Jokes piss me off. I don’t care if they are profanity laced or offensive, I just find them to be a nuisance. I don’t enjoy someone embarrassing themselves when laughter doesn’t follow, and I have the second worst fake laugh in the world. My wife owns the number one spot in this category.
While visiting a local diner for brunch with my extended family, we were accosted (that’s a little strong) how about assaulted not once, twice, but thrice by a bartender honing his lack of skills for the comedy club.
We were celebrating my wife’s grandmother’s 91st birthday and enjoying listening to her nostalgia filled with wonderful stories of her past. Enjoying ourselves while preparing to order, a bartender (the only table available was located next to the bar) interrupted our collective conversation with attempting to provide our table with the gift of laughter. A tad rude, but no big deal. Once he began speaking, I diverted my eyes, because I could smell a joke coming which would probably be just as cheap as the dirty napkins at our table. Sit directly in front of him, he gave most of the attention to my wife. Now, that made me chuckle. She has a exceptional sense of humor but also doesn’t care for jokes. This was terrific for me, because I knew she would be forced into busting out her outrageously ridiculous phony laugh. That would and did make me chuckle. Looking at me with distain, she turned her attention back to the mindless King of Comedy. He delivered properly. It was a wildly lame joke. Insert wife’s fake laugh. Her grandmothers stared at him and didn’t laugh, smile, or frown, even though she did think it was a bit odd. She couldn’t hear a word of the joke anyway. My mother in law laughed, because she is a very kind soul, and I think she enjoys corny and unoriginal jokes with no clever swagger at all. I think that’s great. We’re just different.
There was no harm done and when he completed embarrassing himself, we returned to our peaceful conversations. Two minutes later, hop along joke dealer two graced himself again for a second dose of pain. Strike two. That’s where I was a little annoyed. Same scenario, similar crappy joke, and priceless fake laughter. My father in law, one the finest and nicest people I know, looked like he wanted to physically 86 the bartender from his own place. Again, it ended without bloodshed, so all remained well.
I won’t bore you with next joke encounter of the third kind except for the fact my wife flashed me a look of “don’t” when she knew I was going say something like, “why don’t you take your colossally stupid jokes outside and make someone else miserable out on the deck instead of torturing us?” Instead, I resorted to an eye and head roll. My eye and head rolls are those of legend. You can see me performing these rolls from different zip codes. I think the jokester caught mine and did not return to our table. End of Chapter.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. Some people think it’s little too dry. That’s fine. It is all subjective. And, I don’t expect others to have the same. My wife and I are Seinfeld people, while others may have love the well deserved beloved Mash. Both considered comedically magnificent in their own individual rights. Mash just isn’t our style.
Let’s make this a little more colorful. I believe it’s important in relationships to share certain things, one of which being a similar sense of humor. I’m not saying it’s critical, but to me and my wife, important. I melt when I hear her genuine laughter whether I am providing the laughter or not. Hell, I don’t even mind when she laughs at me. I’m extremely adept at doing stupid things or perhaps dancing when I shouldn’t. My wife and I have known each other since we were 13 years old. We made each other laugh then, and after a bit of a glitch, are still together today, laughing each day when we wake up and before we fall asleep. But, let’s imagine a hypothetical situation. It’s the year 2008. I don’t know her and we are both at a bar, and I notice an empty chair next to her. Although she looks dirty from working on an oil rig, I see beyond the dirt and the filth and approach her while she is paying attention to two television broadcasts. One, is a Seattle Mariner baseball game and the other is CNN. CNN is in the middle of its entertainment segment. Upon reaching the bar to order a beer, I turn her and say, “Did you know the Seattle Mariners are a Major League Baseball team?” My eyes would read that I was ridiculing their deplorable organization. That would guarantee me a chuckle earning me that seat next to her. I would then have her turn her attention to CNN, and I would say, “Do you see that guy Donald Trump right there? He’s going to end up being President of the United States one dark day.” That would earn me belly laughter and a date for Friday night.
I guess the joke’s on her.