Inspired by the Nablopomo writing prompt for today — Are you the funny one in most groups? What kinds of things do you find funniest?
It must be exhausting to feel the need to be the funniest person in the room. I’m sure there are lots of reasons for it — attention seeking, habit, insecurity, nerves, the expectations of others, having an ego the size of the universe — but it’s not a character trait I share. And I honestly don’t know what social role I do assume when I’m in groups. Mostly I just stand around and drink. Or eat. But mostly drink.
Dr Dad thrives in his high-power high-status job, so several times a year I find myself in the excruciating position of having to be the corporate-wifey at lavish black-tie functions. I loathe them. I feel like a geriatric dugong floundering amidst the fluttering neon tetras and angelfish.
Before we go, I prime myself with a list of potential conversation-starting questions. I really do. But soon after we arrive, and all the hello-how-are-the-kids stuff is over, I seize up. Well, not my drinking arm. That stays pretty active. My brain seizes up. I go mute. But Dr Dad fires up. At work he’s clearly Dr Chuckles. He breezes right in and pretty soon the laughter follows. And his colleagues love to tell me what a funny guy he is. I smile glassily. And grab another Moët from the nearest tray.
At home, one of his many other monikers is Captain Obvious. He makes us laugh because of his exceptional capacity to state the bleeding obvious. He’s an absolute master of the No Shit Sherlock genre. Truly.
And he irritates the be-hooey out of Miss 14 with his constant teasing and banter. He finds it hilarious. She finds it groan-worthy. Like his Dad-jokes. Only worse.
His text messages are often pretty funny, though. Never before has one man made so many typing errors in so few words. Fat-fingered predictive text enhanced communications reach us on a regular basis. All three of us have a go at decoding them from Dad-speak to regular English, but often the only response we can muster is : ???? (We also call him Analogue Dad, but I’ll save that for another day.)
He’s damn-near genius in his chosen field — which is not comedy.
The opposite of comedy.
It’s a definite skill, being the funny one in a group. It puts other people at ease and keeps the tone light. Me, well, I think I’m in Woody Allen’s team when it comes to being the funny one:
It’s not my first choice.
How about you?