Be Alert · 25 September 2021
Be alert! After all, the world needs more lerts.
I do not know when I last told that lame joke, but I do know that I like lame jokes. After all, that is about all I can tell. At least when I do tell jokes.
I was talking to a friend and colleague about jokes last spring. Apparently, he cannot tell jokes either. He told dad jokes as warm ups for his classes while we were teaching remotely. The thing is, he could not tell them if he did not have the jokes up on a web browser on a screen that was separate from the one his was using to talk to his students. He is like me. He can remember the setup or he can remember the punch line, but never the twain shall meet. I never knew there was anybody out there like me in that way.
Needless to say, I was relieved when I found out that there was somebody out there with such a joke telling condition. We could commiserate about our lack of joke-telling skill. And as much as we all love being in mutual admiration societies, we all love being in commiserating communities even more. (I like that. Maybe I should trademark Commiserating Communities. Nah. It will never stick.)
I do not really know why we like to commiserate, but we do. Of course, commiserating communities are just proof of the adage, “Misery loves company.” Which is strange in and of itself. Think about it. Why do we love to complain about stuff? Why do we love to talk about the bad things in our lives? Why do we compare our pain with other people’s pain? Why do we like to show each other our scars?
Well, I am not sure why we like to compare our pain to other people’s pain except that maybe we want to know if our pain really is worse than somebody else’s. If not, maybe we really are not so bad off. I do not know. But I do know why we show off our scars. At least physical scars. We just want people to know that we have done stuff. Sure, we might have failed doing whatever we were doing at the time we got the scar, but we tried something great and failed fantastically. At least fantastically enough to get a scar.
But back to joke telling. I felt relieved when my friend told me that he could not tell a joke to save his life either. We could be the founding members of non-joke telling dads. Then again, that is probably where the term dad-joke came from. There must be tons of dads out there who cannot tell jokes. Or who tell jokes so lame that the jokes get thrown in the pile of dad-jokes. Those jokes that get groans instead of laughs. Dad-jokes. Ah well. I am okay with being a founder of the no-tell joke club. Maybe we should call it the lert club. After all, lert is half a joke.
Which brings us back to the beginning.
Be alert. After all, the world needs more lerts.
© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi
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