Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Say Humor, They Say Humour!

Humor is important to me, very important. It always has been. The truth is, in school, I always had a crush on the funny ones. Not necessarily the class clown, but the quiet, intelligent ones that made me laugh. For instance, in 5th grade I had a long term substitute teacher named Ms. Bennet, who will always be my most hated teacher because she was the only one that ever found it necessary to tell me to shut up. She actually used those words. I was crushed and humiliated. Luckily for me Jason Williams was sitting next to me that day. Jason Williams had blond curly hair, blue eyes and an awesome digital watch with a calculator in it. Justin Timberlake, only manly. As Ms. Bennet turned around to write a math problem on the board Jason leaned over and whispered, "See how she crosses her sevens? That's how the Nazi's wrote their sevens. I knew she was evil!" I giggled, and loved Jason Williams for the rest of the year.

As a mother it is always fun to see my children developing a sense of humor. This week Number One Son has returned home to us and brought a lot of laughter with him. Yesterday he was trying to shove his very slender sister, Glamour Girl, off the couch. He grunted and groaned and made a big show of it, then collapsed, exhausted. This is the exchange that followed.

  • I can't move you, you're just too fat!

  • It's my super power.

  •'re super fat?

  • It's more useful than you think.

See? I love that!

One of the problems we face here is that very few people understand our jokes. Those of you who know Mr. Smith can imagine how this kills him. Two years ago when just the two of us were here for a "take a look and see what you think" trip we had a beautiful guide named Ambika taking us around. Now, Mr. Smith loves any audience, but the number of jokes he tells per minute increases in direct relation to the hotness of the women around him. With Ambika in the car for 7 days he was in fine form. Jokes left and right on any subject, I half expected to see him pull out a hat and cane and begin to tap dance. But the best part? Poor Ambika didn't get a single joke. Not one. On one of our final days in India, after one more joke had failed to hit it's mark, Mr. Smith and I were sitting quietly in the middle seat of the van while Ambika was discussing our next stop with the driver in the front. I leaned over and whispered, "It's just killing you isn't?" "What?" he replied, defensively. "The fact that there is a beautiful woman in this car who doesn't think you are funny. Personally, I'm loving every minute of it!"

To be fair, Mr. Smith is not the only one who has suffered. We Smith's tend to think of ourselves as fairly funny people and we find it disconcerting to live in a country where the majority of the people just don't get us. Number One Son was recently visiting Red Fort with Mr. and Mrs. Jones (our summer visitors) and a sweet, intelligent, young woman from around here named Leeza. Number One Son and Mr. Jones were lamenting the fact that, by and large, Indians did not understand sarcastic humor. Leeza took exception to this and defended her countrymen, and their sense of humor, admirably. Number One Son and Mr. Jones apologised and politely let the subject drop...for about 30 seconds, at which point Number One Son looked at the acres of red stone buildings around him and asked, "So why do they call this 'Red Fort' anyway?" Leeza, suspecting nothing, immediately answered, "Because the stones used to build the fort are red in color." Really?


Alisa said...

I can just picture Mr. Smith sitting in the car just sweating that this pretty woman won't laugh at his joke and just getting more frustrated by the minute. It's such a funny scene to imagine!!

Fictional Desi said...

lol this is a delightful post, mrs. smith!
lack of a sense of humour is probably the one unbearable thing in a boyfriend for me. i loved this post :)

Toni said...

Well, I'm not beautiful, or "hot", but all of you leave me in stitches!

The other day it was revealed that a female teenage friend wants to move in with our family. We were discussing it as a family, when Pablo the pool boy voiced his opinion. He is all for it because she laughs so heartily at all his silly antics. She is, by the way, very pretty.

I'm afraid I would be much the same as the tour guide for number one son. I would very happily (and gullibly {is that a word?})explain just why it was named red fort (or wall, or whatever it was called). I have been the source of much entertainment for my dear, sweet Nacho.

Half Evil Customz said...

I, for one, always find Mr. Smith amusing (however, I am not hot or beautiful)....But that, Mrs. Smith, was a riot of a post...sittin at work now...just imagining how he was behaving...

Rachel said...

I am not sure I could live in a country without sarcasm...toilets I could do without...but sarcasm never.
p.s. I dated a kid named Jason Williams a million years ago but ironically I dumped him because he took everything literally...not good around me! I appreciate your humor...I won't be dumping you guys anytime soon. ;)