Wipe That Smile

What’s funny to one person isn’t funny another. You can tell this by studying the audience in a comedy club. There’s always that one guy out there who looks like his hemorrhoids are acting up. He won’t crack a smile, never mind utter an appreciative snort.

Luckily, comedians are tough; they don’t seem to mind catching sight of that one sourpuss out there. They’re used to it maybe.

I did a little standup in my primary school years when I would say or do just about anything to get the laugh at the supper table and I can tell you I would never get used to it if someone out front had the poker face. If I had stuck with it and done standup after I turned nine –  if I had done standup into my adult years – I bet I’d be wading right out into the audience to slap the guy who wouldn’t smile.

 Of course you can’t do stuff like that anymore in this New Jerusalem of an era when where we’re all so careful about letting people have their reactions.

It’s a good thing, really. It’s a big improvement over the old days when kids especially were told they couldn’t react in accordance with their feelings.

How many times did grownups tell us we weren’t feeling what we said we were feeling? And remember “Wipe that smile off your face?”

My eighth grade principal kept a whip in his office that he would hit us with if he didn’t like the looks on our faces. A whip! And he hit us as hard as he could on our little outstretched hands. Even the boys cried, trying to smile as the tears ran down their faces. Which reminds me of other things they used to say:

Remember “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”?

Remember “You’re not scared! You go right back into that room and go to sleep!” My man was scarred for life the time a gorilla showed up in his closet and none of the grownups believed him. This happened almost 60 years ago and he still swears the beast was in there. Those WERE the bad old days.

So as much as I wish people would get with the program and laugh when everyone else laughs I guess it’s their right.

Like I said, some stuff is funny to you and other stuff is funny to me. What do you think of this little cat singing ‘Lean on Me’? It made me smile but then my standards aren’t what you’d call high.

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