Humour – It’s a Funny Old Thing
Someone recently told me that my blogs make them laugh and I was very flattered. So much so that I think I actually blushed. I mean, it’s a complement isn’t it. See, I’m doing it now….*blushes* They even asked me if I’d write about how to make people laugh. In a nutshell, I have no idea so I guess this post will be a short one.
It’s not something I do consciously, I think I’m probably just a little bit crackers in the way that I view the world. Let me put it this way, when you were a kid, did you ever lie on the sofa with your feet on the headrest, your bum precariously balanced on the cushions with your head and arms dangling upside down where your legs would normally be? I remember doing that with my sister next to me when we were about five years old; we’d laugh as the blood ran to our heads and we’d cackle about how different the room looked upside down. That’s humour for me, tipping the world upside down and just looking at it from a different angle.
A cake iced in bright yellow with a piece cut out of it could be just a cake with a piece cut out of it, or it could look like a Pacman (old 80’s arcade game). Personally I just stare at things from different viewpoints and these things just occur to me. Nothing is straightforward, everything has hidden nuances if you just pause for a millisecond and think about them. (I did actually nick the Pacman illustration from a friend so I’m not claiming that as my own by the way. I’m adding that so they don’t sue me for being an arse and nicking their observation.)
Then it’s a case of taking things to an extreme. If the cake is a Pacman, who is going to eat who? Pacmen are notoriously hungry so if you go to take a bite, will you lose your nose? Will it bite back? Then you escalate the ordinary into the realms of the ridiculous. It paints a picture in someone’s mind of a cake eating the eater, which is just silly. And silly is funny right? Or am I wrong? You tell me. Think of those conversations in the pub after a few too many drinks that go from an ordinary conversation about the weather and it raining all the bl**dy time, to hysterics after someone claims they found a goldfish in their wellyboot after the last school run. Something like that. You just take what is normal and add a bite of unrealism. That was ‘bite’ by the way, it wasn’t a typo of the word ‘bit. I’m just still on with the Pacman theme you see.
I suppose I amuse myself by looking at the world by adding back stories to things too. I am, after all, just a mid 30’s homemaker with two kids who lives at the top of a hill. Life isn’t all excitement and cocktail parties. I think about things, about how they could be, about how they might have been, about if something happened, if it didn’t happen. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally fairly imaginative (or cracked as I mentioned earlier). So, if Sausage claims there’s dinosaurs roaming the house at 3am, I begin to think of the practicalities of this actually happening. Would they raid the fridge? How would they get in? Surely a T-Rex with its little arms would struggle to reach the handle and would end up headbutting the sideboard? The Diplodocus might try to run himself a bath and get annoyed because he couldn’t get the tops off the shampoo bottles. That sort of thing.
Then there’s the imaginary life of inanimate objects. I think I give things character traits without really thinking about it. When Homebase installed a truly crap kitchen, the dishwasher became my arch enemy. It beeped at me whenever I tried to get it to work so I decided it was swearing at me, but had a self-censorship thing going on. I think that’s called personification. Again, you just look at things from a slightly skewed viewpoint and just run with it.
To continue on with the ‘what if’ train of thought….cat’s don’t talk do they. But ‘what if’ they did? LOLCats is a great example of this phenomenon (and that’s a big word for a Friday night after a can of Stella). I believe this is anthropomorphism and let me tell you I copied and pasted that word because I cannot/will not attempt to spell it right now.
You just look at things and wonder if the world was a bit different and cats did talk, would they say these things? When I had a home birth and our cat paced up and down the sofa miaowing at me whilst I yelled, cursed and generally kicked up a fuss I do half believe he was saying in his cattish language ‘What the hell is going on here? Someone get her a cup of tea and she might shurrup.’
And then there’s making the most of mistakes, in the written world typos are an absolute mine of inspiration. For example, I just bobbed onto Twitter, my second home and and accidentally said I was writing a ‘bog’ post. This led to someone admitting they’d once written about firing ‘gnu’s’ instead of ‘guns’. Now firing guns isn’t very amusing at all, but …… firing gnu’s is another matter entirely. I genuinely would pay good money to see someone firing a gnu. What would they fire if this was a possibility? Would you squeeze them like a tube of toothpaste and would they fire tiny poo pellets? How exactly would that work?
Using the unexpected cue from the typo, you make something that is normal, very, very abnormal. Troops simply don’t attack each other with loaded gnus. Well maybe not in this universe anyway. You’re painting a daft picture in someone’s head. It’s a visual joke in strange kind of way. You use your words to illustrate something that could never, ever happen in real life. But if it did happen, it’d be something to tell your mates about at the pub.
I think I’ve probably written enough, I suppose I should stop writing and go have an argument with the dishwasher. If it swears/beeps at me one more time I might just threaten it with a loaded gnu.
To summarise – that’s how I see the world and how I make life more interesting for myself. If it makes you laugh too then all the better. If we all smiled a bit and looked at the lighter side of things the world would be a happier place. It works for me. :O)