Alva Review-Courier -

Why is that funny?


October 13, 2019

"My polyester dress had been carefully chosen to complement the sanctuary carpet and matching upholstered pews."

This is in the first page of the book "The Red Dirt Hymnbook" by former Alvan Roxie Faulkner Kirk.

So what about that made me laugh out loud?

I started wondering about humor when I was reading that new book.

I have known for years that girls and women like to find matching colors in clothing, glasses, cars, houses, etc. So I wondered why I suddenly was tickled about matching the carpet?

Then I also read columnist E. M. Barker referring to himself as "we." I saw that in the new book "The Best of Two Barks." We were amused partly because of royalty in other countries referring to themselves as "we" and also the big city editorial writers who would claim their opinions were from "we."

Why is it Important?

The importance of humor was neatly explained by E. M. Barker in the "Barks" book.

Here is a quote from page 23 of that book.

"Some of our readers have complained because of our jocular manner in presenting items in the column. We realize quips besmirched with humor are improper items for historical recordings. But we can never refrain from a sense of humor. It has kept us in good stead when everything else failed. We always figured with our rugged experiences over the years had it not been for a sense of humor we would have ended up in the 'nut' house years ago. We might eventually make it yet, but we will assure you that our sense of humor will not be lacking. So on days when the old joints ache the most, we call on our sense of humor to dull the pains. We believe it is better than aspirin."

Marione Martin has written about the two books by local writers so you can just get the books and see what else we like about them.

I believe I will produce a large print copy of Mr. Barker's paragraph about humor so I can refer to it again and again as my vision begins to dim.

Fake Humor

But what about humor that is not funny and is just the opposite of humor?

It makes me mad to see famous people insulting or threatening someone and getting away with it by claiming it is humor. I have even seen and heard crude insults about someone's wife, daughters, sisters and parents. I remember when there were parts of the country where no one could get away with that kind of thing. Not even by claiming it was funny.

One example was a late night comic who liked to make fun of fat people and short people. He would have a new jab each night about the New Jersey governor being “so fat that …,” etc.

And later a nightly new joke was about the New York City mayor being "so short that …,” etc.

At the time that was happening, both of those officials were trying to be candidates for president.

Nobody cared that I quit the late "comic" programs and switched to the "Twilight Zone" TV shows. The "Twilights" are less scary and make more sense than all the other TV programming.


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