Thursday, January 21, 2010

Being excessively corny

I just finished by post for tomorrow's Hometown Photo Shootout on Sound. 

I feel (about tomorrow's post) the same way I sometimes do when I am in a business meeting and my compulsion to make a stupid, smartass comment starts working its way up my larynx like a verbal fart.  I know I shouldn't say it but the pressure is like gas pain and before you know it I've blurted out something.

In my own defense, it is never totally inappropriate and sometimes even clever.  But sometimes it is really just corny and dumb.  But it doesn't need to be said in a room full of people in coats and ties who are trying to be serious.  

Often it is just really corny.  Like tomorrow's shoot. 

People around the table stare blankly at me.  Sometimes they laugh.  Sometimes they just titter politely, particularly if I happen to be the senior manager in the room. 

I know that I am a humorous guy.  But I also know that it is more than that.  Being funny is not a bad addiction but it is an addiction.  When I think about it, it stems -- like many things -- from my mother's death when I was six.  From that early age onward, I found humor as a way of distancing myself.  There is a control aspect to it.  

I don't know if that makes sense.  


  1. Strange. I have a monthly meeting where I feel successful if I make the crowd laugh out loud at least once during the meeting. The meeting was Tuesday and I got a good guffaw at a remark I made and I was wondering why it is that I feel compelled to do that. I think you nailed it. It is an addiction. I get a fix from making folks laugh out loud. I have also failed miserably at times and just get some strange noises.

  2. It makes sense to me. Not many people figure out that humour can be used as a defense mechanism - for distance, control, suppression of emotion. I think it is one of the 'superior' defense mechanisms - having some very personal experience with its powers. :-)

    I, too, get myself in 'trouble' with my quirky, insistent sense of humour. I love how you describe it as gas that must be released. Ooops another burp.

    Your sense humour serves you well when blogging and rather than feeling you are distancing yourself - I often notice it is revealing, self-deprecating and quite endearing. Keep dispensing your unique gaseous medicine!!

  3. I know how it is to just have to stick my irreverent two cents in. In a way it's an assertion of being an individual, as well as taking control by making people direct their thoughts elsewhere. Notice me!
    The latest incident involved the flat cat in our waiting room. We were having an official visit by the local political muckymucks responsible for funding the french side of our chinese collaboration. We cleaned everything up & out of the way to have space to project our slideshows on the wall. The cat has lately been hiding between the chairs along that wall. Moved the chairs, left the cat. My boss came early to check us all out and we waited and waited for him to move the cat, but he never did. So all along the more or less incomprehensible presentations by our chinese students, we caught glimpses of the delegation noticing our little joke and smirking or giggling. It was a nice lightener to the afternoon.

  4. There is something about the extreme seriousness of business meetings that makes humor almost irresistible.

    At least for me.

    I've never thought of it as an addiction, but obviously it is. But that would be a 12 step program I'd love to attend.

  5. Mark, you would know and I agree. When I was young I was the daughter of the town drunk. I felt so ashamed. I felt the need to either be funny or extra smart. The extra smart part got my life turned around. Thank goodness. Blessings

  6. I viewed humor as a means of breaking the ice or moving on from a dull or tense situation. So defense mechanism is not something I would have thought about.

  7. Oh--I have the same problem--a missing "self-control" chip brought on by the NEED to say something clever. But hey--if you didn't have it, you wouldn't be writing this blog, which is brilliant. Keep up the verbal farts! ;-)

  8. I'm not sure it's an addiction. If I don't make my classes laugh at least once during the session, it's been too serious of a class!

  9. I vowed long ago to never say anything at meetings. But I always hope the one funny guy who attends will jump right in; it's usually the only real moment of truth. And such a relief.

  10. It makes a perfect sense to me. Humour is one of the most powerful weapons, they say, but it also creates a great shield.

  11. Photography distances me from life and my subject, as does humor when I'm not carrying my camera - I see what you are saying.

  12. Thanks for your comments on the glass.

    My last comment on: "let the drunks rot" was added in jest, I don't think any one goes to jail for being drunk.

    In New Zealand, we don't have enough jails to hold all those who go out and have fun on a Friday and Saturday.


    Doesn't Readers' digest have a Laughter's the best medicine?

    A humorous person makes a fun person to be around/

  13. I find very few times when humor isn't appropriate....even in some serious is a welcome relief.

  14. Tell us about your mean side. In a humorous way, of course.