… is a thing I often say. I strive to be funny. I am funny. My desperation in it of itself will make you giggle.
I took a dance class when I was 6 until I was 12.
Okay, that was a lie. My parents physically dragged me into the room of a dance class when I was 6. I made a scene, and the next week I wore a sea foam green floaty tulle tutu skirt (not the full kind that sticks out like wire, the twirly kind), ergo I garnered the attention of two girls who ridiculed/bullied/tortured me for a few weeks.
Two years after that, I discovered a paradigm shift that changed my approach to dance class. I deduced that talking back to the teacher, being sarcastic and whining made for a good laugh, and I went from quiet and awkward to loud and awkward – but more popular among the girls.
I truly hated this dance class.
Conclusion: Pain begets humor.
(And laughter begets more laughter, but everyone has had that epiphany when they laughed for 20 minutes and couldn’t remember why they started laughing in the first place)
Before I continue,
if you have about an hour, this great (and relevant) episode of Radiolab: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91588-laughter/
One afternoon, I walked into -anonymouse pet store name- to buy some form of cat supplies and they were giving away a hamster for free. I was told the hamster wasn’t getting along with the other hamsters, so the store was forced to give it away. “Why not?” is the rational thought I had, and I took the hamster home along with cage, wood chips, food, etc. A little over week later, on Sunday, I came home with a friend and found it dead. I immediately called three people to tell them about my hamster’s demise, and could not stop laughing on the phone.
Conclusion #2: Laughter is nature’s built-in natural coping mechanism
I have definitely accidentally laughed when someone has told me something awful. I have accidentally giggled when watching a somber video.
Confession: Although I have to admit I was confused, the first time I ever watched Dead Poets Society, I made a joke about Robert Sean Leonard walking around naked before he shot himself (spoiler) because I was uncomfortable with the tension in the preceding events.
The obvious: My own sense of humor is based on verbosity.
Contradictions: It can be a little pathetic, and it’s more than a little inappropriate at time, but I wouldn’t say it’s classy enough to be considered irreverent. It is not current, but it considers juxtaposition and natural assumptions powerful allies.
Frequency: I often say 15 jokes/puns/witticisms at one time, and go a week without uttering a single profound or original observation.
Strengths: My humor does not fear corniness, or cheesiness, or any form of edible cliche (point made, am I right?). I occasionally seek laughter in bitter, cynical ironies. Occasionally, my jokes are painfully honest but I won’t tell you if it’s truth or fiction.
Limitations: I am intentionally wary of making jokes about other people, because I’m a little sore about jokes made at my expense (I’m working on it).
Role models: Dave Eggers, Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff
Random thoughts about laughter
- Families have their own intimate hereditary humor
- Laughter that comes from tickling is not genuine, it’s pained
- Self-deprecating humor can be too attention seeking (like fishing for compliments or reassurances)
- Sounds can be funnier than words / carefully constructed sentences, again speaking to the inherent evolutionary role of humor
- The most valuable reason we should all laugh is that it is cathartic
A list of things I find hilarious
- Judy Blume’s A Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing and the entire series
- Meg Cabot’s self-deprecating and reflective teenage fiction novels
- Goats (fainting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg, or interrupting pop music – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf4SyWq692s)
- Calvin and Hobbes
- Hello Flo’s Camp Gyno spot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnzfRqkRxU)
- Inconvenient typos
- My sister
And I would pay $3,000 to see my cat laugh.