Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let It Ride!

You all know that every attempt at humor has a buy in. It's a gamble, a roll of the dice. No matter how well you think you know somebody, a joke, prank or witticism can always fall flat - or worse, offend. It's risky, but it's worth it!

Personally, I like the witticism. That is my domain. I'm not saying that mine are exceptionally funny (or even better than Michael Scott's). I just mean that's what I do. I like droppin' one-liners relating to the situation or conversation at hand. Something happening triggers a humorous (I think) thought and I let it out.

Now, before you get all "OMGIWANNABELIKECHRISCAUSEHESSODARNRADICAL!" and try throwing quips out all willy-nilly, you oughtta know this ain't no nancy-pants, Radio-Disney, Thomas-The-Tank-Engine, Wall-E-finds-a-plant, bullsh-... *ehem*... *ehem*... Suffice it to say, it's a high-stakes game. Part of what makes it tricky is that it has to be quick. So much so, that you hardly have time to question whether it will be effective, appropriate or offensive, because the window is so small! You've gotta think it through, but you need to act swiftly. You don't want the first response to be, "Wow, how long'd it take you to come up with that one...? :rolleyes:"

Another issue is that there's no setup; there's no warning for the audience. If you were to say, "You guys wanna hear a joke?," or "Hey, I got a joke for ya," the listener would know that you were gonna to try to say something funny, and they could prepare to fake accordingly. I mean, looking pitiful is better than looking foolish. But that's a luxury you don't have with the witticism. It puts your pride on the table because you're going to get an immediate, and probably honest response. If the line sucks, you're gonna get blank stares or rolled eyes, if you don't laughed at (the bad kind of "laughed at").

Well... that's enough about the method. Let's just say you succeed. Say you slip in a one-liner or a friendly zinger and the people laugh. Happy happy, joy joy! But it's not over. Now you're faced with two choices: You can cash out, pat yourself on the back and let the conversation return to normal, or... let it ride!

What do I mean by "let it ride?" Follow it up! Strike again while the iron's still hot! Drop another line, or try something based on the reaction your first one. After all, unlike in the casino, the stakes are lower after you win one. It's like they say, "it is better to have laughed and lost then never to have laughed at all" (I am so sorry).

That's not to say it's not a gamble, though. You'll always have your first winner, but you still run the risk of killing the moment. Who knows? You might get two or three good ones in before you fall on your face. You just have to play it smart and know when to cash out.

My problem? I always let it ride! I can't resist. It's like I've got onetoomany disease! I just can't leave funny enough alone, because I always think I can top it. And even if I do top it, I just try to top it again. I keep going 'til I hear the crickets chirping, bringing with them that awkward moment of regret in which I say to myself, "One too many..."


But hey, with any kind of joke, you take a risk at looking foolish. And that's a risk we must take! We're human beings, Bob Saget! And as human beings, wisecracks and fart jokes aren't just abilities, they're responsibilities! Because without humor, we're nothing more than monkeys with iPods. So man up, step up and ante up!

...You know what? I just pictured monkey shadows with iPods dancing to "Viva La Vida," over technicolor backgrounds, and I can't lie, that's funnier than most of the stuff I think up...


Anonymous said...

So, what would you say what I do is? And if you answer "act retarded and hope for the best," I'll beat you...

Anonymous said...

haha actually my favourite part is seeing how far you can take a joke until it's ridiculous. hey, atleast im laughing. am i right?

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