Humor is subjective. Some people don’t find the Stooges amusing. Others are left cold by some of the more popular newspaper comics. Napoleon Dynamite is a perfect example. Either you loved it or thought it was the stupidest movie ever to grace celluloid. (Do they still use celluloid or am I mixing up my vocabulary words again? Forgive me if I just laid out some nasty medical condition for your perusal, especially if you’re eating.)
My aunt thinks there should be a DVD with snippets of the great one-liners and comic bits from all of her favorite funny movies, so she could just pop it in and laugh herself sick when she’s having a bad day. But her set of “must have” movies might not be anyone else’s.
This has me wondering why I laugh at the things I laugh at. I have gotten hysterical over some of the most benign and bizarre things. My family loves to see me wind up for a laugh attack. They laugh at me, but hardly ever at what set me off. The most recent attack was during the movie Elizabethtown. A little kid has a temper tantrum, and his screams set me off. I even entered silent laugh mode which is where I laugh so hard no sounds come out except the occasional Smedley-type – “har, har.” Trust me, I’ve lived through many a temper tantrum, and usually they don’t make me laugh. Go figure.
One of the strangest things that gets to me is heavy objects. My husband loves this. This condition (it is probably in medical journals under abnormal psychology) started when I was very young. Mom asked me to pour milk. Every time, and I kid you not, I’d be perfectly fine, normal, and laid-back even, as I opened the fridge. Walking to the table was no problem, but something happened when the lid was off, and I was poised over the cups. Suddenly, the act of pouring milk was off-the-charts hysterical.
I wonder how many nervous breakdowns my mom had. She hid them well, except for the occasional twitches.
Sophistication dawned with motherhood. I now have no desire to laugh when I pour milk.
But moving heavy objects is another story altogether. As long as I bear the burden alone, I’m fine. I can haul boxes with nary a grin. I’ve pushed/humped/heaved heavy furniture across miles of carpet in my day. But if my husband asks me to help him haul something, I lose it. Any psychiatrists out there -- feel free to diagnosis this problem.
Tomorrow, I’ll share a very formative event…entitled Aunt Har-Har.