Pun Intended

This morning I was standing in line waiting for my car to get serviced at the dealership, and as there isn’t much else to do while waiting in line – I eavesdropped. In the fifteen minutes I waited my turn, I heard the guy in front of me tell the same joke to first the receptionist, then the service man, and then the cashier. And although it made me smile to myself the first time around, it wears off quickly when you’re forced to hear it thrice.

There are many breeds of jokester in the world, some are the variety you always invite to your dinner parties, and some are otherwise fantastic human beings caught in misguided efforts of hilarity:

The Funny Guy: This guy is funny. He knows it, his friends know it, and everyone within earshot of your table at Cheesecake Factory knows it. Waitresses love him, teachers fear him, and no one throws popcorn at him when he yells at the screen in a movie theater.

The Punster: Ever since, “orange you glad I didn’t say banana,” if there is a pun to be had in a ten-mile radius, the Punster can smoke it out. Beware of jokes that begin, “a duck walked into a bar,” and never ever let a Punster name your children.

The Did-You-Hear-Me Guy: When his joke falls flat in a crowd, the only explanation is that nobody heard it. Did-You-Hear-Me Guy will wait for the next pause and repeat his joke in increasing volume until someone either laughs or says, “Dude, we heard you the first time.”

The Laugher: It’s possible there’s a Funny Guy lurking in there somewhere, but The Laugher can’t stop cracking up long enough to tell his own joke. You’re compelled to laugh right along with The Laugher, but the longer the ramp up the more likely you’re in the presence of a “You Had to Be There.”

The You Had to Be There: The You Had to Be There looks a lot like The Laugher, yet there is often an inverse ratio of laughter to actual hilarity, and once the tears start to trickle you know you’re about to hear a long winded inside joke featuring PG-13 high school hijinks and some guy he swears looks exactly like Will Ferrell that builds and builds and eventually ends with the most sidesplitting punch line of all time, “You had to be there.”

The Plagiarizer: Maybe it’s from the internet, maybe it’s from a movie, maybe it’s from a book of bathroom humor, but if this guy says anything of comedic value you know he heard it somewhere else. His jokes often revolve around politics and Polish gentlemen climbing trees.

The Smart Ass: A Funny Guy in wolf’s clothing, the Smart Ass often ticks off half the room while the other half falls out of their chairs. Smart Asses prey on weak punch lines and soft storytelling so you best step up your jokester game if you intend to attempt wit in his presence. Did-You-Hear-Me Guys should not socialize with Smart Asses.

The Chameleon: Thanksgiving with the family brings out the lovable Punster, bar weekends bring out the Smart Ass, and The You Had to Be There emerges during awkward first dates. The Chameleon knows his audience, and hits funny bones accordingly.

While I try to err on the side of Smart Ass, I’m also a recovering You-Had-To-Be There. My premature laughter morphs into waterfalls of tears – sometimes even hiccups – before I can spit out my not-that-funny joke. I’m now an evolved enough jokester to know that if I’m choking on my own tongue with saline-stained cheeks that I need to just skip the yarn and go straight to the “You had to be there.”

What kind of jokester are you?

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About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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12 Responses to Pun Intended

  1. thor27 says:

    You’ve got it babe !!! Yeah you’ve nailed it !! Drop by my blog sometime.

  2. Megan says:

    I admit that I’m totally a laugher. I think the worst ones are the “you had to be theres,” because the joke just sort of ends. Not everyone has the chops to deliver a joke just perfectly, but at least don’t trail off with the joke.

  3. Bob says:

    I’m definately a certified, card carying Smart Ass. I can’t remember jokes and worse at trying to tell one. If I generate humor it’s in usually in writing a vignette about something that happened to me personally. Either that or a oneliner response, while trying not to spill my drink, to something someone else just said.
    Another great post by the way.
    Cheers.

  4. nancyfrancis says:

    If I’m in a crowd of new people, I can whip out the Chameleon skills like its my job. Normally though, I’m a bit more of a Smart Ass 😉

  5. Adam Z. says:

    All of these are absolutely hilarious…and true. But there may be one missing. It borderlines the Did-You-Hear-Me guy with a pinch of the You Had To Be There. Picture a guy who thinks every joke that pours from his brain is utter genius. Now he is obviously prone to the occasional laugh from his own jokes but, and here it comes, waits for the laughter from others. He makes this weird sound as if he is going to begin to laugh but just drags out the one tone as if he is taking a huge deuce. The sad thing is…no one follows it up with a laugh of their own and that’s where the awkwardness comes in. You may have experienced this yourself with a wannabe funny guy but, then again, maybe not and you just had to be there.

  6. jrevi001 says:

    I am definitely a smart ass. The jokes I crack are sarcastic and sometimes rude I admit. But none the less the people I tell them to laugh. And the did you hear me guys do irritate me. But, on the other side I have been know to pull a you had to be there or well it was funny at the time joke.

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