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My Dad came from the spare the rod spoil the child school. His dad had before him and his before him. I wanted to put an end to it but without striking my dad.
At 13 reading DRACULA for the first time I found this: “The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humor asserting itself under very terrible conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge. And then he cried, till he laughed again, and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances, but it had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness! Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked him why his mirth, and why at such a time. His reply was in a way characteristic of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious. He said,

“Ah, you don’t comprehend, friend John. Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same. Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not true laughter. No! He is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person, he choose no time of suitability. He say, ‘I am here.’ Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet young girl. I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn. I give my time, my skill, my sleep. I let my other sufferers want that she may have all. And yet I can laugh at her very grave, laugh when the clay from the spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say ‘Thud, thud!’ to my heart, till it send back the blood from my cheek. My heart bleed for that poor boy, that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same.

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After reading that I got it into my 13 year old head if I started to laugh before my father struck me I would feel no pain. I engineered the biggest beating my poor father ever gave me. Before he struck I started to laugh. He beat and beat and beat and beat until he could beat no more. I had felt no pain. I had not a mark on my body. More importantly, my Dad never touched me again. I had beaten him thoroughly without using my fists. This gift of the power of laughter has stood me in good stead. This has never been used in any of the films. I pass it on.…/CHAPTER_13_p9.html

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