Tag Archives: Mark Twain
A Sense of Humor
Click here to read in Gujarati
Let us mark first Mark Twain’s marking that studying humor is like dissecting a frog in biological studies where we may know a lot but we end up with a dead frog. Being my today’s post a Light Essay, everything will go light in a rightway with no any boring definitions or scientific analysis or any dissection of the topic like a frog’s. Some illustrations will do their work what they have to do to make you understand what is to be understood by you.
Humor is such an effective tool with which you can make your tasks very easy. Take an example of a Priest who addressed to the gathering in a Church one Sunday morning in a typical style as this: “I have some bad news, some good news and some bad news. (1) The bad news is that the Church roof has fallen down. (2) The good news is that I have found the money to repair it. (3) The bad news is that it is in your pockets”. Here, much more has been said and the Priest would have surely succeeded to cope better with his requirement of funds. Here, the power of ‘sense of humor’ is self explanatory.
Now a days, people are living stressful lives throughout the world. They are suffering from pains for some gains. Economically middle class and BPL people are many and they are in want of increasing immune power, reducing their stress and coming out of their worries. Humor is a tonic which works more effectively rather than any other remedy and easily available within one’s own self also. The person has to try only to take it out and the life will look worth living.
Not only financial but some other minor matters also matter with our lives and become the causes of our dis-satisfactions. Let us look at baldness of Mr. Allen Klein, a humorist. He focused his humor on himself as saying “Because of my lack of hair, I tell people that I am a former expert on how to cure baldness.” To make others laugh, such style of comments on self is safe as no question to irritate the feelings of others arises here. Let us enjoy one more – Abraham Lincoln’s very intelligent and funny quote as “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” If you have the sense of humor, you should laugh here; otherwise share these quotes with your spouse and perhaps he or she may help you to laugh by stretching your cheeks and/or lips and poking with fingers in your arm-pits.
Many people are found around us who wear such surly faces in the shape of English numeral (eight) i.e. hanging, cool, dry or still photography-like and they not only live their own lives bore-some, but make others’ also boring. If we happen to travel together with such persons for some hours, we feel that we have passed an era with them.
Laughter is the source of connecting the people together. A humorous bus conductor can attract the passengers to take only his bus to ride. Humor is a ‘give and take’ process. I’ll illustrate my experience of traveling in a bus. After issuing the tickets at starting point, the conductor announced, “Don’t be ashamed of having your tickets, please!” My seat was near to him and I whispered to him softly and smilingly, “Don’t you need to change this dialogue sounding like a broken record, my good friend?” He broke out in shouts of laughter and went positive with me and said, “Well spoken, dear uncle, well spoken! Really, it is a very common dialogue among all we-conductors and it may be of no any effect to create humor. I’ll think over it for some change and try. Thanks a lot.”
Sense of humor is an outcome of the presence of mind. The following is my paraphrase from my memory of having read the episode somewhere and perhaps I may be wrong here. But, my dear(s) ignoreit as somebody has said, “Who says is not the least concerned, but what he says is important.” Yes, go further to read.
My favorite personality Mr. Churchill once made a comment in the British House of Commons (Lower House) as “Half of the members of the House are idiots.” Being a non-Parliamentary word, the members stood up from their chairs with a protest shouting with ‘Shame .. Shame!”. Mr. Churchill requested them to calm down and apologized in these words, “I am sorry. I withdraw my statement. I represent it with amendment that half of the members of the House are not idiots.” The House was so excited watching their PM apologizing that they could not catch the last words in-between the noise of patting the desks and roaring.
My good Readers, it is upon you to make out any definitions of the subject in discussion. My assurance of not giving any definitions is already there in my first Para above and I still stand by it. But, suppose if I write down “A sense of humor is the ability to experience humor.” forgetfully, ignore it and forget that you have read it.
Equivocal words are many in languages which can create humor if they are used sharply at right places and moments. To reach the efficiency of ‘laugh and let laugh’, we will have to sharpen our sense of humor. Without sharpening our ability to grasp any humorous point of a narrator, our position will fit with a deaf person who has to laugh twice. I won’t clarify why twice being the prestige issue of my intelligent Readers. Equivocal words are called as Puns also which sound the same but having different meanings. An illustration is here as “A cross-eyed teacher could not control his pupils.” Such Puns are many and you may invent them to make your treasure full with them to entertain others in your own style.
The technique of anti-climax at the end of a story or an episode becomes the most effective part to make the listeners laugh. A single example will be enough for you to make this technique clear. Well, let us have a laugh together. Here we go:
Mr. X: I am in true love with your daughter. Please allow us to marry.
Mr. Y: No, no! Not at all! You are not fit for her. Forget your love and be off.
Mr. X: If you don’t, do you know what will I do?
Mr. Y: You will make suicide, what else?
Mr. X: No, why should I? My life is not very cheap as you think.
Mr. Y: You will run away with her and do court marriage!
Mr. X: No … No! It is the job of a coward, not mine!
Mr. Y: Bark… Bark! What will you do then?
Mr. X: I’ll marry with any other girl.
I sum up my Article here with no any tension whether it has succeeded to make you laugh or smile at least by uttering ‘cheese’ as photographers instruct to bring an artificial smile on face in their studios! Ha! Haa! Haaa!
– Valibhai Musa
February 1, 2008
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