Warning: before you read this, please know that this is darker humor than usual. I got a rejection letter from an agent and am crabby. I have posted many blogs which are meant to make you laugh. Some of them may have actually achieved chuckle-hood. But there are times when you should be serious and jokes might not be the most appropriate. Since you probably already know these times, I am just going to share my top five times when I found trying to be funny was NOT the best idea.
5. You know that time when you are on a date and it just isn’t going well? It is wise to just shake hands and walk away instead of making a joke. Explaining to her that you have to go home and wax your nose hair instead of staying on this date can lead her to grabbing a handful of the aforementioned nostril plumage and yank really hard. The blood will eventually stop after an entire roll of toilet paper is shoved up there. Also, a guy crying on a first date under any circumstances is just wrong.
4. When your friends are explaining that their son has the rare disease known as Proton-McDonald Syndrome (before you get mad, I totally made that up), you need to sit still and listen intently, nodding with a sad look of understanding on your face. It is not appropriate to wait for a lull in the conversation to point out that Proton-McDonald Syndrome’s initials are PMS and their son could be famous as the first three-year-old boy who could say he had that. You really need to wait until he is twelve and then use that joke while handing him some cramp medicine and taking him to get fries.
3. Funerals are tricky when it comes to humor. Sometime you can say something that is incredibly funny, but laughing is just wrong. For example, my grandfather’s funeral was a sober affair due to the nature of his passing. He was shot at the age of eighty-three. It was tragic, really. He lived to be that age and a jealous husband caught him climbing out of the window of a twenty-eight year-old newlywed. Grandma said if he had missed, she was a good shot, too. That was really funny but I restrained my laughter. I’ve seen her shoot and she’s terrible.
2. I discovered that making jokes with someone right after major surgery is frequently not met with the hysterical laughter you were hoping. Hysteria can happen must more frequently followed by a mania that is not unlike a type of murderous psychosis that can be used as a viable defense at their murder trial. You make one joke about the doctor removing the wrong leg and people tend to get cranky.
1. Last, but not least, when your friend is telling you about catching his wife in bed with Enrique, the Columbian gardener, that is not the moment for levity. Trying to lighten the mood by discussing him “plowing her field” can get you punched in the throat. Later, after the divorce, you can make all the jokes you want about him grinding her coffee. But, save that for times when he is mad at her, which will be every moment for the first two years after the divorce. On an unrelated note, has anyone seen a young Columbian guy named Enrique? I have a joke to tell him. Yeah, a joke. Just a joke. Pay no attention to the cattle prod behind my back.
Well, I hope those will help you realize when you make jokes and when not to make jokes. Even if it hasn’t, let me know if you see Enrique.