Today, I am grieving the apparent demise of the art of joke-telling. You know, the kind where you actually open up your mouth and words come out and it’s funny.
Why is it that nobody tells jokes anymore? We send them to each other by e-mail and Facebook, and that’s great, but it’s so lonely. There I am, sitting at my computer laughing all by myself. That’s just sad. Sometimes, I even resort to this:
Me: Honey, honey, come see this right now.
Hon: I can’t come right now, I’m doing something.
Me: Come right now, it’s really funny.
Hon: I’ll come later.
Me: NO, if you don’t come right now, I’m deleting it.
Hon: Geez, what’re getting so mad about?
Before the advent of e-mail and Facebook jokes, we used to get together with friends and in case you’ve forgotten how it works, here’s a refresher. After everyone’s been sitting around awhile and the small talk is starting to get a little stale, (cause you’re being cheap with the wine…I’m just saying) someone says, didja hear the one about…? And everyone laughs. Then someone else says, that reminds me of the one about… Which leads to uproarious laughter throughout the room,
and the more you laugh, the funnier everything is. You know why? Because laughter is contagious!
Sorry about that, %&*# cliché just popped itself in there.
My mother was a master in the art of joke-telling. She had all the right inflections and her timing was always perfect. In fact, there is only one time that my mother forgot a punchline and I felt right away that something was wrong with her, and to my eternal sorrow, I was right.
But let’s get back to our refresher course. There are protocols when joke-telling is engaged in.
When someone starts a joke, don’t pipe up that you’ve already heard that one; your messing with the timing when you do that. Even worse than that, would be shouting out the punchline. That’s just rude and no fun for anyone.
If someone tells a pope joke and it starts a whole bunch of pope jokes (I know at least fifteen good ones), this is not the time for your ‘doggies on Prozac’ joke. You’re screwing up a roll; wait your turn. If your turn doesn’t come, it doesn’t matter, because everyone knows the ‘doggies on Prozac’ joke. Say what? You don’t know the ‘doggies on Prozac’ joke? You really need to invite me over.
No matter how drunk you are, do not repeat the punchline over and over again. That makes you look kinda pathetic.
I think that’s basically it, but feel free to add your own rules in the comment section. That’s why it’s there.
Laughter has always been very important to me. Now, more than ever, a good belly laugh can ease the strain of a day when my mind has been occupied with less pleasant thoughts. Less pleasant thoughts have a way of permeating your brain and hanging around uninvited, indefinitely. But they’re basically cowards, afraid of even the slightest chuckle. If you start laughing or thinking good thoughts, these little traitors will just slink off, or better yet,
Here’s my health update in case you’re wondering. I had a CT scan this week, but don’t know the results yet and I’ve had lots and lots of needles. Needles to take stuff out and needles to inject stuff in. What fun. I’m turning into a pincushion! I have all these bruises everywhere because I have tiny veins, but mostly because I stubbornly refuse to push down on the cotton ball for two full minutes. I have cancer, I’m not wasting two precious minutes of my life pushing on a cotton ball. 45 seconds and I’m outta there.