Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

28 April 2012

Finding The Funny

I don't want to turn into a humorless curmudgeon - one of those old guys who's always yelling at kids to keep off his lawn.  I am not a naturally funny guy, but I do like to laugh.  I appreciate humor and try to see the lighter side of things whenever possible.  Maybe I get it from my dad.  He wasn't a big jokester, but he had a keen and unappreciated sense of humor that I think he was reluctant to let out for some reason.

I’ve mentioned before that I believe it is of critical importance to laugh every day…to find the funny in life. And find it, I do. 

In fact I was in the shower just this morning when I thought of something that caused me to literally laugh out loud. (It was one of those times when I was glad that I live alone.) This probably won't seem as funny to you as it did to me, but I will share it anyway.

It was from a recent episode of TV’s “Modern Family,” which is a consistently hilarious show. Mitchell was throwing a surprise birthday party for his partner, Cameron. The theme of the party was “The Wizard of Oz.” As Mitchell was frantically trying to get things together, the doorbell rang. He opened it and there stood two guys in flying-monkey suits. “Hey,” Mitchell said. “Hey,” one of the guys said back, “we’re the monkeys.” 

A brief, throwaway exchange, hardly noticeable amidst everything else going on in that fast-paced episode. Except…except if you’re a confirmed TV nut as I am. The “bit” was funny (to me). Here’s why: The timing of the exchange was exquisite.  And it was an audio gag, not a visual one as you would expect from a TV show. And an obscure audio gag at that! If you weren’t looking at the screen, what you heard was:
(Doorbell rings)
“Hey, we’re the monkeys.”

Hey, hey, we’re The Monkees!

I pointed it out to my friend, Matt, who is much too young to have ever heard about The Monkees, much less seen their TV show, or heard the theme song, or known of their importance in music and TV history, or have picked up on the (as I said, obscure) reference.  So he didn't catch it.  But I did, as did probably a whole bunch of others from my generation. At least, I hope so.

And when I thought about it this morning, I laughed again. It’s silly, yes, but it’s why I love “Modern Family.” Why they would include a little joke like that…a joke that many in the audience would not even get...I have no idea.

But nevermind that.  I say to you, find something funny to laugh about every day – every morning, preferably so you start the day off on a good note. Find the funny. Even if it's something trivial and silly.  It’ll make your life better, I guarantee it!


Bob said...

I am right there with you, man. It is kind of like some of the Disney stuff, e.g. Alladin, Beauty and the Beast, that I used to watch w my kids when they were little. Lots of subtle humor that is only appreciated by old farts like me (us)! I laugh out loud too. I hope I will still be doing it until I die.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Bob, I know what you mean! I hope you do too.

Back when I was flying a helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil company sent me for some reason to our base in Lafayette, Louisiana where I promptly got fogged-in...for three days. Stuck and unable to go anywhere with a dozen or so similarly stranded pilots and a handful of mechanics. We couldn't really even leave the base - because the fog could burn off at any minute, you know. But it didn't.

As we passed the time in the Pilot Lounge reading or whatever (this was back in The Days Before Computers and iPads) one of the mechanics changed the TV channel to one on which a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" marathon was playing. Most of us groaned and rolled our eyes; not only did we not watch cartoons, we hadn't seen Rocky The Flying Squirrel since we were kids.

Imagine our surprise when we found ourselves laughing at the very subtle but very adult jokes imbedded in the dialog - jokes that children surely did not get (we did not get the jokes when we were kids).

I guess the people who produce modern cartoons and animated movies for children still sneak in some jokes for the adults who are surely watching along with their kids.

Laughing is important. We should never lose our sense of humor.