When I was little I used to get the six o’clock sillies. The sillies involve extended, unconditional laughter and an attack is completely debilitating and thoroughly enjoyable. The sillies hit just when you are starting to get sleepy and you feel there has been enough of today for you – but there is a bit more to get through. They hit right when your parents want you to settle down and do something sensible, like go to bed. The sillies are often infectious, particularly between siblings and friends. Parents are predominantly immune.
All of this is fine when you are four years old, but I’m all grown up now and I still get the sillies. This is much to the amusement of friends, baffling to the general public and not so well received by people in positions of authority. The sillies have no respect for authority.
As an adult the six o’clock sillies are not restricted to 6pm and you can be struck down anytime: towards the end of a meeting that has gone on just a bit too long, or when everyone else in the room is trying to concentrate and you can’t, or at 4pm on a Friday, or at 6am when it is just too early to do anything else or sometimes for no reason at all. It is usually safer to sit down/pull over/leave the meeting at their onset. You can feel the sillies coming and wait somewhat warily for a trigger to set them off.
The news is not all bad. Attacks of the sillies do pass (if not within the hour an ambulance may need to be called). An attack usually ends with a few hiccups and a concerted effort. With practice, your day can go on and you will feel much better than if you hadn’t let those sillies out! Laughing is good for you – it feels nice. Ah, it’s 5:59…