“You think you’re funny but you’re only half.”
“That’s so funny I forgot to laugh. OW! That’s what you do? You hit me when I don’t laugh at your dumb jokes?”
I grew up in a witty family. I was the least funny of the four of us (“Except to look at!” Apparently I’m channelling my brother when he was 8) but funny enough. As I grew older and entered the world of people who are NOT my family I’ve learned that not everyone had such an advantaged childhood. They don’t get my jokes a lot of the time. “You’re kidding, right?”
My metier is wit with a tinge of sarcasm. The family style was more sarcasm with a tinge of wit. I don’t like the sarcasm, but it was part of my childhood indoctrination into surviving in the Kennedy family and the larger extended family of my mom’s sisters. Real wit is situational, and, sadly, I can’t just sit here and display wit for the sake of this blog post.
My poor Uncle Hank (married to Aunt Jo) thought I was hilarious and if I got him laughing (giggling my Aunt Jo called it) at the supper table, Aunt Jo would send him outside.
My dad liked puns. My mom had nothing but contempt for them and said they were “Not wit. The pun is the lowest form of humor.” We — my dad and I — secretly held that she just didn’t get them.
I think wit is a useful thing for surviving the absolute idiocy and horror that is ordinary life on earth. It keeps us from looking at it all too seriously and becoming immobilized by angst. But it can get you into trouble, too. 😉