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The general misuse of lol is rampant. It doesn’t get under my skin as much as the whole business of confusing lose/loose/loser/looser, but it is bothersome.

Here’s a chat from work:

Me: Man – Northern Tool sells such shitty shit. I wish we would just stop buying it.

Other: lol. i know what u mean.

Other is not laughing. He may be cracking a smile, but my statement was not very funny at all. I sometimes try to generate my own accunyms (or accurate acronyms) like sswpml, but they aren’t well received. A sswpml being, of course, a slight smile without parting my lips. It’s honest but not very catchy.

The closest I usually come to an authentic lol is a sboatmn or small burst of air through my nostrils. This is most likely paired with the sswpml but in extreme cases, I will pull an honest-to-god lol.

This weekend I had one of the better laughs I’d had in a while, and I was most certainly not typing at the time.

Saturday I left bed not because I wanted to but because I’d promised Stevie the night before that if she didn’t drive home I would chauffeur her downtown to retrieve her car the next morn. This was an easy promise on Friday, but as Saturday dawned … then proceeded noonward, I wondered if I might have misjudged my capabilities.

One quick shower n’ a puke later, I was driving – quiet, pale and shaky – to fulfill my commitment. I pictured the rest of my day spent fetaled up in bed, swearing off the sauce and hoping for appetite enough to stomach some toast and ibu. That was the ideal situation I could imagine. At some point in the delirium, it kicked in that I had purchased a big, comfy-ass couch earlier in the week which I’d agreed to move at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The couch, had it been moved by magical genies, would have been the perfect stage for my haggard suffering. Long enough for me to stretch out, wide enough for two and located right in front of the big shiny HD box of hangover-distracting wonders. As it was, the moving task seemed impossible, and I walked around the cabin shaking, swearing and generally fretting about how to get out of the responsibility.

Amid my swearing and shirking, Holden and our good friend A-Craw actually went and retrieved the couch. Down the steep flight of stairs, into the short bed of the pickup, down the snowy steps to the cabin and then came the hard part.

The cabin was built with a narrow deck in front of both doors. One door opens into a narrow corridor with no room for turns and the other opens into a spacious living room. To get to the spacious living room door, however, one must navigate winding and unshoveled pathways. As Holden and A-Craw guided the massive couch through the labyrinth of snowy path and Hemlock trees, I realized I was being completely useless and started furiously shoveling snow.

At the corner of the deck, they navigated a turn onto the narrow strip of deck. Holden pushed and A-Craw walked backward, neither able to see the other. Holden, hungover and in a hurry to test the healing powers of the new couch, pushed forward. A-Craw, relatively blind and walking backward, found the edge of the walkway then promptly found the edge of a small hill cliff as Holden pushed on. One moment he was holding a couch with arms bent at 90-degree angles, then he was down the hill holding the couch above his head and struggling to maintain balance.

I couldn’t help them, so I laughed out loud. I laughed, and that made A-Craw laugh. He struggled up the hill, laughing and holding the couch, and the whole group rammed into an adolescent Cedar tree which dumped its entire snow load onto the suede couch and onto both of them. I was ill and on the verge of critical nausea, but at this point, I also bordered on incontinent.

This visual came back to me in flashes through the day, and I lol-ed in the shower; I lol-ed as I dried the suede with a hair dryer; later I lol-ed while lying on the fantastic bastard that caused the incident in the first place. But this was no sswpml. This was the authentic laugh of the pre-lol 90s.