When the giggles take over, sometimes, there’s just no stopping it. Even in a city council meeting…


For the record, this pic of Lisa and I was not from the city council meeting. We were tinkle-free here.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


It was supposed to be a serious night at City Hall; a time when newly-elected city council members were sworn into office and incumbents renewed their dedication to the community they serve.


The four were taking a solemn oath; solidifying a commitment to high values, fiscal responsibility and good decision-making.

They were surrounded by city and county officials: Stephenville Mayor Doug Svien, Deputy City Manager Jason King, Police Chief Dan Harris, Sheriff Matt Coates, Commissioner Joe Brown and several department heads.


I was there Tuesday night as well, sitting right next to my friend Lisa Pendleton.


I was there to get a photo, and more importantly, to lend support to our good friend LeAnn Durfey who was being sworn into office.

We are super proud of her and wanted to give her a strong sense of support.


I fear, however, that we might have failed her miserably.


Our intentions were pure; they really were. We even sent her flowers earlier that afternoon.


And despite the dreary weather, we managed to drag ourselves out of the comfort of our homes and trudge our way to City Hall in rain boots.

I even put on lip gloss.


But in the end, we marred the night’s solemnity with a fit of giggles usually found in an elementary school cafeteria.


And I place full blame on Lisa’s dog.


Here’s what happened: As the council members took a break to canvas the votes and people began shuffling around, I noticed that Lisa caught a whiff of something suspicious and sat up straight.

All I heard was a muffled “damn dog” and “peed on my sweater.”


Then it was game over.


When the realization hit us that she was wearing a sweater that her dog had tinkled on right before the meeting, we lost it.


I’m talking a full-blown, eye-watering, wheezing, ugly-girl laughing fit that had us shaking from head to toe.


And there was no stopping it; not the knowledge that the timing of our laughter was wildly inappropriate or the fact that we were surrounded by the city’s biggest wigs who were no doubt wondering what had gotten into us.

I tried to think of something awful that would stop the laughing - like catching my pinkie toe on the side of a dresser and how much that would hurt - but that only made me laugh harder.


We did manage to compose ourselves in time for the swearing in, but still, it wasn’t our finest moment.


The good news is that the sweater has now made its way out of the washing machine and into the dryer, and LeAnn isn’t mad at us.


(But she is a little sorry to have missed out on the giggle fest.)


That kind of laughter is good for the soul, after all, even if you have to get peed on before heading to a meeting at City Hall to get it.