I work in an office in a room with 2 other people (and doors to 3 other offices, and a printer, and a postage machine, and now we're getting a little too descriptive). It's an open layout, so we have our own desks and work areas, but not so much our own cubes. Unless we are directly conversing, it's usually pretty quiet.
Some of the work I do can be mind-numbing (God bless my iPod). For example, there was a project for which I had to update contact information for folks by researching online. During this specific project, I came across several funny names, pictures, websites, and "professional" biographies.
One day, it was about hour seven of this nonsense and the room was absolutely silent. This was when I came across the man that changed our coworker dynamic forever: Attorney Gary Crapster. Yes, in my search, I found someone with the last name "Crapster." Immediately, I heard myself saying "Crapsteeeeeeer! What up?" in my head as if greeting Mr. Crapster, Esq. familiarly from across the room. Thoughts of crapster as slang cut through the silence and mapped themselves onto Gary personally, as if he himself were made from defective parts. I pictured him walking along rather mechanically as parts of his robot body fell off and clanged to the floor.
All of this happened in less than a second, during which I found myself trying to fight laughter, but, it being 4:30 and the room being invitingly silent, unable to do so. Laughter eeked out of my mouth slowly and in the form of that uncomfortable "kkkkkk" sound that happens at the back of your throat. I put my hand to my mouth, foolishly hoping that mere action could contain the inevitable. Finally, I let it out. I laughed into the silence.
I subsequently had to explain why I was laughing, and luckily, my coworkers found Attorney Crapster as funny as I did. (I mean, how could you not?!) Thus, the floodgates were open for moments of random laughing. Silence, as a result, became a deadly invitation for laughter. In fact, silence mocked me to the point where sometimes I find silence itself funny.
I'll be sitting there and, out of the blue, something that was funny five minutes (or days) ago will hit me again. Like the time my coworkers and I watched the SNL sketch of Justin Timberlake dressed up like an omelette at lunch. "Bring it on down to Omeletteville" will sometimes smack me in the face and dare me not to laugh.
Or I'll remember something funny that happened years ago. Like the time I cut up Jess's corduroy pants and made little outfits for Sparki and Emma. They looked absolutely ridiculous. And nothing would have prompted this thought specifically, but nevertheless, there I'd be, laughing uncontrollably.
Or I'll think of something that's neither happened nor is currently happening, but could happen. Like what if someone were to go into the bathroom (which is right next to our room) and start singing "The Star Spangled Banner" loud enough so that we could all hear it? Or better yet, Taylor Dane's "Don't Rush Me?" That's gold. Well, it would be gold, anyway.
Luckily, my coworkers are arguably just as quirky as I am and not only understand when these things happen to me, but often do it themselves, tripling the random entertainment throughout the day. The best part is, sometimes we explain why we're laughing, and sometimes we just don't. Leaving the laughter hanging there is enough to make the other 2 in the room laugh anyway, despite the fact that they aren't sure why their coworker cracked up. The way I look at it, whether the source of laughter is shared or not, it's a win-win and it makes the day go by a little faster.