Twice in very recent days, people have said “that’s funny” in response to something I’ve said. Now I love being told that I’m funny. Sometimes in fact, I’ll go a little out of my way, and even completely off topic, just to get that laugh. But in both cases, my statement was in no way funny, nor even at a stretch, intended to be funny.
So why did they say it?
My initial reaction was simple. They weren’t listening. Just giving me a line they felt MIGHT suit whatever I had said. But upon further examination I decided that in both cases the statements I had made were too similar in nature for the replies to have been a coincidence.
Both times they were statements which the other people, I now realize, found not at all funny, but rather distasteful… as in a “Why in God’s name would you want to do that?” kind of distasteful.
So I’m left to wonder. Why would someone say “that’s funny” when it’s not remotely what they felt? Wouldn’t that be akin to saying, “I completely agree, that new scent you’re wearing is positively delicious!” when really it’s so cloying and over applied that you know you’ll likely keel over if the offender takes one step closer. Or perhaps, “Oh absolutely, you should seek out a specialized school for your son – clearly he is a prodigy!” after the little Einstein just ate a kleenex while laboriously attempting to clean his ears with a fork… and he’s twelve.
They aren’t remotely true so why not just nod and make the polite appreciative noises we all do when we don’t really agree but also don’t want to get into a debate over the matter.
To exclaim “that’s funny” when it is truly un-funny is just shy of saying… “you’re an idiot and I think what you just said is moronic funny, and not ha – ha funny.”
It was right then that the question struck me… why had I said what I did to those two particular people? It’s not like I don’t know them, not like I wouldn’t guess that they might find what I said moronic or even downright insane! I should have seen their distaste coming a mile away. (I know you’re all DYING to know what it was that I said – and even more – to WHOM!)
So was I LOOKING for a reaction from them?
YES! Yes I was!
And I was denied!
So who’s left with a fork in her ear now?