Today my son told me he broke one of our large serving spoons and instead of asking him how it broke I inadvertently asked why he broke it.
He didn’t hesitate.
“BECAUSE IT WAS POSSESSED BY SATAN AND HAD TO DIE!”
I laughed and rephrased the question. He continued, “I dropped it on tile and it SHATTERED … and by shattered I mean it broke into two pieces and I tossed it in the garbage with one hand.”
“Funeral on Tuesday,” I responded. That’s a standard line I use when we play board games and one of my meeples or characters dies.
This is a typical interaction between us. I think we try to make each other laugh, because, well, laughter. And because it’s easy. We have the same sense of humor.
I was writing about having a sense of humor earlier this week and thought about one of my favorite movie lines, from one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally.
This line was delivered during an argument about whether or not a wagon wheel coffee table was in poor taste. (That adds nothing to the quote. I just think the scene was funny.)
“Everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.” – Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally
I do believe that everyone has a sense of humor, but opinions vary on what tickles the bone. Slapstick, for example, is hit and miss with me. Jim Carrey is brilliant and most of the time I can’t stand to watch what he does. I can take or leave The Three Stooges. The Carol Burnett Show fall down skits? Hysterical.
My daughter doesn’t understand a lot of my taste in humor. Our conversations are a lot more serious as a result.
“Hey, did I tell you what the name of my book is?” I gushed as we drove. “It’s called… Why You Can’t Slap Happy People and How to Become One.” I smiled triumphantly and waited. She looked at me blankly. I prompted, “That’s funny… right? It’s supposed to be funny.”
“I don’t understand lot of humor,” she said matter-of-factly. “Which part is supposed to be funny?”
It was the first time I heard her acknowledge what I already suspected. There are a lot of times when everyone is laughing except her. I’m assuming it’s the (pending) Asperger’s diagnosis or maybe she’s not mature enough yet or maybe I forgot to sign that part of the paperwork in the hospital.
Whatever the reason, sense of humor has been officially added to the list of things I worry about with her, tucked into her inability to read most common social cues. I suppose what’s important is that she finds laughter somewhere. And she does find things funny. I just don’t usually relate to them.
The last time I remember us laughing at something spontaneously together was this summer during one of our many trips to the DMV. (We are frequent DMV flyers. I’ve discussed her tribulations with passing the driving exams in previous posts.)
Sitting there listening to the monotonous electronic voice call out numbers wears on my nerves, even on a good day. They precede every number called – EVERY NUMBER – with the words “Phone Number”, as if we didn’t know that’s what we’re supposed to be listening for.
(They use the last four digits of your phone number now for those who haven’t had the pleasure of frequenting Nevada DMV offices.)
After a particularly long visit, my mind began to audio hallucinate and I eventually broke down. I started re-announcing the numbers with the twisted versions my ears began to hear.
“Foam Number 4573… Fun Dumber 3221…”
My daughter smiled and rolled her eyes. Then I began adding color play by play. Phone Number 2384 at window number 17 was followed by “Your pizza is ready! Cash only.”
Pretty soon I think her mind gave in to the torture as well. She started to giggle. Then she began regurgitating revised phone number versions.
Announcement: Phone Number 3421 at Window Number 11
Daughter: Fund Number 3421…
Me: … your dad is here to pick you up and he looks PISSED.
Announcement: Phone Number 8856 at Window Number 19
Daughter: Pone Hummer 8856…
Me: …please control your goat. It’s eating all the other pone hummers.
I’m not sure the guy sitting next to us shared our sense of humor. He got up and moved a few seats down, which made us laugh harder.
I think having some sort of a sense of humor is essential. I’ve met people who seem to not have one or to have lost theirs. Here’s hoping you’re not that person and that you find something everyday that makes you laugh.