I mentioned before that I have the Gelastic Syncope, a condition that makes me
have seizures if I laugh too hard. This is an account of its most dangerous
So I was hanging out with some friends when my friend Timy asked if he could get a ride to work. Being a good friend, and one of the few at the time with a viable car and license, I agreed. I didn’t know that way there from where I was, but he did, so we were golden.
The trip seemed to take a bit longer than expected. There were a lot of turns and the area seemed to be getting more and more shady. When I tried to confirm that he knew where he was going, he conceded that he had only been this way once… in a bus. My confidence was shaken. It was completely gone when I arrived at one of the worst street corners I’d seen at that point in my life.
The buildings were run down and boarded up. There were cars on blocks. There were people selling drugs, and sex, and probably babies. The streets were filled with cartoonish stereotype of urban black people. There are mystical nexus points where reality becomes a caricature of itself. These weren’t black people. These were specters out of the nightmares of what white-trash rednecks think inner-city black people are like. It was a blur of gold chains, low-hanging pants, and hip hop. I wanted to get out of the car and plead with them to stop propagating the stereotypes, but more than that I wanted to not get stabbed in the face, so I didn’t.
I wondered where I was. What sort of place would let this happen. I stopped behind a van at a red light and looked at the street sign. The name of the street was Blackland Road.
The ridiculousness of the situation overwhelmed me. I began to laugh harder than I ever had. My body became tingly and numb at the same time. The world faded away. I awoke very disoriented and sitting in my car. This wasn’t the first time. I drove cross-country frequently, so I was used to waking up in my car. However, this was the first time I was in the middle of the street at the time. The guy who was driving the van got out and yelled at me. I had released the break during my seizure and bumped into the back of him. I got out of the car and tried to get my bearings. I couldn’t quite figure out exactly what was going on, and tried to explain that to the other driver, but he was in no mood to be receptive to my situation. That’s when Timy came in. I should mention that Timy had tattoos, piercings, Ass-Stomping Boots, a black leather jacket, a green Mohawk, and the attitude to back it all up. He approached swiftly and asked the driver very sternly if there was a problem. The driver quickly decided that he wasn’t nearly as angry as he thought he was, told me to be more careful next time, and drove away. My friend explained to me what happened, and realizing that all’s well that ends well, we had a good laugh about it all… not too good of a laugh, though.
We drove on and he decided that we must have missed our turn on Piedmont Roadsomewhere, so we turned around. We found it on the way back, but weren’t surewhy we missed it. Thinking that maybe it was one of those roads that changes names at the intersection, I looked at the other side.
I took a right onto Piedmont and did my best to keep a straight face. Timy kept a straight face. He turned to me and with perfect deadpan stated “Blackland Road makes white boys have seizures.” We were already deep into a state of the giggles. Imma gonna save you some build up here. I had another seizure then
and there, only I was actually going down the road that time. Timy took the wheel. We approached an intersection where there was a traffic cop, but luckily it was our turn to go. My left hand was plastered to the side window shaking. It looked like I was waving at the cop, so Timy did the only thing he could do. He leaned forward and waved at the cop, too. The officer waved back and we passed on though without further issue.
I woke up moments later, took the wheel again, and got us safely to our destination… where I proceeded to take a nap in the back room.
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