Indulge me a moment.
Notice I asked your permission first. Most people don't do that.
I have been told that I'm a funny guy. Thanks for the compliment, but I try not to think that way. The reason I do this because I don't want to be obnoxious in elevators. I'll explain.
The other day I was riding in an elevator to my 18th floor apartment. It was crowded, so as people boarded, we called our floors so that a person near the buttons pressed our floor for us.
Manning the button panel, and clearing enjoying the spotlight, was a FUNNY GUY. I mean that he was trying VERY HARD to be VERY FUNNY. He was talking very loud and boisterously to a friend, and he was giving everything he had. He probably would have sawed off a testicle with a rusty straight razor if he thought it would get a laugh (actually, come to think of it, I should have told him "If you saw off either testicle with a rusty razor blade, I promise to laugh." He probably would have done it.)
We called out our floors. "Seven," "Fifteen," "Eighteen," "Twenty-three," and he burst out like an auctioneer "Twenty-four! Do I hear twenty-four! Going once, going twice!"
His friend thought it was the funniest thing ever. Geez. Don't sit him down for an episode of Gilligan's Island. He'll have an oxygen mask pressed to his face while the paramedics try to revive him before the theme song is done.
The rest of us did what most people do when confronted with a FUNNY GUY. We smiled politely at his jokes. He didn't stop there. A forced smile only encourages a FUNNY GUY. Noticing that someone was carrying a case of beer, he said "At least we've got refreshments if we get stuck. HAHHAHAHAHAHA!"
Yeah, and we've even got a place for the empties. Bend over, FUNNY GUY.
You know what I mean by a FUNNY GUY. The kind that's always laughing loudly and needlessly with friends about things only they find funny. That would be okay, but they insist on sharing it with the world around them. FUNNY GUYS (and FUNNY GIRLS) flourish in places where there's a captive audience. Buses, elevators, and worst of all, when people are at work. At work you've got to put up with that shit. Unless you're a cop, in which case you beat them about the head and neck with a baton until they're dead, then put a switchblade in their hand as a cover story.
FUNNY GUYS are convinced that they are the cutting edge of wit. Their observations are always fresh, never stale. I worked at a movie theater at the confection stand for nearly two years, and each and every week, a different FUNNY GUY would place on order like "I want a Big Mac, large fries." (suddenly pretending to realize) "Oh, I'm sorry." And then they would laugh (FUNNY GUYS always laugh at their own jokes).
The FUNNY GUYS are always convinced that their roach-sized brains come up with these things first. I would usually respond in one of three ways.
1) "Can you rob us so the Emergency Task Force has an excuse to shoot you dead?"
2) "You know your mother, sir? I killed her. You know your father? I killed him too."
3) "That's funny. You'd think I'd get tired of it hearing it every week. But nope, it's as funny as the day I first heard it. No, better than that. It's getting funnier with each telling. If it gets any funnier, I may have to castrate someone."
When FUNNY GUYS finally realize that they're not being entertaining, they get all tender and say meekly "Sorry. Just trying to be friendly."
For God's sake, it isn't that hard. Humor and friendship are natural. If you see someone you'd like to hang out with, just hang out with them. Before you know it, you're friends. It does take some effort sometimes, but it doesn't take a sledge hammer. If FUNNY GUYS were surgeons, then would remove an appendix with an automated ditch digger instead of a scalpel. If you think something's funny, say it, and people will laugh, or they won't. If they don't laugh like an idiot at your joke, you won't be embarrassed if it bombs.
For me though, the worst thing about a FUNNY GUY is his coup de grace. When you leave, thankful to be breathing unpolluted air again, the FUNNY GUY confides loudly to his sidekick, "I'll bet he thinks I'm crazy."
Ohhhhh gaaaaaaawwwwwwwd.No, crazy people are interesting. The Emperor Caligula was crazy. But he was a fascinating guy. I think FUNNY GUYS are boring. They push an aspect of their personality that is quite frankly, weak. It would be like me promoting myself as the world's greatest nuclear physicist when I can't even remember if radiation is good for you or not. These people might have some other favorable personality trait.generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness, whatever.but their SENSE OF HUMOR keeps getting in the way.
But if you don't laugh, you're the tightass. I once kept a poker face through a FUNNY GUY'S monologue, not reacting once. A friend I was with did the polite smile thing. Seeing this, the FUNNY GUY said to me "You've got to relax, get a sense of humor."
To which I said very calmly, "On the contrary, I have a wonderful sense of humor. You're just not funny."
You should have seen the look on the face of a) the FUNNY GUY, and b) the friend I was with. Sorry, people have to be taught not to take advantage of courtesy and politeness if they don't want to drive it out of the world. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.
The FUNNY GUY, of course, was just trying to be friendly.
Here's a tip. The next time you meet a FUNNY GUY, scar him for life. You can do this quite easily. When he says something witty like "What can I do you for," laugh. I don't mean use that polite chuckle you have to recognize that some attempted humor even though it wouldn't make an unsophisticated four year old smile. I mean laugh. HARD. Laugh extremely loudly and forcefully. Do it for about two minutes straight, don't let up. It works great if you're in the presence of other people. Initially, FUNNY FUCKING GUY will think he's scored, but the longer you laugh, the more he will realize that you find more humor in war atrocities than in him. Now it's his turn to politely smile and make like he doesn't mind any of this.
For example, with my elevator FUNNY GUY, when he said "Twenty-four," I should have just bellowed with laughter. Shattered the eardrums of the person standing next to me. I should have kept laughing until it got to my floor, 18 stories up.
And as I left, I should have topped it off with my own coupe de grace:
"Hey! You're A FUNNY GUY!"