Growing up I had this friend, we’ll call him Bert, that always said stuff that wasn’t funny. Not only was it NOT funny, it was most often offensive or so boring that when he stopped talking the akward silence that followed was palpable; but Burt didn’t stop there, oh no, he would hit you on the shoulder even though you were doing your best to look busy and he would say, “Did you hear me, did you hear what I just said?” He always tacked on a little snigger at the end as if he was still laughing a little bit at what he had just said. And in that moment when he is hitting you saying, “Did you hear what I just said?” You are thinking to yourself, “Yes, I heard you, dear Christmas and Hannakuh everyone heard you – and it WASN’T funny!!!!”
I never knew what to say when he asked me if I heard him, I would always just say “yes” and sort of give him a pity laugh.
Funny thing is, now I work with a guy just like Bert. He makes jokes that aren’t really jokes at all but poor attempts at clever wit, and like Bert, he always says, “Did you get that? Did you hear what I just said?” (He even adds that same little snigger)
The difference now is that 30 year old Eddie is not as nice as 12 year old Eddie and I don’t give a pity laugh, instead I respond with, “Yes, I heard you, and it wasn’t funny and that is why I didn’t laugh.”
I know it is mean, but as Americans we are always trying not to hurt people’s feelings and really we aren’t doing each other favors by laughing or pretending to laugh when something isn’t funny. No, instead, we need to call it like we see it.
I may not always be funny, but I know funny, so if I don’t laugh at your clever little joke or “rofl” when you spit out your little pun, it is my way of letting you know that your “joke” wasn’t funny, so please don’t expect me to laugh.