Tonight's writing assignment revolves around my sense of humor, how it developed, what I find funny and not funny.
I suppose like many "comedians", my sense of humor developed as a defense mechanism.
I was pretty severely bullied in grade school, and to some degree high school, primarily because I was fat. (Body shaming was very much alive and well then.)
I found that over time I was often able to defuse a situation with humor, usually directed at myself, but that was ok, because it sure was better than getting beat up.
My true comedic personality did not come to the fore until medical school. There, one of my classmates and I would often tell jokes in the lecture hall to pass the time till the professor arrived.
I found that rather than telling the traditional style jokes, I much preferred to create a funny story about something we had recently studied or experienced.
This peaked when I was a senior and we put on a charitable event called the "Knocker's Ball", where we would roast some professor.
I was the Emcee. I was piss your pants funny, I swear to god!
And, it's a good thing I was the Emcee, because unbeknownst to me (or her), my future wife was in the audience, and upon a fortuitous meeting later that year, it gave us something to talk about.
Over the years, I still prefer to tell funny stories, as opposed to jokes, although I confess, I know a shit ton of them.
Unfortunately, many jokes are not suitable for polite company.
But, funny stories are virtually always acceptable, especially when describing an event we have all experienced.
I am also quite good at mimicking the speech and mannerisms of people, which generally means you don't want to get on my bad side.
As a rule, my jokes are generally not mean (or not intended to be), but they are often heavily laced with sarcasm, the comprehension of which seems to have gone by the wayside in our society.
I have also found, that some people really don't want to laugh. They would much rather sulk or be pissed off.
My Ravinia post is probably my best example, if you have read it.
(If not, enjoy it here: Ravinia )
But even there, something clearly intended to be a parody went over the heads of more people than I would have imagined.
My humor was of greatest help in my specialty of radiation oncology.
I always felt it was a win when patients left my office laughing, as opposed to crying.
One of my favorite lines was when I would see a breast cancer patient, and the husband would often ask, "Doctor, if this was your wife, what would you do?"
To which I'd respond, "How do you know I even like my wife?" Hilarity ensued.
(BTW, I love her.)
While my humor had no power to heal, I feel that it often helped people get over what was often the roughest patch of their life.
I really enjoy all types of humor, from stand up comics to goofy movies.
I greatly enjoy South Park, because they often address serious issues the way I feel I would.
Humor is a very powerful tool.
I am so pleased to see that even my granddaughter at 2.5 years old, can begin to joke.
If that's all she inherited from me, it'd be enough.
We all need to laugh more. The world is a mind boggling place right now, but I believe looking at it through the lens of humor can help make sense of it all.
Or at the very least, enable us to better deal with it.
And if anyone ever tells you different, remember what I always say: STAY SKEPTICAL!
Please sign up for my blog, always spam free.
Like and share me on Facebook.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Health Care