August 16, 2009

Have you ever laughed so hard at a joke that the person who told it got mad at you for laughing too much?

I have!

Not recently. Long ago. Something just reminded me of it. The something was the observation that I'm especially amused by jokes that have to do with the size of things. Oh, I'll be completely specific. We were talking about the expression "postage stamp lawn," that is, a very small lawn, perhaps the size of an area rug. But what if there really were a postage stamp the size of an area rug? That would be a huge postage stamp. Ha ha. Imagine the size of the envelope you'd put it on. Okay. That to me is hilarious, and it reminded me of the joke I found so funny — decades ago — that I laughed so hard the teller of the joke got mad at me for laughing so much. I was cutting the joker's hair — I used to think I could do haircuts and acted upon that belief — and I noticed a bright red dot on the top of his head — the size of a pimple, but not a pimple — and not something he'd ever have noticed. I said, "What's this red dot on top of your head?" He said, "That's my Santa Claus hat!"

Now, maybe the joker will read this post and get mad all over again. Or, that is, get mad for a new reason, that I've blogged about a time he got mad at me. To him, I'd say, I have remembered "That's my Santa Claus hat!" for more than 30 years, and — in my little sense of humor — I still think it's the funniest thing I've ever heard anyone say. It may not be the funniest joke I've ever heard, but I'm sure it's the funniest completely spontaneous remark I've ever been present to hear on the spot. On the dot.

30 comments:

Lem said...

I hated it even more when they start laughing b4 the punch line.

I got the impression it was at me.

chuck b. said...
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Lem said...

The something was the observation that I'm especially amused by jokes that have to do with the size of things.

Althouse must have found this funny. Andy Kaufman interviews his ex-girlfriend Elayne Boosler!

Big desk.

Chase said...

Thank you Ann for your use of dashes - for middle thoughts better explaining the sentence - for they make me feel so much better about my writing. I use them often because I was told to write as I speak,and their use approximates the way I talk ( and perhaps more disjointedly think)conversationally.

Ralph L said...

Even funnier if he were Jewish.

When I was very young, I had nightmares about out-sized things.

VW - kingled
Irritated by the laughter of relatives.

NKVD said...

I was once in a car where an inveterate joke teller told a story and we all laughed so hard that one guy nearly died. We went to the ER, but he said he was ok, and I guess he was, as he is still alive, but dang, that was a good joke.

WV - snermsh - a yiddish joke that kills the audience.

Chase said...
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Chase said...

Please, let the boring parade of dull political jokes begin.

Political jokes of all stripes are about the wit of the teller or reteller. They are small ha ha's and almost never full laughs or guffaws.

Reagan was the master at that most wonderful category of jokes that can be told by any political figure - self- deprecating. Most people like it when a politician self-skewers - it makes him or her seem to not take themselves so seriously - showing they recogniae their own limits - and brings us all to a similar level of humanity and reality. Only the hard-core wingnuts on either end will not give credit to the self-deprecator where it is due in those cases. Such people are to be avoided in order to maintain a happy and fruitful life.


Hardest laugh in my life as a young person of 10 - Rowan and Martin doing the Summer Dean Martin Show in the Late 60's:

Dan Rowan: You know, I just read in the paper the other day that there is a baby born somewhere in the world every second.

Dick Martin: Wow! We've got to find that woman, and stop her!


Second favorite laugh: (16 years ago):

Jay Leno: I see where Madonna is going to be given the "Woman of the Year Award". I sure am glad she beat out that bitch Mother Teresa!

miller said...

Funniest for me was on KFI years ago, and I don't remember who it was.

Person A: "I hear Roy Rogers had his horse Trigger stuffed and on display in his museum after the horse died."

Person B: "And coincidentally Dale Evans has just taken up jogging."

Nearly drove off the road I was laughing so hard.

WV: esaightc, as in "how does a dyslexic government bureaucrat spell "eight"?"

Lem said...

My laptop has a carpal tunnel warning..

It will intermittently flash me "Remember to change positions" ;)

WV - mobante = slow moving

Ann Althouse said...

@Chase I started using dashes like that after reading a translation of a particular famous writer. I don't know if the original did the dashes like that, but I liked it a lot and adopted it.

EDH said...

I suspect your joker intended to use humor to side-step his insecurity about a defect he couldn't see on the back of his head that had been noticed by a woman.

Frustratingly for him, the joke had the opposite effect. Instead of merely bridging an insecure moment, it but became the focus of curiosity, conversation and uncontrolled laughter of a woman that I presume he had found attractive. For men, they read that as rejection if not pure revulsion.

Gee, I can't why that'd piss him off! Especially now that you're still blogging about it.

Word to the ladies: know when to drop something that is a source of insecurity for a man. We know you like to focus on this stuff and just pick it to death. But we just don't want to fucking talk about it -- whatever the hell it is!

Not recently. Long ago. Something just reminded me of it. The something was the observation that I'm especially amused by jokes that have to do with the size of things. Oh, I'll be completely specific.

Meade, I'd suggest wearing a bathing suit into the shower from now on.

Oh, but those are short pants!

We just can't win. Sigh.

:)

Bi-curious George said...

Gee, if you had an hour and half of stories this lame, you could make movie of yourself boring someone else to death with them over dinner.

Lem said...

For men, they read that as rejection if not pure revulsion.

That happened to me with very attractive co-worker.

She would laugh uncontrollably whenever I said something. I wanted to get mad but I really could not.

WV - jorout = crying on the outside laughing on the inside.

Lem said...

Gee, if you had an hour and half of stories this lame, you could make movie of yourself boring someone else to death with them over dinner.

To call you a horses ass would be unkind to horses.

WV - gestfi - a fictional gesturer. tv scifi actor

Bissage said...

I thought it a very interesting story, and Mrs. Bissage and I discussed it (along with its implications) over lunch.

wv = typoe. Whell, its a bout tyme!

chuck b. said...

I apologize for my earlier tedious remark.

David said...

Synchronicity or malice aforethought?

dbp said...

That is a funny story, but the part I found most amusing was the "— I used to think I could do haircuts and acted upon that belief — " part.

Maybe the man just wanted to get his haircut over with and the levity was causing unacceptable delay.

wv fisedle--a needle with an eye so large you could put your fist through it.

Bissage said...

I had wondered about that earlier comment, chuck b., as it struck me as out of character. I just sort of figured you were having a bad day or something. It happens. We’re human, after all.

wv = ingunt, as in NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY GOLD!!! CALL THE NUMBER ON YOUR SCREEN!!! OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY!!! FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! OFFER VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW!!!

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Ann, Ann, Ann: How mad do you think I could have been about a Santa Claus hat?

Ann Althouse said...

@Lem thanks for the Andy Kaufman clip

@David Thanks! *makes wavy hand gesture*

traditionalguy said...

Many years ago at a real estate closing a newly married young man was the purchaser and he was named Shirley Something. We understood that in England Shirley is a common man's name, and we determined to be proper and respectful. But when he came into the room he was a wimp and asked very meekly if everyone would call him "Mr. Shirley" Something. I will never understand why, but we lost it and broke out laughing at him in front of his new bride. I am still ashamed of having done that.

Allison said...

No, but I've laughed so hard at my own joke that the other people got mad at me.


You see, I was went to Manhattan as a college student nearly 2 decades ago and waited in line to get tickets to some Broadway show, whereupon I obtained seats to Cats.

When I went back to my college, I couldn't explain what musical I'd seen. Every time I tried, all I got out was
"Did you know that the musical named Cats is actually about *cats*?" and then I'd dissolve into fits of laughter.

I could never get out any more words, so I never managed to explain what was so funny: I had always assumed it was a metaphor or a analogy, or some abstract title. because what IDIOT would make a musical where people dress up as cats and sing random bits of song and tell random bits of poetry, without a single storyline in the whole show?

But no, someone made a musical about CATS. CATS. CATS!

I'm laughing and crying again as I type this.

WV- hypnfl: The twitterified spelling of Hypo-n-Fill, the Vancouver-based fast heroin establishment.

Brent said...

Allison,

My wife and I attended a showing of Les Miserables in Los Angeles during the first road tour after it hit Broadway.

As I was waiting outside the ladies restroom for my wife after the finale, 2 older men walked by me with this conversation:

"So, what did you think about the show?"


"Well, it was good, but it was no CATS."

Bissage said...
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Bissage said...

True Story. We just got done seeing La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in London. There is this long procession of fancy swells, dressed to the nines, walking out in the night air, out to dinner or drinks or wherever.

Walking in front of me is a man and a woman, obviously married for many years. She is a dead ringer for Margaret Dumont. She is even wearing a mink stole around her shoulders. He looks just like Jeremy Irons playing Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.”

They are walking in total silence until the following takes place:

SHE: “Hayden, did you cry?”

HE: [long pause] “No . . . but it was moving.

And with that, they said nothing more.

Me? It was all I could do to keep myself from giggling like an idiot, and hugging them both, with my eyes full of tears of joy, to thank them both profusely for allowing me to witness first-hand what this Jersey Boy thought only happened in the movies.

When I finally get my time machine working, I’m going back there first!

Bissage said...

By the way, the verification word was "dinger."

Now it is "nonsalk."

There you have it!

The Crack Emcee said...

"Have you ever laughed so hard at a joke that the person who told it got mad at you for laughing too much?"

Yes, and I'm hoping this isn't one of those moments.

Allison said...

Bissage and Brent,

Those anecdotes brought tears to my eyes again. Thank you.