Literary crushes: Dave the Laugh

An occasional series about falling in love with imaginary boys.

Dave the Laugh is not beautiful like Gilbert Blythe. He looks different to you than he does to me, because he looks exactly like that boy from the school down the road that you fancied to bits when you were fifteen. (You know the one).

My Dave the Laugh, then, is a little bit gangly and wears his hair cut shorter than I like it. He looks nothing like the boys on my posters; he’s not my type AT ALL. But I fancied him from the moment I met him. Pheromones, or something.

Dave the Laugh is not a feminist. He’ll call you “kittykat” and pinch your bum. He might fall in love with your mind eventually, but he’ll love your legs first – and he’s always accidentally snogging people he shouldn’t be. He is completely infuriating. You don’t WANT to fancy him, but you do.

Because he really is a laugh, you know? He’ll have a Viking disco dance party with you at a moment’s notice. He’ll warn you when sexy Italians are just blowing their Cosmic Horns. He’ll set his own arm on fire in the science lab for the sake of a good gag, and he’ll still snog you if you’ve fallen bum-first into the river and got your knickers soaking wet. He’ll deploy a lip nibble. He’s a big old flirt.

I’ve fallen for A LOT of Dave the Laughs over the years.

I still feel fifteen inside; I suspect I always will. But somewhere along the way I grew up, and all my Dave the Laughs did, too. One of them’s a teacher now; one of them writes plays. One is married to the woman of his dreams: she’s a laugh, too, with the sweetest face.

We carry our past selves with us, Sabine told me. We don’t want or need the same things forever, but the things we wanted are part of who we became. 

My lovely Mark is not a Dave the Laugh. He’s altogether more considerate – deliberate and thoughtful and organised and kind. (And reading this: hi). But he does make me laugh until tears run down my face – usually on purpose. He is a laugh, you know?

And let us not forget: he who laughs last laughs the laughiest. WISDOMOSITY, Georgia style. 


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