Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Humor

I'm funny, I think, but I didn't know I was funny  for years.  In fact, no one knew I was funny, because my brother had the corner on Funny in our family.  In my nuclear family, my brother was the family clown and I was the hero child.  We had our roles and made sure not to step on each other's toes. He agreed never to succeed in high school and I agreed to not be funny. (Ok, that part's not true, but it will make my mom laugh.)

It's not that I  didn't want to be funny, it's just that it was impossible to out-funny my brother.  Not only could he think faster than me on his feet, but he could raise one eyebrow, allowing him to silently poke fun at people.  I spent hours holding down one brow and trying to raise the other to no avail.

If you think perhaps I am am overstating the case of my brother's supreme funniness and how I languished in his shadow, I have proof.  When my mother, my MOTHER -- my supreme cheerleader and the person who thinks I am tops above all others-- read my blog for the first time she told me, "I love it! I had no idea you could be funny!" to which I replied, "I said on Facebook that you thought I was smart and funny! How did you not know I was funny?"  To which she hemmed and hawed and I think tried to cover up the fact that although she may have said I was funny before, she didn't really believe it until now.

Funny people are cool. Funny people get invited to parties and things because they are, well, funny. I am hoping that telling you that I am funny will get me invited to more parties, but what will probably happen is that you will see from this blog that my brother is funnier and just bypass me and invite him instead, because as I said, in his wake I am really not very funny at all.  

There are several types of humor:

1. Mean. My brother is never this type of funny.  I am only occasionally this type of funny, but then I feel horribly guilty about it.  This is the easiest kind of funny.

2. Joke telling. This is my father's speciality, but if you are going this route, you really have to know your audience.  The wrong type of joke told to the wrong person makes you smarmy. 

3. Whacky. This is probably what my brother does far better than I; the willingness to be funny even if it makes you look weird, or unmanly, or a lot bit strange. This always works, except if you are hanging out with a bunch of  conservative people who worry a lot about public appearances, but then again, why are you hanging out with a bunch of stiffs if you could be hanging out with funny people?

4. Snappy Comebacks. If you can master this, you can avoid bullies forever.  The snappy comeback is the bread and butter of childhood.  I suck at it.

OK, so in review, I am occasionally mean-funny, I know a few jokes, I'm somewhat willing to be whacky, and I suck at snappy comebacks.  Now I'm not sure I am funny after all. 

But, and this is a big but, my kids are hysterical.  The boys fill my life and blog with funny little one-liners that increase my funnitude by eight thousand percent.  

Here's an example from each:

Tiny Pants (age 2) walks by the bathroom, pushes open door, looks at my mother, fresh from the shower. "Nana, I like your nipples!"
Nana replies, "Well, at least I've still got it for the toddler crowd."

Mama: Kitty, if you don't stop meowing I am going to put you in the oven!
Big Pants (Age 2): Mama, don't put Kitty in the oven. Kitty will cough.

See? If you read my blog with any regularity you can probably tell when they kids are home and when they are not based on the quality of my humor. When they move out, I'll probably have to cover board meetings or something and give up on writing anything entertaining at all.  

1 comment:

  1. Board meetings, council meetings, etc, are the most funny things of all. Grown people talking earnestly about deer poop and thinking they have the answer. Now that is high humor.

    You are funny, BTW.


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