Happy April Fools! Since it’s April Fools Day, I thought it’d be apt to schedule this post for release today.
I’ll never stop being funny. Ever since secondary school, I’ve loved comedy and jokes and humor. My best friend at the time and I were so in sync with each other that we could improvise and come out with joke combos together. At one point, we actually did a stand up cross talk for our school. That didn’t go so well 😛
I’m gonna say that I love to laugh (ha ha ha ha) long and loud and clear (Mary Poppins fans will get this), and I love to make people laugh. The feeling of mirth coupled with the sense of achievement and appreciation I feel when people laugh at my jokes is wonderful and, like a drug, I cannot get enough of it. Most of the times, my jokes miss, but that hasn’t stopped me from throwing them out when the opportunity arises.
YOLO Carpe Diem, right?
I give my thanks to internet memes which I started with, but then I branched out into references to pop culture, witty remarks, lame jokes and my specialty: puns, both a gift and curse to my friends. Initially, I was going to do a short paragraph here about the puns I do, but once I opened Wikipedia there was so much information that I decided to explain puns in a separate post.
But you know, I didn’t stop learning about comedy. As I grew up, I picked up more comedy related skills and expanded my repertoire of jokes. The most recent skill I acquired was comedic timing, which I learnt from Ellen DeGeneres. I thoroughly enjoy her monologues and I get a lot of inspiration from her. Coupled with the skill of attention grabbing which I learnt from Scam School, I can now either engineer or exploit any moments to deliver my jokes. One problem I have is that I love to laugh and I laugh pretty easily, unless I’m purposely focusing not to. I like to find humor in many things, including my own jokes. That’s why I admire the Britons when they say their jokes with their deadpan faces. I mean, I CAN do deadpan, but many people don’t get that what I say is a joke if I don’t say it with a cheeky smile.
Even up until now, I’ve learnt that most Singaporeans need cues; that is, they don’t understand my humor and I need to cue them in with facial expressions and animated movements. Once I learnt this, I started using my jokes as a way to evaluate people and filter out those that weren’t on my frequency. Just to clarify, I don’t cut them out of my lives; I use this skill to find people who “get” me and then work to develop stronger bonds with them. I need to be around people who understand my jokes, even if they don’t always laugh at them. In fact, it’s sometimes better if they don’t laugh at just anything I say; when I actually do make them laugh, it means I was actually funny that time and it feels a lot more satisfying.
And never have I passed up any opportunities to be funny, especially when meeting new people. Since I don’t know them, I just throw out anything I have and see what hits. Usually I start with slapstick because everyone understands that. For example, if someone talks with stuff in their mouth, I always do an exaggerated imitation of them. It’s not offensive (okay, mildly humiliating to whoever I’m mocking) and it always gets a laugh from the people around us. Another example would be when I want to ridicule something they said. I re-enact both sides of the conversation and with my animated gestures, I can get my point across and garner some laughs. The last basic joke I use is my horrendous translation of Chinese words. I usually establish that I suck in Mandarin and I constantly reinforce it. So sometimes when my friends slip into conversing in Mandarin, I will listen in and ask questions. For example, I now know that huo ji means turkey, but I used to think it meant “fire chicken”. It still does kinda make sense when you think about it; turkeys do look like flamboyant chickens. I have a whole host of bad translations that I use and I sometimes play dumb and ask stuff like, “What is cao fan? Grass rice?” (cao fan is fried rice, but cao sounds like the word for “grass”.)
I’m gonna be frank; those are all what I call “low level jokes”. Jokes that the majority of people should get. When I get more comfortable with people, I start telling higher level jokes, like puns or memes or references to movies and songs. Okay perhaps the memes and references aren’t technically “higher”, but they require the knowledge of what I’m referencing and the understanding of how I apply it. These are usually the kind of people I filter and hang out with more, because I know they’ll be able to get more of my future jokes. Once I get REALLY comfortable, I start throwing out puns, no matter how bad they are, because now the aim is to make them groan.
I’ve let a lot puns out of my mouth and, when I die, I want people to say that I was the punniest person they knew, that every pun made them think of me, that the party don’t start til I walked in, and that even though most of the time I had bad puns, some of them were actually pretty funny. I do keep friends that don’t get the higher level jokes; girls always don’t get internet memes or movie references, but when they do, I love them. But it’s okay if they don’t, I keep my jokes simple, because all I want is to see them smile.
And you can’t say I’m just a joker. I’ve got other skills I’ve picked up as well, which are more useful and practical to group settings. I’m usually the comic relief and I do my best to keep the mood light at all times. It feels great to diffuse tension and stress as well, although I know in the past I had horrible timing and that just aggravated the situation. Watching out for all these opportunities and quickly recalling the right joke has helped me practice being alert and sharp. Perhaps this is what makes me a good programmer, since I can spot simple mistakes quickly, like a missing semicolon. I’m pretty quick to catch grammatical mistakes and automatically correct them, although recently I have been holding back because I know it’s very annoying, unhelpful and unfunny.
The down side is that there are many times when I just seem to choke and retch for no apparent reason. The truth is, whenever I get a trigger, many thoughts and jokes related to that trigger spring into my head and do their best to force their way out of my mouth. Since all of them can’t come out together, I choke. It’s also why I talk so fast and so furiously. I just have so many thoughts running through my head. At least now, I’ve found blogging and I can spew everything out here at my own pace without having to time my jokes or thoughts.
Things will never be boring when I’m around, I can assure you of that. Just look at every second word in each paragraph of this post 😉