My friend Julia from Germany told me that despite everything that is happening in my life these days, I still keep my humor. “How do you do it,” she asked. This made me think about humor. For example, why is a funny, shirtless drunk bachelor party dance hysterical but a funny sailor dance confusing? Why is a clown funny at a kid’s birthday party but a clown showing up with balloons in a sewer trying to give you back your little floating boat terrifying? Is it funnier if you know the person who is sinking in quicksand rather than if it is a stranger? Why is it funny to read Captain Underpants stories and the mischief these boys do to my son but not Struwwelpeter?
How long should you laugh at your boss’s joke? One minute or half an hour? Should you keep mentioning the joke throughout the day? What does it mean to have a sense of humor? Can this be taught or learned? In theaters and movies: Must there always be a tragedy when it is a comedy? It is tragic when someone gets struck by lightning and dies. But if your friend would be struck by lightning and he would be okay but his hair is smoking, would it be okay to laugh? Why does my son laugh every single time I drop something and it breaks? Why does he usually never laugh when he drops something and it breaks? Why does he also laugh every time I put on a t-shirt with a logo backward but he never laughs but gets frustrated when he puts his t-shirts on backward and upside down?
Why is it boring or disturbing when your friend Brian tells you that his wife left him but you are laughing when you find out that she left him for another man called Brian? Did Vikings tell each other jokes and were they gentle? Do Danish or Norwegian people have humorous (freaking scary) fairy tales like Germans do? Does it come naturally that we laugh and point at something or do we learn this from our parents? On the other hand, can somebody with no sense of humor be taught humor? Why is it so embarrassing when my son laughs at an elderly man who lost his wig and looks like Captain Underpants?
Is there humor on other planets or are these aliens so advanced that they simply laugh at how dumb we are and what we do to our planet? Why is it funny if someone slips on a banana peel but not if someone chokes on a banana peel? Would it be funny if someone, instead of finding a message in a bottle finds a tiny clown with balloons? Or a banana peel? Are there examples of something true and funny at the same time? Kinda like, “Dude, your head looks like a watermelon today?” Should a stand-up comedian who tells jokes and nobody laughs be entitled to drink for free that night? Is it funnier to observe a father trying to get a kite up with his son when there is no wind or is it funnier to see him trying to get the kite down from a tree with a stick while standing on a ladder destroying it? It is funnier to watch a family trying to put up a beach tent when there is strong wind or watching the tent fly into the lake with pizza cartons in it? Do bees have a sense of humor? Is their punch line stinging people?
I am wondering if there will ever be a time when we won’t have this feeling to laugh anymore. Will this time ever come? Then again, if Frodo can get the ring to Mordor, I can stay positive and funny throughout all this mess I am dealing with, too. And keep smiling at it all. This is important.
A friend just sent me this link and I wiped away a tear or two.