No one will dislike a fine joke, normally speaking. We all have a funny line here and there, to share or enjoy one that could tickle the funny bone of even diehards practicing somberness and refuse to laugh. Here I loved this: “One day, Queen of England and Bush happened to ride in a stately coach near the Buckingham Palace. As she heard one of the horses breaking wind, The Queen being sensitive as the host, apologized to Bush, “Being Queen, I could not help the situation. Bush murmured under his breath. “Oh, that was Ok. I was just wondering it was the horse”.
On any given day, I love humor, be that raw or refined, lighthearted or heavy, regional or foreign in origin, captured/drawn in photos/ cartoons, enacted in plays, movies, TV shows, etc. I loved reading jokes online about Obamas, Modis, Ex presidents and prime ministers, Chapathis or Sambars , sweetmeats or meat in beefs, nonnative vs. natives, vegetarians vs. the rest, green card holders, greenbacks, blonds, brunettes, fairies/ straights, including my own class of the lawyers (E.g., A lawyer's tombstone has this written on it: his own favorite quote, ‘Here he lies still’)
The offhand way in which a joke is told adds to the laughs– gives off more of guffaws. Humor could be cruel that spares none. Also there would be weird and farfetched stuff. Certain jokes are critical about the society and its idiosyncrasies. Some of them educate too, via ironies of life. If a joke is pedestrian, it falls flat, like any insipid news. Again, if the news on TV says a dog bites a man, it makes no news. If the same man bites the dog, and when such dog dies, it would make a great breaking story.
We find from chats on Facebook, WhatsApp, etc., the present youth typing their messages most often inserting smileys and other fun-expressing symbols including abbreviations like ROFL (Rolling On Floor Laughing), etc. In those early days, I used to have no idea what they meant. I thought it was all about profanity in short version.
So many jokes are created, purveyed, revised and recycled in the social media, and reading them in one sitting would need a call to psychiatrist. So moderation in ingesting humor, especially in these days of glut online, should be the watchword.
Good humor needs no religion or caste tags. So misusing humor in the context of divisions in the society is unpardonable. Likewise, it is cheap comedy that targets the vulnerable and those with bodily challenges. It is also not very funny to ridicule any creative stuff (Critique is always welcomed, harsh though, only the same should not attack the person behind the artist). Moreover, in the unfortunate event of any unexpected tragedy happening to someone, the same should not be made to look like a joke. If the same thing were to happen to us and that would never be funny.
So the ideal fun is to laugh at ourselves. Assuming I was a monkey, I would be asking a guy, “Why do you wear clothes?” Likewise as a dog in philosophical mood would say, “Hey, why you build toilets in the first place?” Aren’t we, the humans, a fun loving species ever? Humor, therefore is subjective. If we can say humor is a game too, and then it has to be played to some set rules, but alas, humor has no formulas. Yet your right to wield your walking stick stops where my nose begins.
Wit is a serious stuff to be used on a level playing ground for everyone to enjoy the same, to make us see the world in the right perspective from an apparently skewed way, just to redefine our ideal roles and at the same time forgetting our worries temporarily. Humor for sure adds to our humility and vulnerability.