So a guy I know asked me where I was born. "In the state of poverty," I told him because Dad was in the Navy so there wasn't much money to go around.
"Where do you live now," he then asked. Replying honestly I said, "Depends on the day. Sometimes I live in a state of anxiety, sometimes in a state of despair or a state of depression. Once in a while I'm even in a state of envy." He didn't get the joke.
I wonder more and more where people's sense of humor has gone. I can't believe mine is that distorted and weird that others don't get the jokes. Like the other day when I stopped on the way home for a pizza. First one in ages. I paused inside the door and took a deep sniff of the delicious aromas emanating from the kitchen. Then I said hi to the counter attendant and said, "This is truly amazing. I want pizza and YOU sell pizza. What are the odds?" And smiled. He merely looked at me as I were the crazy old coot I probably am and seriously said, "Well, yeah, we do sell pizzas."
I cracked up but he failed to see the humor. I likely would have joked back to such a customer, "Good thing you weren't in the market for tacks or bricks. Might be hard to digest them. How about two pepperonis to go and some bread sticks?"
But that's how I handle things. Because I like to joke and laugh and see the funny side of life. Not all of the time, of course. There are times to be serious, times where humor is inappropriate.
But is it too immature to want people to lighten up a bit? Recently, at a restaurant I frequent often, I mentioned to the server that I really had a taste for a salad and asked what kind of mood the chef was in. Not knowing where I was heading, he answered, "Oh, he's in a good mood today." "Then, if you don't think he'll be mad at me, I'd like his salad."
Michael, the server, and a heck of a guy, looked at me blankly then said, "I'm going to regret asking this, but what does his mood have to do with anything?" "Because," I said, "If I have the "chef's salad," I want to be sure he doesn't want it and isn't going to eat it, because it IS a CHEF's salad." We groaned and moaned together and he began laughing so hard I could hear him passing along the joke to the rest of the staff in the kitchen.
Later, the chef (cook really) came out and said he appreciated the joke and warned me to make sure I asked the next time I ordered the "chef's special" because he might want it and walked away laughing. That is one reason I like this restaurant. We can all kid with each other and have a good time instead of being stodgy and serious all of the time.
So, I wonder. Where has our sense of humor gone? Are people's lives so desperate that they can not allow themselves a little light-hearted fun once in a while?