Today in French class, a certain student, for some unknown reason, was infected by an uncontrollable laugh attack that sent the entire class (even the teacher) into a state of ecstatic madness.

We’ve all been there; one moment you are going about your typical day, when suddenly, all semblance of composure goes out the door with a roaring, uncontrollable, sometimes inconvenient, spell of hysteria that we know as a “laugh attack.”

A sly creature, the belly laugh is most often triggered by the most arbitrary of occurrences. Whether you are a mother who simply cannot hold it together while watching the all-too-passionate man at your daily yoga class, or an infant who seems to find immense humor in seemingly anything that moves, the belly laugh eludes nobody.

The problem with this spontaneous burst of laugher, though, is that it often happens to find the absolute most inconvenient time to overcome you. For all of you out there who, like me, sometimes have a lack of control when confronted in a conversation with, say, a parent or teacher scolding you, I feel your pain. Why is it that when two friends are being lectured by a teacher about not talking in class, even if they try with all their might to hold back laughter, they are to no avail?

Your face turns red from an attempt at self-control, and out of nowhere, the laugh attack makes an appearance. As if matters could get any worse, the belly laugh found a way to get you a free ride to the principal’s office. Thank you, belly laugh.

Not to mention the fact that past midnight, almost anything can trigger a spell of laughter, especially for teens. For us, it always seems like a good idea to stay up as late as physically possible when staying over at a friend’s house, but in turn we fall prey to laugh attacks at the most problematic times. For my friends and me, it is the state of delirium we reach at one in the morning, after watching Netflix for an embarrassing amount of time, which causes problems.

As hard as we try to tiptoe through the dark house for a necessary snack at this hour, someone tripping over a chair and tumbling to the ground somehow always manages to send howling laughter throughout the silent, sleeping house. So much for not waking anybody up. The laugh attack continues, and becomes worse as we make our way to the kitchen. The dog barks, someone steps on a Lego, the bag of chips spills onto the ground, and the laughs continue.

Why everything is 10 times as funny at this time of night we may never know, but all of a sudden the sound of heavy footsteps ceases the snickering. Here comes my dad, ready to have a fit because the whole house has awoken due to an untimely belly laugh. We all scramble back upstairs, food in hand, and unsuccessfully feign sleep until he gives up and goes back to bed.

Not only sly, the belly laugh has the ability to leave its original owner, and involve persons in proximity, thereby fueling the fire and creating mass hysteria of the happiest kind. This contagion is inevitable, though, so be aware. If you find yourself too close to a victim of the belly laugh, you, too, may join in and end up on the floor weak from hilarity.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I am a supporter of an occasional eruption of hysterics. You can’t help but feel better as you wipe the tears from your face after a good laugh. For those of us struggling to perfect our supplemental essays, complete the Common App before the deadline, and manage homework on top of all this, a good laugh now and then is the only cure for a bad day.

Therefore, my advice for the seniors whose stress levels are off the charts: don’t forget to laugh.

Brooke Connolly is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.