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"You're funny ha ha"

Wednesday 6/7/23

The best episodes of The Andy Griffith Show have certain things in common, I've noticed. They all have a serious premise. Opie is being bullied, or Barney has been put down by a couple of guys who make him scared to do his job, or a scary ex-con is returning to Mayberry to pay Andy a visit after Andy helped put him in jail in the first place, or Opie has this friend that Andy thinks he's made up and lying to him.

The humor happens additionally but not in a grafted-on sense; it arises and is interwoven. It's not there just to be humor for humor's sake. The humor emerges from life and life situations. As coping mechanism. When we are frightened, or worried, or in pain, we also feel more. We're open to more.

Humor is one of those things that we're likely to see in those situations, because of that openness, and also because we need it. That's the truest humor, in my view. Yucks for the sake of yucks has less value.

People are almost never funny. It's impossible for most of them to be funny. The internet helps make this clear, as if it wasn't clear enough from encountering anyone.

They will try to be funny, though, and I will often wonder how it is that they don't have some form of self-censure in their brains that ever gives them pause or even makes them ask, "Is this actually funny? Could anyone in the world find this funny?"

Recently I saw two genuine, interesting questions posed on Facebook. One pertained to a Martello tower-type of structure on the Cape, that was obviously from some time ago--the 1800s, it seemed. A striking tower.

This person asked if anyone knew what it was and why it was built. What do you think then happened? Cue 400 unfunny idiots doing jokes. What do you think the quality of those jokes were? Do you think there was a single amusing one? No, right? I mean, of course not.

I'm sure the person who asked the genuine, interesting question regretted it. And they never got their answer, even if they were willing to sift through all of the idiocy.

Second example: this one came from an Ipswich resident. They kept seeing these scratches in the dirt and sand. They looked to have been made by an animal, but they wanted to know what animal and why.

This question I did know the answer to. The marks were made by snapping turtles when they're laying eggs. Again, cue the horrible jokes. "It's a space monster lol." Ugh. Fuck the fuck off. There's your fucking lol.

Don't go around writing the lol thing, unless you're equally comfortable having it tattooed on your forehead that it's very hard for an intelligent adult to take you seriously. And also to seriously think that you might sometimes be funny. Just don't do it. If you're an adult and you want to be funny, be funny.

Don't make an attempt, fail, and then signify that you tried to be funny by slapping in a lol, which is the mark of the moron just as an X was the mark of illiterate sailors coming aboard their ship for the first time, though many of these sailors were possessed of shrewdness and common sense. Are there people who might drop in a lol who don't match this description? On rare occasion. But there have also been two-headed camels. Don't count on an intelligent person trying to give you the benefit of what little doubt there is and see you as a two-headed camel.

The lol also has a connotation of a stunted adult; someone who never managed to cross the threshold into adulthood, though a precocious child wouldn't be writing lol themselves.

And if that's what you do now, don't have your heart overflow with hate for me. These things are true. It's not my fault that they're true. Make a change. There you go. So easy. We all move forward together.

Should I issue a LMAO or a ROTFL? Perhaps that would serve as a gesture of good faith.

The Libertines sang that few sights are more distressing than an English man in a baseball cap, but I will see you that English man and raise you a fifty-eight-year-old American guy writing "lol" fifty times a day on social media.


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