I do not enjoy puns, limericks, or jokes. I barely tolerate witticisms and droll banter. My mom calls me up and wants to tell me the latest very long long long long long joke she has heard and at this point I simply have to say, “Mom. I hate jokes. Please stop. No. Do not do it. For all that is holy, please God stop.” And she laughs and says, “Oh haha you are so funny,” and proceeds to tell me the joke. It is, of course, not at all funny. I do not crack the tiniest corner of a smirk or even make a small throat noise mimicking bemusement. She asks me, “SO, wasn’t that funny?” and I say, “No,” and she goes, “Ohhhh, well I thought it was, HA HA!”

This same thing happens about once a week. Fortunately, she is not at the point yet where she is telling me the exact same joke each time. I love my mom, even if she has this severe problem in liking jokes and also stuff that Regis says to Kelly Lee or whoever that is.

I can remember reading joke books when I was a kid, because I really am a laughing sort of person, and I would read every joke and wonder why they were so dumb. I thought maybe the writers of the books thought kids were dumb or that maybe dumb was supposed to be super funny. I don’t think I could write a joke. How do people do it? I think about comedians and that they have to actually sit down and write out funny lines that will be funny to lots of people lots of times. Wow. Is that a good job or a bad job? Both, right?

Here is something I thought was uproariously funny when I was a kid: the guy in the yellow raincoat falling off the tricycle at the end of Laugh-In each week. That shit was SOLID. A hahahaha…falling is funny. I am smiling right now thinking about that. HA!

Funny, to me, is the absurd. This is why I laugh a lot, because so very much of life is blatantly and horribly absurd. The incongruities are the gold. Irony is good, but not as good as absurdity. You’d better damn well laugh at that shit, because it is better than wailing or bemoaning or complaining.

Satire deals with absurdities, in a more elegant way. Satire is best when the person writing it both loves and loathes their subject, and knows it well. I think if I were a “satirist” I would have to take up smoking long cigarillos, live in a big city penthouse filled with excellent but run-down items, and know everyone who is important to know, give fabulous parties, and have absolutely no real friends. Someone would write a profile about me in The New Yorker, and conspiratorially tell the reader I was gracious, filled with marvelous anecdotes, served a delicious seared ahi salad with a sassy sauvignon blanc, and never gave up a single personal detail.

The satirist is, above all, desperate to avoid being satirized.

In summary, people falling down = funny. The very very silly or the very very awful = funny. Gallagher = NOT FUNNY. Garfield comics = SO NOT FUNNY.

Go ride a trike.