Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FUNNY.
This is definitely a subject close to my heart. Funny is subjective. We all find things funny but whether or not they are appropriate to laugh at depends on a lot of factors.
I have been told, on so many occasions, that I will laugh at anything – even when other people don’t find it funny. I have been criticised beyond belief because of the types of things I will laugh at. But, I hasten to add, I am not heartless or cruel – sometimes I’m not even laughing at what people think I’m laughing at. And this goes back a heck of a long way in my life.
One such memory I have is from 1978 when I would have been 12 years old. My Mum, sister and I had gone to the cinema to see Grease. Fantastic film but I have to wonder just how many people saw the same thing in the film that we did.
The part where Danny is sitting on a swing at the drive-through, soulfully singing “Sandy” – behind him, in the background, there’s a view of the cinema screen which is playing advertisements. Suddenly, into view on the screen, comes a walking, talking (although you can’t hear it) bread roll, and from the other side of the screen appears a hot dog sausage. I’m guessing they’d had some sort of argument and were making up but I could be wrong. It could have been a gourmet seduction we were witnessing. Anyhow, at the end of the song, the bread roll opens up and beckons the sausage to jump inside, which it duly does. At which point, the three of us just start to roar with laughter… to the total dismay of all the other cinema goers who turned and looked at us like we’d committed some heinous crime. We just thought it was funny – and what I’ve thought, many times since that day, is how come the three of us were watching the same thing anyway? Were none of us actually interested in the devilishly handsome Danny? Apparently not!
Another time I laughed out loud, and got called a sicko, was when Michael Jackson was filming that Pepsi ad, and his hair caught fire. It was reported on the radio news and the image that my head conjured up was hilarious. Now, I must add here that I would never wish harm on anyone. Something in me doesn’t relate what happens with who it’s happening to. It could’ve been anyone but what I was laughing at was the scenario that played out in my head – too much hair oil or spray or whatever it was… let’s just say too much styling product, which we all know is highly flammable, and naked flame. I can’t explain, there aren’t enough words. I did not want to think that anyone would be hurt, but the hideousness of the scene was what I found funny.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in town where a woman is teetering along on ridiculously high stiletto heels while carrying several very heavy-looking shopping bags. She steps off the pavement and her ankle goes over, she hits the ground and so does her shopping. It’s groceries. She’s laying in the road surrounded by bags and bottles and boxes, but to the left and right of her, there are loose oranges and grapefruit rolling all over the street. I stood back out of the way and I could hardly contain my laughter. I was not laughing at her, I was laughing at the crazy sight of all her fruit getting away. I figured she’d suffered enough humiliation with do-gooders running to help her, only adding to her mortification.
So, am I a bad person? I have fallen over, myself, in the street and if I am not injured (as it turned out she wasn’t) I do not want people fussing and fawning over me in my complete and utter embarrassment. I want to be like a cat – get up, look around, pretend nothing happened (or that it was my plan all along) and go merrily on my way. If I was the only person there then, of course, I would help if it was required, and I would have enough grace and decorum to stifle my laughter. It wouldn’t be funny if people were hurt, but she wasn’t, so there!
I hold my hands up to having a totally warped sense of humour which few seem to understand. I don’t care too much. It is sometimes beyond me to explain myself but with those incidents I describe above, and undoubtedly many more like that throughout my life, I guess you had to be there. And even then you might not see what I saw… now go and look for that movie clip and see if you can watch it now without seeing that hot dog’s antics!