My husband and I got to talking in the car the other day about tickling. He reached over and squeezed my knee and I squirmed uncomfortably due to the inevitable tickle. I laughed and whined and he pretended to tickle his own knee. He didn’t laugh. It got us to wondering why one cannot tickle oneself. What is it in our brains or nervous system that only registers light touches in sensitive spots as being ticklish if touched by someone other than ourselves? Seriously, I tried it – I can’t tickle myself. So we got to thinking how funny it would be if we really could tickle ourselves ::
I bet there would be people that really got addicted to it, like a recreational drug. There would be closet-ticklers, social-ticklers and ticklers-in-denial. You would likely notice the individual having their own tickle-fest out in public domain; this is definitely something that should remain in the privacy of one’s own home or among close friends. These things should not be shared with the general public. There would be support groups called Ticklers Anonymous. There might be small, dark theaters playing an old nature show like Wild America and all around you there would be stifled sounds of nervous giggling from the ticklers. They’d glance side by side furtively, making sure they didn’t see any familiar faces : oh, the embarrassment that would cause, to see cousin Stan the next row over! Tickling is NOT something we do to ourselves in this family. Children would be taught at a young age that not only is tickling inappropriate, it especially should never happen at the dinner table. Bartenders would keep a close eye on patrons that begin laughing to themselves while sitting by themselves at the far end of the bar – this person obviously has had too much to drink has begun to tickle and now will be forever banned from the establishment. Police are given special training on how to handle ticklers. A common story that would be talked about by the men and women wearing those shiny silver shields is of the man that was arrested for disorderly tickling and even while handcuffed was still able to tickle himself to tears. Sad. Most police departments actually would have their own special Anti-Tickle Squad. There would be protest groups that would form, declaring “It’s my body, I can tickle myself if I want”; parents would not let their kids leave the house on the days when they’d be marching downtown for fear of the corrupt practice finding its way into their impressionable child’s head. It would be well known that tickling is a ‘gateway’ to doing many more dark and despicable things to oneself and it is just so upsetting that no more should really be said about it.
I suppose there are reasons why we can’t tickle ourselves. But in my dream world where self-tickling does exist, it has its own well developed and comical storyboard. Frankly, it tickles my fancy.