5 Ways Wit Works

When you are a kid and you first discover that poo is funny, you talk about poo a lot. After a few years (or decades for those lucky few of you), you might evolve your limited verbal jesting to include other topics. We are all continuously learning what people find funny, and where to joke about what. Without practical experience, all efforts are doomed. My own roaming experiences have led to a variety of reactions when attempting to kindle some bellies. I hope you can all relate.

1) Not intended, and not perceived.
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Yeah, so I am actually your father. I ran away from you because you were an ugly baby. I still think you’re ugly, but I need to be civil so you will give me money to feed my gambling addiction. Wait, did I say that out loud?

Okay, some of you might be saying this one doesn’t count as a “way wit works” since it doesn’t involve humour or an attempt at it by either party. However, the funny thing about wit is that even when a situation is without it, if you can just remove the hout, you’ve got yourself some. Unless you try to make a joke like that.
But seriously, given that this category represents the majority of conversations I’ve had with lawn ornaments (a statistically significant amount that merits consideration as a legitimate category of socialising for at least myself), it’s going in. Also for completeness and such (I like a fully described set). There are of course some situations where humour is just not welcome, like the day that you get dumped by your $20,000 robot sex doll on Christmas Eve after buying a new Canon 1D DSLR to take pictures of you licking her feet. Yeah, some of you might mock it, but I guarantee that if you search hard enough, internet rule 34 will deliver a contact number for a guy who is into that. And he would be DEVASTATED if his doll left him.

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Harry: How could you do this to me Sally? Was it Bob from accounting?
Sally: Yes, I’m sorry but he has hair.

I tried to find a nice gif but all I have to show for it is a search history revolving around “robot sex doll fetish guys” and questionably related ads on my Facebook banners.

2) Not intended, but perceived.
This is what happens when you have a really naive person choosing interesting combinations of words when talking to someone who masturbates very often or would like to. Arguably, you could have a dirty mind without humour and therefore not perceive anything but misconstrued meanings, but most people find innuendos funny if they are dirty enough to spot them if only because of the roaring unintended impropriety.

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This is the best sausage I’ve ever put in my mouth! Oh crap that came out wrong… Anyway I want to divorce. Stop laughing.

Also, Kanye West.
“Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?” Clue – yes. He didn’t intend for me to laugh at that statement, but I did snigger at the redundancy of it, and then proceeded to cry as I realised how much richer than me he is.

As for those of you sticking up for the Hip Hop revolutionary, I agree he may have said some groundbreaking things. But it’s like the monkeys typing Shakespeare’s works. If he talks enough shit like that, every now and then something vaguely profound might come out if you squint.

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In a bizarre twist, Hairy McGee IV just typed out the lyrics for an entire Kanye West song! He’s only been typing for 5 minutes too – what are the odds!

3) Intended, but not perceived.
“Holy crap it’s cold today”.
*Pause while thinking of joke*
“If I had a digital thermometer the accumulator would overflow because the negative exponent is so large!”

How was I supposed to know your mother just died? Would it make a difference if I said she was so hot that I’d still do her? No?

Basically, your sense of humour either just doesn’t line up with your audience. It might be the funniest joke ever, but you have to be comfortable with the trailing part of that statement – ‘for you’. Maybe don’t try so hard? Or just hang out with people who are your kind of geeky. The ones that also memorised every word of ‘Titanic’ so that a strategically placed quote in a maritime museum is indeed followed by some guiltily pleasured chortles.

4) Intended, but not perceived AS INTENDED.
YES! They are laughing! Laughing at… the dick drawn on your face as you tell them your joke. Plebeians.
Or even…
“… was so ridiculous! It would be like erecting a statue of Karl Marx with a toothbrush moustache!”

Again, this category is most probably due to a rift between the humour types of the parties involved. These are the moments where you just have to resist the urge to ‘correct’ the audience by explaining the joke, and just nod smugly as they pat you on the back for being swell and such. Three words that might come to mind that might best fit the mood:
“I’ll take that”. Trust me Jeeves, they don’t want to hear that awesome use of political satire to convey the irony in current state policy. If they didn’t get it, smile and wave.

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It’s not what I was going for, but if it helps me get that promotion, I’ll eat my tie. Note to self – business idea 34: flavoured ties.

5) Perceived as intended. Ding!
You whizkid. You excel at hanging around people as sophisticated, niche, hipster, shallow, narrow-minded, or maybe even as juvenile as you! They get you, like when you buy a sock and it just fits so nicely that you have to go buy the other one because socks come in pairs and you should have realised that at the shop and also how did the cashier not realise that you were buying one sock?

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Here’s your sock! I usually buy two at a time but the customer is always right!

These are those moments that you just feel like whipping out a bottle of champagne and celebrating your awesomeness, because nothing feels quite as good as having your recipients appreciate your clever pun, or impression, or hypothetical hilarity. Just remember – ride the wave at your own risk. You might keep popping out gold one-liners all night, or you might come up with a few before those beers and the darkness in your unconscious mate to produce a deformed lovechild that leaves you with nothing but a table of silence, and an enema with your own shame and regret.

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Shame enemas are not that fun really. They just bring all the shit out onto the table at once.


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