Deep Fried Humor, Please
“Dude, my food truck is a study in culinary fusion. We start with a foundation of the latino style street taco. And then we incorporate south-east Asian seafood with Middle Eastern simplicity. Our signature item is The Pickled Goat’s Head and Hummus Taco Salad. We wrap the whole thing in seaweed and sprinkle generations of racial tension over the top. Because, this dish is really an abomination.”
“I like food.”
Word? Can we be a little more vague? What kind of food? You can’t just say you like food. That’s like saying you like music.
“I have a penchant for post punk new wave circa the early eighties. Mostly the CBGB movement of New York City.”
That’s better. We compartmentalize our loves to be better understood. For instance: The Dead Kennedys and Blink 182 could both be described as punk bands. If you said you were a fan of punk rock does that mean you are a fan of both bands? Probably not. You have to specify what kind of punk rock you like. Hardcore, satirical punk or silly, pop punk. There is a giant chasm between the two bands. AND, it’s important to convey to people that Blink 182 sucks.
“I like comedy.”
Oh, really? What kind of comedy do you like?
“The kind that makes you laugh. What do you mean what kind of comedy?”
Well, do you like sophomoric humor? Are farts funny?
“No. Farts are disgusting. Dick jokes are stupid.”
Oh. So we’re getting somewhere now. How do you feel about cursing? Do you like your comedy blue?
“Swear words are too easy. You can be more intellectual with your jokes. When a comedian curses, I always think they are taking the easy road. Anybody can swear. It doesn’t make you funny. It’s just lazy writing.”
I see. This is great! We are honing it down to a specific type of comedy, do you see? With all of this being said, can you be more specific about the type of comedy you like?
“Ummm… I guess I like it when people get hurt. Physical humor I suppose. When someone falls, I lose it.”
Right. I would say you like mutilation humor. Hmm. Right this way…
“Why are you laughing!?” Sandy stood horrified. A car has just crushed a small, super cute, furry bunny. Jim-Bob is doubled over as his laugh, (part chicken, part evil villain), fills the stunned silence of Main street.
“Did you see the way that rabbit exploded?” guffawed Jim-Bob. “It was like a ketchup packet. God damn! I wonder how far his guts flew! Man! That’s gotta be at least fifty feet!”
“Jim-Bob! A cute little bunny was just run over! It’s horrifying. I.. I think I’m gonna be sick.”
“Yeah, but the way it exploded. I didn’t know rabbit skin was so malleable. It looked like a balloon filled with lasagna!”
Sandy looked at Jim-Bob with disgust. How could anyone find such a horrifying display humorous? She shook her head as something deep within her gut summoned her lunch to reverse direction. Her eyes welled with tears.
Jim-Bob noticed this disapproval and said, “Oh, I’m sorry dear. Would you like me to get you some water?”
“No,” Sandy spat. “You need to get away from me. Your actions are appalling. How could you laugh at that?”
Jim-Bob shrugged and then said, “I love mutilation humor. That’s why I was attracted to you.” Jim-Bob grabbed Sandy’s arm and ran his fingers over the scars that lined her forearm. “Cutters are not only super sexy, they’re hilarious.”
There are tons of descriptors for comedy at your disposal. There is situational, parodic, slapstick, morbid, self deprecating, acerbic, derisive, satirical, and many more. And you can mash a few of those up if you want! So, why can’t we describe our tastes for comedy like we do for music or food?
“I really like racial humor circa the early 70s. Stereotypes are hilarious. Like that show “All In The Family.” It’s fantastic.”
That’s better. Because, frankly, I’m tired of people saying something isn’t funny and expecting the world to agree with them. For instance, you can hate country music, but you are aware that some people like it, right? So you would say, “I don’t like country music.” You personalize it. Why couldn’t you say, “I don’t find this funny. It’s not my type of humor.” That’s an acceptable comment. I could live with that.
If you can accept that rat placenta is a delicacy in some parts of the world, then you must accept that humor is a multi faceted concept. And that some of it is an acquired taste…
The alarm clock screams out it’s siren wail. Jim-Bob slaps down on the alarm clock’s snooze button silencing the daily foe. “Shut up, Martin!” Reality washes over him. Another day has begun.
With a huge grunt, Jim-Bob throws his legs over the bed frame and sits up. He rubs his face with both hands. He repositions himself just enough to let out a fart. “Sorry, Larry. I couldn’t hold that back.” As the sulfur rises through the room, Jim-Bob is surprised at the veracity of this butt bomb. He pats his mattress. “That was bad. Sorry, buddy.” He wonders what he ate that could create such a terrible smell. It must of been that food truck on Alvarado. He decides that kimchi and ghost peppers have no business being on the same piece of challah bread.
He rises and moves to the kitchen. He opens a cupboard where a sign is taped to and hanging from the top shelf. It reads, “You can only pick one.” On the shelf below is a bag of Colombian coffee that sits next to a loaded .44 Magnum. Taped to the handle of the gun is a name tag that reads, “Ezekiel.” As Jim-Bob mules over this decision, Pavement’s “We Dance” pops into his head. He sings aloud. “There is no-oh castration fe-ar…” He grabs the coffee and shuts the cabinet. “Not today, Zeke.”
“…but no one will dance with us in this zany town…” The smell of coffee brewing overtakes the earlier anal attack as Jim-Bob giggles to himself. He thinks about how many Colombians had to die to make this batch of coffee, and are they aware they have saved a life today. He opens up another cupboard where four coffee mugs sit with names taped to their handles. “Three deaths is acceptable,” he says as he grabs a mug labeled Bertha. “One American equals three Colombians. Everybody knows that, right Bertha?”
The Alarm clock screams out again. Jim-Bob pivots quickly around. “I thought I told you to shut the fuck up, Martin!” He walks briskly over to the clock and turns it off. “Is this humorous to you? Always screaming twice? Listen, Martin! It’s not funny!”