April 8, 2008
When I first met my wife, I told a dumb joke and she started laughing. However, 42 years of marriage have revealed to us that our senses of humor only overlap about 25-50% of the time. It’s quite common for me to laugh enthusiastically at something and then look at my wife and see her sighing in distaste. On the other hand, sometimes she finds something very amusing while I am muttering, “Only a five-year-old would find that funny.” Worse, I get jealous when she finds someone such as CBC classical music morning announcer Tom Allen funnier than me. He is very funny, but still…
When we both find a book or movie amusing, it’s a pretty good indication that people at least as weird as we are may it funny also. David Rochester recently wrote on his Quotidian Vicissitudes blog:
About ten years ago, I saw a film called Start the Revolution Without Me, and found it to be very funny. I watched it again tonight with undisturbed gravity. I don’t know whether it was funnier ten years ago, or whether I was more easily entertained, or whether being coked to the gills * on antidepressants lowered my standards for comedy. The last thing I found absolutely hilarious since I stopped taking mind-numbing drugs was a really disturbing film with Peter O’Toole called The Ruling Class. I don’t recommend it to anyone who is easily offended on the subject of sex, religion, politics, autoerotic asphyxiation, Hollywood musicals, progressive insanity, or serial killers.
* Used figuratively. There was no actual cocaine usage involved in the degradation of my sense of humor, and I am not amphibious. Please do not leave comments with carefully kind recommendations to the ichthyoid division of a local 12-step program.
I will add that David is probably even weirder than both my wife and I put together (which represents serious major league weirdness) and also mention that I have seen The Ruling Class and found it quite funny, probably because of the sex, religion, autoerotic asphyxiation, etc.
I started making coy references to a BBC Series my wife had turned me on to. For a long time, most of the episodes were not available on video. Recently the BBC finally released the entire series. My wife bought me the first two seasons as a birthday present and I have been watching it from time to time as I tread like a demented gerbil on the treadmill. Episodes held up great on second viewing; delightfully, I finally got a chance to see some I had missed when it originally played on PBS for American audiences.
Actually, it makes many great serious points in funny ways. I guess I shouldn’t say that. OK, I will decoy (and probably find out that everyone reading this is familiar with the series already).
The series is called Waiting for God. It ran for five seasons. Only the first two seasons are easily available in the United States yet. The last three seasons are mostly available in England at this time.
The series is about getting old and being (entertainingly) difficult about it. My wife and I (64 and 62) are getting old and have always been difficult so we are unlikely to stop because we are getting old. Actually we are more likely to become more difficult because we are less embarrassed about people considering us stupid or out of bounds as we get older
I’m pretty sure David will like the series and find it funny, but he has my permission not to like it and not to find it funny.