I must warn you, it’s very contagious.
A bad joke, TV shows, movies, books, siblings, mistakes, old people and many more can be the cause of this mysterious concept.
One look at someone who has it, and you’re almost guaranteed to have caught it.
It takes over your body almost immediately.
Your face turns red.
Your stomach clenches.
Your face tenses.
And your eyes may even start to water.
In severe cases, you might even lose your breath.
Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t last forever.
Sometimes, it lasts only seconds, other times, it’s a solid five minutes.
Rooms at a time can be taken over by this . . . thing.
I know what you’re thinking.
“That sounds awful,”
“Is there a cure?”
No, not the kind of cure you’re thinking of.
“Will I ever get it?”
Yes, you will. Most have already experienced it many times throughout their lives.
Don’t be afraid, though.
It’s not what you’re thinking.
This . . . thing, it relieves stress and anger.
It causes you to forget the terrible things for a bit.
Just long enough to enjoy the moment.
It brings you joy and happiness for the time being.
Once it’s in your system, though, there's a great chance you’ll want more.
You’ll become addicted to this strange phenomenon.
Don’t fret, it’s no drug, though it may feel like that at times.
So, what is this mysterious thing that takes over your body and forces your face to turn red, yet makes you experience happiness and joy all at the same time?
It’s so simple, yet so amazing.
The weight of life is lifted off your shoulders for a couple of seconds.
Your mind is zoned into that exact moment.
Laughter opens the chapter of a book that you never want to quit reading.
It fills you inside with warmth and light.
Editors were worried at first that this would be a sad poem due to the title, but we were impressed with how well the author slowly gives clues to figure out that the "common illness" is laughter. We appreciated the chance to look at laughter in a different way. Lyndee Jones is in 10th grade and attends Forest City High School.