the morning
trains, I see people smiling a lot.
So what gives? Until this problem gets sorted out I suggest all of us prone to bothersome
explosions of laughter sit together the next time we go to the theatre. We could have our
own section: "All those prone to loud noise please be kindly and sit in the far off
corner." That way we would probably feel less embarrassed and could actually enjoy
the movie a lot more. I would just feel sorry for anyone sitting near us.
Many thanks to contributor Milton Combs for this Rant.