Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nobody Can Resist Them

The other day, some friends and I were talking about humor and how different people find such different things funny.

My husband thinks Dumb and Dumber is the epitome of funny. I honestly would rather have my nose hairs plucked one by one than watch that movie, or any movie that relies on bodily emissions; either auditory or excretory, to appeal to their target audience. Not a fan.

Dry humor, sarcasm, and some spoofing, (but only if very cleverly done) are more my speed. You know...intellectual humor. Highbrow humor. I suppose you could say that I'm a comedy snob.

But even when I find something uproariously funny, I'm not really a laugh out loud kind of person. I don't belly laugh. I don't guffaw. Instead I chuckle, I smirk. I say "Damn that was funny".

My mother is and was the same way. It's not that she is humorless, but she, like me, is disinclined to indulge in emotional extremes of any kind. It's just not in our nature. As children, my sisters and I would do all kinds of crazy stuff to get my Mom to laugh. I can only remember twice that I saw her laugh until she cried.

The first instance was while watching "Scavenger Hunt". The movie featured many comic greats, and relied on a kind of humor that is rare to find these days. It was pure and innocent. It was funny without being demeaning, vulgar or profane. There is a scene in the movie where James Coco puts pantyhose on his head in an attempt to rob a convenience store to procure a cash register; one of a list of items contestants were to find in order to secure an inheritance. During this scene, my mother laughed with unrestrained mirth. She wiped the tears from her cheeks and hoo-hooed in an effort to catch her breath.

It was beautiful and magical for it's rarity. Watching my Mom laugh made me feel like nothing in the world could ever cause me sadness again. A couple of years ago, while driving like a bat out of hell to her side during a serious and life threatening illness, it was that moment that I thought of, and I realized there was something that would cause me terrible sadness. To never hear her laugh again.

The other instance was my sister's doing. One day my mother came home from work exceptionally weary. My mother was a hairdresser and spent most of her working hours on her feet. Even so, she wasn't the type to come home and lounge. She was always busy. So when she collapsed upon the sofa and didn't move, we realized that she had been pushed beyond her physical limits. She was simply worn out. It was one of the first glimpses I had of my Mother as a fallible human being.

She asked if someone would go upstairs and change her clothes for her. She was trying to make light of her exhaustion, but we weren't fooled. My sister, who must have been all of 9 at the time, disappeared upstairs. She came down wearing my Mom's favorite sweater; a shapeless knit disco-esque thing with brown and cream stripes, huge lapels and a knit belt, brown polyester perma-crease pants, panyhose that sagged around her ankles, huge ugly wedges, and loads of tacky jewelry.

She was a comical sight to be sure. But that wasn't what set my mother off. My sister always was one to crack herself up. She had to be moved from her seat at the end of the table because she would make faces at herself in the mirror at the opposite end, thereby disrupting the entire meal with her giggles, which were incredibly infectious and difficult to ignore.

So it wasn't her appearance that cracked my mother up, but the fact that we could hear my sister giggling all the way down the stairs. It was clear that whatever she had done, she found herself terribly funny and clever. She appeared in the living room, burst into gales of laughter, and promptly fell off her wedges. My mother laughed so hard her mascara ran. We all did. And after that, she didn't seem so tired any more.

I have my own moments, though they are rare to be sure, of pure spontaneous hilarity. I occasionally laugh until my sides ache. and tears stream down my cheeks. When I'm done, I feel almost as cleansed as if I'd had a good cry, but immeasurably better, since a hearty laugh doesn't cause snot-clogged sinuses, swollen eyes and a throbbing headache the way a really good crying jag does.

During the course of our discussion, one of my friends mentioned an SNL clip that I hadn't thought of in years. Feeling nostalgiac, I went in search of it. When I found it, I began to laugh like I hadn't laughed in a very long time. Diminutive One looked at me quizzically, and perhaps a little alarmedly. Since I laugh like that so seldom, I think they sometimes suspect I've gone soft in the head when I do.

He came over to watch, wondering what in the world could spur his normally restrained Mother to such hilarity.

This, is what he saw on my computer screen:

When it was finished, he asked, "What's funny about that?"

I shrugged and wiped the tears from my cheeks.

"Someday you'll understand why that's funny, honey."

He looked at me with the reproachful expression normally seen on my own face when they have done something grossly inappropriate, but (arguably) hilarious nonetheless. His tone was icy and disapproving.

"It's because it's about testicles, isn't it?"

His chagrin was so comical, I laughed again. He shook his head at me.

"That is so inappropriate, Mom."

Why, yes, my Diminutive One. So it is. But also...DAMN funny.

A Schweaty ball's the gift that keeps on giving.


  • At 12:29 PM, Blogger Sarahviz said…

    I'm with you. My Hubby is more keen on the Adam Sandler, Will Farrell schtick too. But I love that sarcastic, biting, dry humor.
    I also love the SNL skit moments when the cast starts laughing as well. That old Christmas choir one with Rosie O'Donnell and Whitney Houston always stands out in my mind.

  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger OhTheJoys said…

    Now while I like butts more than most, even I had to turn off dumb and dumber in the first five minutes for being too stupid. I do love me some schweddy balls though!

  • At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You cannot beat some of the SNL skits for outright hilarity especially some of the vintage clips.

    I am an outloud everyone knows when I think something is funny laugher and it often makes my kids laugh when I get tickled....

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    Antique Daddy can just look at me and say "Schwetti" and we both start snickering and cracking up. I think Badwin's skits are some of the funniest in the history of SNL.

  • At 6:16 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    "No one can resist my Schweaty balls". OMG, I almost spit all over my screen. Thanks for the laugh! I don't think I saw this when it first came out.

    And, I'm with you: I HATE Dumb & Dumber! And, I also love those moments when I saw my mom laugh herself silly.

  • At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I never saw this before - but oh geez was that FUNNY! I clicked on it thinking it couldn't possibly be as funny as you proclaimed - and once again you were right and I was wrong (it happens, me being wrong, every now and again) THANKS SO MUCH

  • At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Now I'm hungry for balls.

  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    "Look at the way they glisten."

    *snort* It's not even 9am and I've already slopped coffee down the front of my shirt from laughing so hard. I've never seen that clip before.

    There's an old, old SNL clip with Chevy Chase pretending to be a former American president, I think, which one I'm not too sure, giving a Christmas address...and while he's talking to the camera everything starts to sort of fall apart around, when I first saw that I nearly died laughing.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Maureen Fitzgerald said…

    That is one of my favorite SNL skits...any time of year! I also love the Chris Farley one where he is the motivational speaker and Christina Applegate and David Spade can't keep a straight face. "In a van...down by the RIVER!" Cracks me up every time.

  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Schweaty balls, it's funny, even though you know where they're going, even though you know what they're going to say, it's still too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  • At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I laughed and I cried. I also loved to hear my mother's laugh. She died in 1994. Thanks for the memory.

  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger PunditMom said…

    Good times, good times.


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