Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm Funny, You Know. Honestly, I Really, Really Am!

All of my regular readers will know of my campaign to create the Stupid Law, punishing people for being as thick as submarine doors.

However, I would now like to present a new statute to you, and that is the “Shoot anyone who describes themselves as ‘funny’, ‘wacky’ and especially ‘zany’" Law.

You see, folks, the truth is, if you really are funny, wacky or zany, you don’t have to tell anyone. People just know. Think about it, comedians are described as funny, but you rarely hear them talking themselves about how amazingly hilarious they are.

These ‘hey everyone! I’m so funny, wacky and zany!’ people all have one thing in common. An extremely skewed self image. They think they’re being funny, when in actual fact, they’re just being incredibly irritating. Everyone has a friend like this (or to be more precise, someone who hangs around that you can’t quite ever seem to shake off). They pride themselves on being ‘the funny one’, base their entire self worth around it…and never seem to cotton on to the fact that you’re just too damn embarrassed to have them anywhere near your normal friends.

A good sense of humor is something that you either have, or you haven’t. In a way it’s a lot like singing. If you’re not born with a good voice, you might be able to train yourself to hold a tune, but you’ll never get anywhere near professional standard.

However, the worst offenders of IFWZ Syndrome are TV presenters. You can tell that the producers just grabbed some guy off the street and said “We want to appeal to the kids! Be hip and cool! Don’t forget to be wacky and zany as well!”

So they go on TV, think they’re coming across as all hip and ‘with it’, and priding themselves on the fact that everyone is obviously in stitches at their antics. Look at them go! Doing that funky little sit-down dance to the show’s theme!

It’s a shame that to everyone else they’re coming across as the teacher at school who is desperate to be ‘in’ with the kids, so uses decade old slang and talks about the same crappy pop song every lesson.

I’ve experienced these people, both on TV and in real life.

Back in merry olde England, I took a Christmas job at a menswear store. You know the deal. The regular staff are taking time off for Christmas, or they need extra staff to deal with her rush. So I lied through my teeth during the interview (experience? Sure, I worked in another branch in Wigan for three years!).

So the staff was broken into two distinct groups. The regulars and us temps.

Unfortunately, one of the other temps that never seems to leave me alone was a classic case of ‘IFWZ Syndrome’. He told me, on no fewer than 8 occasions on that first day that he was funny.
Really? I thought funny people just told jokes and are, you know, funny. I didn’t realize you had to tell people. I'll call him 'Dickhead', to protect the fucking irritating.

Just in case you don’t get it yet, he wasn’t funny. Let’s just say that after spending an hour with him, not even alone, I was fantasizing about feeding him feet first into a blender…or maybe running a steam roller over him at 1/8th of a mile per hour.

He, however, had the worst possible variation of IFWZ syndrome. He mistook being irritating, in your face and being downright rude for a sense of humor. He’d comment on the girls makeup, that he thought they were fat, would call you gay…and the worst thing was the more people got mad and told him to go away, the worse things got.

Put it this way, one of the regulars mistook him for a friend of mine. Basically because he glued himself to me, and told me how funny he was all the time.

“You want to have a word with him.” The regular said. “He’s going to get himself beaten up.”

So, I broached the subject with him. Very subtly hinted that the way he was acting might get him into trouble one day.

Do you know what the fuckwit actually said? This is a direct quote, not altered, embellished or exaggerated in any way:

“Nah, that’s okay. I’m funny, I just use my sense of humor to get me out of trouble.”

Hate to tell you pal, that 'sense of humor' you think you have is the thing that's getting you into trouble, and has a snowball's chance in hell of getting you 'out' of anything (except maybe friendship or sex). You have more an anti-sense of humor. Humor makes people laugh and makes them like you. What you have makes people cringe and fantasize about bashing your head in with the fridge door.

When the fit hits the shan, don't expect me to back you up. Expect me to stand back, point and laugh. You getting beat up, now that's comedy!!

The good news, one day, Dickhead decided it would be pure comic gold to tell one long, very detailed (and also completely made up) story.

The story involved one of the regulars being caught by Dickhead in the stockroom... trying to have sex with one of the store mannequins.

Dickhead told this story one Monday evening in the breakroom. He told the story, complete with hand movements. Watching him tell this story, it occured to me that his gesticulations made him look like some kind of retarded, perverted mime with Parkinson’s disease.

You'd have thought this, at least, might have earned poor Dickhead a chuckle...

Instead the breakroom was bathed in an almost supernatural uneasy silence. Dickhead didn't take this as an indication that everyone was simply waiting patiently for him to go away, but took it as enraptured, adoring attention.

However, everyone else was just thinking what the regular is question would do to him when he found out

Upon hearing of Dickhead's one-man show, the regular in question damn near knocked Dickhead out.

Here’s what I remember of the conversation, shortly after me and three other guys had to hold the regular back:

Regular : “Just shut the fuck up, you sad little bastard! You make up shit about me again, or get in my face just one more time, and you’ll be eating your Christmas dinner through a fucking straw!”

Dickhead (shocked) : “What? Can’t you take a joke?”

Hey, I just made out that you're a mannequin screwing, slavering lunatic! How can you possibly be offended by that?

Regular : “That’s not a joke you little fuckweed! You just be glad I need this job, or I’d throw you through that front window.”

The main display window, and a beauty at that. I'd have paid good money to see it

Dickhead (I swear, no shit) : “You’re just jealous because I’m getting all the attention! You just wish you were as funny as I am!”

At this point. It took all my strength, and the two other guys as well to hold him back. I came this close to just letting him go...and no-one would have blamed me for it.

Regular : “You pathetic little shit! Get it into your head! No one likes you! You’re an annoying little prick, and the most unfunny person I’ve ever met. Get it into your head, dickhead…You’re not FUNNY!”

Dickhead looked incredulous. To him, I guess it would be like pointing out to a lifetime KKK member and racist of the year, three years running, that he was, in fact, black.

Then came one of those awkward moments. He looked at everyone in the break room, as if expecting them to jump to his aid. Wasn’t anyone going to defend him and say just how funny all his ‘jokes’ were?

Instead, everyone just refused to make eye contact. One or two gave him a sneer, but most just became extremely interested in their shoes. There where mutterings that sounded suspiciously like 'dickhead', 'little shit' and at least one 'toss pot'.

If you want an idea of just how annoying this guy was, despite the fact that the regular actually attempted to start a fight in close earshot of the customers…it was dickhead who got fired.

So you see, it doesn’t matter how funny you want to be. It doesn’t matter if your life long ambition is to be a stand up comic…don’t tell people you’re funny... just actually try to be funny!

If people don’t laugh, it’s not them not understanding your sophisticated sense of humor, it's not a 'bad audience'…it’s just that you're about as funny as a truck load of dead puppies.

Oh, and it’s a law of the universe that every unit of funniness you think you have over your actual funniness level…that one wrongly identified humour point is in fact fifteen irritator points.

In short. Shut up, dickhead. You're not funny.

To close, many of you are probably wondering…’Does Paulius think he’s funny?”


Just incredibly, incredibly sarcastic.


Miz S said...

Actually- You are INCREDIBLY funny, sweetie. It's one of the first things I noticed about you. That and the fact you hate f-ing people who f-ing swear all the f-ing time.
I still haven't forgiven you for THAT one yet.

BTW- Tell me the Horse-in-the-bar joke. Again.

OzzyC said...

It's come to my attention that most people on the planet think they're smart. Forget about the fact that mathematically speaking, half of the world has below-average intelligence. Forget about the bell-curve of brains as well. NOBODY thinks that stupidity applies to them... except for the really smart people. The dumber people are, the smarter they tend to think they are. The smarter they really are, the more they realize that they don't know shit.

It's the same way with humor. Signed an unfunny dumbass.

Paulius said...

Oooh, that ending is clever.