Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I don't get the joke...I am the joke.

I don't exactly have an "adult" sense of humor. Whenever someone says something and everyone laughs except me, I immediately assume a dirty joke has been made, and I start casting around in my mind for its possible meaning. It usually takes me a minute, but with a little concentration, I can understand dirty jokes, even if I don't appreciate them. When I detect one of these jokes in my vicinity, I know it is my job to roll my eyes and act long-suffering. Because that's my function among my friends—to never laugh unless it involves cats.

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I went to a comedy show at Mad Momos in DC (shout out to the venue; we thought it was a cool restaurant with lots of fun entertainment scheduled!). Now, I enjoy comedy as much as anyone, but because of my more G-rated sense of humor, during some acts, I spend a lot of time smiling politely, with a hint of embarrassment, and hoping no one notices me.

Yesterday night, it was snowing and the forecast didn't look good, and most sensible folk were snugged away in their homes. Escaping notice is kind of difficult when you're sitting near the front of the room in a crowd of about seven. I was bound to get my moment in the spotlight before long.

The comedian was talking about the bottomless mimosas, one of which happened to be sitting right in front of me. Apparently my enthusiasm for mimosas wasn't obvious enough, because he asked me, "You don't like mimosas?"

All eyes were on me, and, though I'd rather just drink my mimosa than chat about it for a room full of people expecting humor, I rose to the occasion. "Sure I do, I've got one!" I replied confidently, lifting the glass into the air. I got this. I was going to prove I can be funny!

The comedian then said something about "turn up." In a sense that obviously meant something other than "to appear." A sense I had never heard used before. A sense I did not understand! And the entire audience was looking at me, waiting for my reply. Ever cool under pressure, I activated my best deer-in-the-headlights expression and asked, "How do you turn it up?" The room went wild. Yeah, that was all me, comedy goddess in the first row.

The comedian's explanation left something to be desired, but to defuse any hard feelings, he had me take a drink with him...pinkies out, of course. I guess every comedy show needs a society matron.

So yes, I admit it. I don't understand dirty jokes, and I don't understand slang. But on the plus side, it seems I really am funny. All I have to do is keep being my usual clueless self.

Epilogue: If you, like me, are just not 'hood enough (as my boyfriend put it) to understand what "turn up" means, I did find out on Urban Dictionary. It's something like "Get wild," especially in the context of booze and drugs. It can also be used as an interjection, like a less dorky version of "yippee!" So now I know. Next time someone uses that phrase on me, I'll be prepared. I'll be so cool, I'll grow icicles. Just you wait.


Tammy Klinger said...

Well I'm glad you explained because I had no idea...but I'm old..and naive. And like you never get the dirty jokes my husband usually has to explain and we've been married 28 years! Glad you should everyone you can be the funny one!

Jackie said...

This made me smile...and I, too, am glad you gave us the meaning. I don't think I will sit near the front at a comedy show...I hate to be put on the spot...and I doubt I would have come up with such a great response.

Ray Hoy said...

Note to Jackie: don't worry about sitting at the front in a comedy club should you go with me. I make sure to hide at the back of the room. As for the turn up debacle, some comment about root vegetables would have been my response...