My husband is funny. Just had to say that. He’s a funny guy and sometimes he’s funny without meaning to be, which throws him out of funny territory and plops him directly into the hilarious camp. Some people are like that. Thankfully, my two kids are also funny/hilarious so there’s a great deal of laughter in our home. Until my husband or son tells a joke. Me and Em don’t do the joke thing, mostly because Em is more into making faces and physical comedy and I don’t “get” most jokes (I’m told this is because I tend toward literal-mindedness) and even when I do, I usually do not think they’re funny, which makes others insist that I haven’t “gotten” the joke, because, the thinking goes, if I did, I’d laugh with everyone else. I disagree and maintain that it’s a bad joke, but this argument never goes over well, particularly to the joke teller, who’s convinced the joke they’re telling is, by the very fact that they’re telling it, hilarious. Even if it isn’t. And it isn’t. Trust me.
Case in point, and this is one of Richard’s favorite jokes, whenever we travel.
Random person: “How are you?”
Richard: “We just flew in from New York…” Beat “and boy are my arms tired.”
Me: expressionless face.
Richard: Looks over at me, sees expressionless face and says, “Ba-doom, boom!”
Random person: Doubled over with laughter, “Oh boy I haven’t heard that one in a while.”
Me: Look of confusion. “Wait, what?” Watches laughing husband and random person. “What’s the punch line?”
Random person and husband: As though choreographed, swivel their heads to face me, look at each other, then burst into peels of renewed laughter.
Me: View of my back as I walk away… Sometimes I’ll shake my head in an exaggerated display of my (feigned) contempt.
So I have a confession, because… well why not confess these things (?) I’ve nothing to hide… I do “get” the joke, intellectually, I understand the play on words, I just don’t feel anything remotely like laughter surging through my body because of those words and truthfully, that joke, in my opinion, as well as most others like it are “made” funny with a straight man. So I, being the thoughtful and generous soul that I am, feel obligated to provide this.
You’re welcome. *Big grin*
Signed: “Straight man” aka Ariane
Laura B., Barb P., Emma (ever the performer) and Me (trying hard to keep a straight face)
- Studying Jokes (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)