Thursday, November 27, 2008

You're Sort of Funny, I Guess.

So I am clicking around on some blogs I read, and notice that one of these bloggers has been nominated for a humour award. She prefaces her blog entry with a comment her husband made when hearing of this nomination, the gist of which is: "you aren't that funny in real life."

Now, I think I'm a fairly witty writer, so I decide to do an impromptu poll to see just how deluded I really am what the people I live with think: is she funny or isn't she? In real life, I mean. 

As Max is in the room, along with my husband, I ask them if they think I am as funny IRL as I  tell them I am on my blog. Richard, canny man that he is, checks the Sensible Spouse Option: "Of course you're funny," he says, though not in those words. (I feel compelled to add that he used a distressingly cheesy phrase I can't repeat here, other than to say I've heard the same term on a McDonald's commercial)

Since I never trust anyone who compliments me so blatantly, I decide to ignore him and ask Max, who is scribbling away in his art book at the table. Max would never blatantly compliment me unless he really wanted some of the fresh bread cooling on the counter.

"Max, do you think I'm as funny in real life as I am on my blog?" I ask. Max actually reads a lot of my posts, particularly if he's featured, so I figure I'll get a reasonably honest answer out of him. Of course, in hindsight I should have thought about the fact that it's not my writing that cracks him up, it's his behaviour. He thinks he's hysterical. But I didn't have my Hindsight-O-Matic working at the time, alas.

"Umm, funny? What do you mean, funny? You? I don't get what you mean." he says, looking confused. 

Great, I think. This is going really well. Richard starts guffawing in the other room, no doubt greatly enjoying this scintillating conversation, not to mention the razor-sharp wit of his offspring.

"Funny, as in HA HA funny," I say, "Assuming you think some of my blog posts ARE funny, I suppose."

"Uh, well, I guess you are. I mean, you're sort of funny when you're around your own friends. People like you. You aren't all that funny around me." He says this while waving his finger around in the air. Looking pained. 

I'm funny amongst my own kind. Nice. I sit silently for a minute, wondering now who and what my own kind are. And feeling like I'm a gazelle. Or a giraffe. It's not an entirely unpleasant experience, but it's definitely a new one. 

"Well, umm, okay, pretty much," he adds kindly, after seeing the effect his words have had (his mother, momentarily silenced). "Sure, Mum, you can be funny." 

Thanks, kid. Now go eat some bread. I think I'll stay here amongst my own kind. 


Anonymous said...

Well, that was kind of funny. And I think all humour is pretty "your own kind" specific. It often draws on shared knowledge and a lot of unspoken assumptions. Heck, 6 year old boys think farting is funny. Pretty specific to their own kind.

But I'm also thinking of some of the more humourous blogs I read. Like Franklin's posts about Dolores. (The Panopticon, in my knitting blogs list.) I'm not sure if non-knitters/spinners/fiber folks get those. Or whether you get them if you come in late without knowing where she came from. Same with some of the cartoons in his new book, It Itches.

All that to say that I don't think it is an insult to say that you are funny among your own friends and people like you.

Heather said...

"Sure, Mum, you can be funny."? Now that's funny!! Your son has a great sense of humour; he obviously inherited it from someone, must have been you. ;-)

I think your own kind might be other "knitters". You are very funny around other "knitters". ;-0

Samantha said...

Are you kidding me? You are freakin' hilarious! You crack me up all the time, causing my husband and child to think I am very strange. You are legend!
I guess I must be one of your kind then :-)

sheila said...

JoVE, I think you're right: humour is very context specific. I'm often surprised, during our Read Alouds, at what my kids find hysterical. Some of it I can predict, but other things seem almost inexplicable.

Heather, Samantha: Yes, I think the 'knitting conference' people are my kind! I nearly died of laughter when he said that, it was such a funny kid remark. He clearly thinks I'm in the Strange Adult category.

Anonymous said...

So how did I not know you were a knitter. My first instinct for an example was the Yarn Harlot. And then I bailed to Franklin though really, not less context specific.

And if you don't read those people, you should.

sheila said...

JoVE, I'm not a knitter, well, not a very good knitter. That was an in-joke with Heather and Samantha. They can knit, I hasten to add, while I do anything but, although I have heard talk of this Yarn Harlot. We're on a knitting conference together, which I joined purely for the entertainment value. One day I might knit...