“You are so funny!” It always surprises me when someone says that; I can’t be funny on command, but I definitely have a sense of humor and am in tune with the ridiculous. Physical comedy – slapstick – makes my skin crawl, but puns delight me. My son was amused (and appalled) that I knew the punchlines to at least twenty “dead baby jokes” and didn’t even raise an eyebrow before saying “with a pitchfork.” Dirty jokes? Sure – if they’re not racist, misogynistic, or just stupid. (A favorite: What’s the difference between an enzyme and a hormone? Hover over the link for the answer.) Jokes based on race, gender, hair color, and nationality have always been both popular and frowned on, as they test our ability to do that delicate tightrope-walk between bullying others and laughing at ourselves. It can be a long fall without a net.
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