This is me…and I’m not funny
All my life people have been telling me I’m not funny.
And when I say “people” I am referring to:
family, friends, acquaintances, enemies, total strangers,
Bellhops fall into a class of their own because those uniforms are downright creepy. And because no matter how well you tip, they look at you like it wasn’t enough and punish you by peeing in your suitcase while you’re getting plastered at the hotel bar. Oh come on, no one gets drunk and pees in their OWN suitcase. It wasn’t Colonel Mustard in the lounge with a candlestick, so it must have been the bellhop. (In the closet with a ladle?)
Back to this unfunny business…
No one is ever hurled into the fiery pit of unfunniness with the words, “You’re not funny.” No, the unfunny condemnation is far more complex than that. It is impressed upon an individual in a torturous conditioning process that begins in early childhood with frequent administration of the classic unfunny response – also known as SNoHS.
Snort-NoddingHead-Snort (noun/verb): international human gesture for “you weren’t funny, but I know you were trying to be funny, so I’m giving you the Snort-NoddingHead-Snort as positive reinforcement for being unfunny so that you will be sure to repeatedly humiliate yourself in the same way on numerous occasions for years to come.” See also: classic unfunny response. SNoHS is often described by witnesses as follows:
A momentary flash of pain across the face is immediately followed by a sharp intake of breath resembling horror restrained. Eyes widen as the intake of breath is lodged in the airway with a snort-like sound. A few head nods attempt to dislodge the remainder of the sound from the throat, but only a final and unsatisfying snort-like sound escapes. On occasion, the subject may experience pain, causing the eyes to water. This is often grossly mistaken for tears of laughter.
I have personally been the recipient of SNoHS (with only minor variations) in 14 countries, one US territory, and in 12 languages. It is instantly recognizable and never fails to inspire me to try again. Of course, I myself am incapable of SNoHS, and can only manage to stare blankly in response to that which I find unfunny.
In addition to being unfunny and SNoHS challenged, sometime in early adulthood I was finally able to decipher the looks of vile hatred on the faces of my fellow movie-goers. Apparently, the things I find funny – aren’t funny to anyone else. I believe that this HDD (humor deficiency disorder) may be the result of a defective gene, or a tiny nerve bundle that failed to develop in utero.
Actually, no one in my immediate family is funny either. Because we aren’t funny, we often surround ourselves with funny people so that we might be superficially perceived as funny. My oldest brother and I both succeeded in marrying up to funny. I suspect this is due to a biological drive to repair the lack of funny in our offspring. By my calculations, my kids have a fifty-fifty shot at being funny.
If you, or anyone in your life, suffers the symptoms of HDD, receives threats of death-by-pummeling at the movies, or is the recipient of SNoHS more than three times per week, I encourage you to visit this site often for support and…entertainment. Check out the gift shop while you’re at it. After all, unfunny is the new black. Wear it well.
Photo info: The bellhop photo on this page is not a photo of me.
It is a creepy Disney Tower of Terror Bellhop. (Click for more.)
Photo courtesy of Clay Revels.