Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Wanderings

Sometimes, I get distracted by jokes, particularly those in story form.  You know the ones:  the improbable situations, the punchlines (one I always remember is:  "There's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise"), the behavior that only makes sense when presented in summary ... see, I'm already getting derailed from my point, and I've only just started.

But it isn't the lack of logic behind these tales that stops me dead or makes me forget that, hey, this is supposed to be funny:  it's the fact that the punchline often just seems to be the next plot point.  I am driven to ask:  "What next?  What happens after that?"  Or, conversely, "How did this start?"  When the jokes particularly strain credulity in the setup or behavior, I can't help but perversely wonder, "Well, what could you do to this to make it make sense?  Under what circumstances would this happen logically?"

This is probably the same impulse that makes me want to base a story around the premise of "it's raining men" ...

Regardless, this tendency to build story / plot means that I often breeze right past the joke on my way to another thoughts.  It's probably no coincidence that some of my favorite jokes in some way pervert the intention of the standard joke setup.  For instance, here are my two favorite "walked into a bar" jokes:

Three men walked into a bar.  The fourth one ducked.

A priest, a rabbi, a deaf man and a six-foot rabbit walked into a bar.  The bartender said, "What is this, some kind of joke?"

(Being a writer and grammar geek, I'll also spring for:  the past, present and future walked into a bar.  It was tense.)

Though you could probably write a really trippy story off that last premise ...

Do you see my problem now?

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