Little Timmy asked his grandfather, “What makes a joke funny, pop?”
“I guess that depends,” his grandfather said. “Different people have different senses of humor.”
But this answer was insufficient — he could tell from the look that Little Timmy gave him.
“All right, well — most humor works because a person is expecting one thing, but gets another. Or wordplay, hearing a word that sounds like another word, but means something else entirely. Bodily functions are funny — farts and poops. Seeing a person fall down. That’s called slapstick.”
“But what if a joke isn’t funny? Is it still a joke?”
“That’s a good question, Timmy,” his grandfather replied. “Yes — I would say yes, it is. It’s a joke if the person telling it means it as a joke. Not every joke is perfect, you know. Some are duds. But that depends on the person listening, too. Maybe she’s not in the mood for a laugh. Maybe she finds a certain humor objectionable. Not everyone appreciates fart jokes.”
Little Timmy frowned. He appeared to be thinking.
“If you ask me,” his grandfather said, “and I suppose you did, the point of humor is to defuse a tense situation. We make jokes about things that confuse or frighten us — even the feeling of being frightened or confused. It’s our way of saying to one another that we’re safe. Which explains laughter! Did you know that humans are the only —”
“Thanks, pop,” Little Timmy interrupted him. “You’ve been a real help.”
Little Timmy stepped outside, where two of his lackeys were holding a third boy between them.
“I’ve got no idea,” Little Timmy said, when one his lackey’s raised an eyebrow. “Not a fucking clue.”
And he punched the third child in the stomach, hard.
This is a repository for JY's original content that's yet to be bound in a book -- essays, short fiction, etc. There's little rhyme or reason, so jump in!