Thursday, September 18, 2008

Making Jokes

Apart from the inside humor Brandon and I share all the time, it seems I rarely say anything funny. And of the infrequent times that I say something I think is funny, perhaps half the time no one else laughs.

I think this happens because I get the joke with only a minimum of setup, but other people expect more--more ... build up? More carefully constructed phrasing?--in order to see the irony, the ridiculousness, the funny side of something. And so I laugh at jokes before the punchline has been reached, and I tell the beginning of a joke, which sometimes Brandon or my brother Ben, if either of them happens to be present, may finish for me. And then people laugh.

But it seems my most effective jokes are the ones that I'm not even sure if they're jokes or not, and I don't know how other people will take them. I often get a good laugh by making ambiguous, or even cryptic statements. And apparently other people find some kind of amusing significance to it.

The only example I can think of right now is when I commented on the prices at the gas station, "Wow! Gas prices are still going down. Thank you, George W. Bush!" in a silly tone of voice. Brandon thought that was very funny. And I wondered why, exactly ...

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