Laughing, Telling a joke

Top Ten Confessions About Me, No. 8: I’m no joker

jokerWhen I was a kid, I thought my mother’s family were dull people, no fun at all, not like my father’s family, who were always teasing and making jokes. Now I know I’m like those sober old farmers on my mother’s side. Lots of the time, I’m quiet because I just don’t have anything to say. Or I’m still thinking, trying to figure things out.

When I try to tease, it goes all wrong, maybe because I have this habit of analyzing everything. Don’t you hate people like that?  So even if I break out with something I intend to be funny, I’m taken seriously.

Now I look back on my dull, deceased ancestors and wonder if they also discovered it was useless to attempt a joke. They might have found themselves wounding someone unintentionally and decided never to do THAT again.

In such ways we nip our talents in the bud. (“Nip it in the bud!” Barney Fife, I love you still). Long ago, I chose the straight, clean path of analysis over the more treacherous trail. But because we always want what we can’t have (see how analysis intrudes?), I’d love to make people laugh.

Comedy seems the highest and most difficult form of art. For me to attempt it would take as much nerve as jumping from an Olympic diving board, not knowing if I could swim or not. Or if there was water in the pool.

All you wits with your tongues in your cheeks, I envy your bravado and applaud your devotion to laughter. I hope it’s fun for you too.


17 thoughts on “Top Ten Confessions About Me, No. 8: I’m no joker”

  1. Wow, Carol, way to bring the room down… (hehe, I kid!)

    My problem is I joke around too much. And yes, sometimes it goes south. The difference is, unlike you (I gather), rather than do the sensible thing and shut up, I usually decide to double down and try again.

    I’ve never gotten the impression that you were humorless. I thought that open-mouth kissing post was a hoot 🙂

  2. I agree with John; you have a wry sense of humor. Not everyone is a Stooge. With me, anyway, you sometimes have to dig through a lot of crap to get to the pony… The truth is, if I TRY to be funny, it falls as flat as…well…something really, really flat. (See?) 🙂

  3. When I was a kid I hated my younger brother’s ability to make our mother laugh. She might threaten him with a spanking, for instance, and he would run away from her, making jokes and pretty soon they would both be laughing so hard that the needed punishment was soon forgotten. This made me furious! I’d be standing there yelling, “Hit him! Mom! Hit him!” I was so jealous of his ability to get away with things because he could make people laugh. I appreciate it now. I wish I had that wonderful gift! I, too, am a sober, dull person. I totally identify with your story. My deadpan delivery of any attempts at a joke, usually get me strange blank stares.

  4. I think your humor is apparent when reading your books. No boring, dull, humorless person could ever pull off a character like Wanda!

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