What’s So Funny?
Look around, and you’ll find lots of things!
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
We all need to be on the serious lookout for the funny. When viewed with the right perspective, the world is like a living, breathing collection of New Yorker cartoons. We owe it to each other to point out humor we might miss because we are too busy, distracted, exhausted, hungry, or foul tempered to notice. Bonus: When it comes to funny, more is more. No one ever died, gained weight, or ran into debt from a surplus of hilarity. So dig into life’s calorie-free banana split. Here is my working list, and I would like to hear from you, too.
1. The framed poster art in nail salons. My personal favorite is a close-up of French pedicured feet, crossed at the ankles, and superimposed over a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. Another wonderful standard in almost every salon is the lacquered fire-engine-red talons with dragon decals holding the super fancy umbrella drink. Please ladies, don’t just zone out when you are getting groomed. Pay attention.
2. The faces that men make at the gym when they’re lifting weights. Forget Broadway-the drama at your local Gold’s Gym is Master Class. And it’s not like these men don’t know what they look like, because they’re staring straight into the mirrored walls. The accompanying noises are an added bonus.
3. When a dog sniffs an unsuspecting person’s crotch. This is most effective when the sniffee is not a “dog person.” This situation requires a bit of interactivity, as you could fill in a thought balloon above the dog’s head. It might say something like “Pleasure to make your acquaintance” or “Dude, wassssup!”
4. “The Office.” The reruns are just as funny as seeing episodes for the first time.
5. Masters of the Universe. That’s what my friend Michael Pearson calls anyone who is so engaged in what they’re doing that they are oblivious to the rest of the world. Whenever Michael spots a Master, he alerts us by pushing his tongue under his bottom lip and nodding in their direction. Richard Simmons is a good example of a Master, but they also come in much subtler versions: bicyclists in full-on regalia, unsuspecting drivers belting out falsetto Journey at red lights, etc.
6. Pint-sized princesses, ballerinas, pirates, and superheroes wandering around the aisles of your local supermarket. When they are in the cereal aisle, please take note of the concentration furrowing their tiny brows as if they are at Davos.
7. Catching someone doing The Walk of Shame (or the Stride of Pride, however you want to look at it). One recent Sunday morning I noticed a young woman in a sheer, sparkly top, tight black pants, and high-heeled boots wandering from a bus stop. Although it was quite early, she didn’t appear to be going to church.
8. Myself. Much to my own chagrin, I am constant sitcom fodder. Take last weekend, when I took my kids to a resort in Gettysburg. We were sitting on the floor and watching a show in the hotel lobby, when another mother stooped over to inform me that my underwear was showing. “Like, all of it,” she said, as if I didn’t get her point the first time. I turned around and realized there were a dozen families behind me getting their own show. And it wasn’t G-rated.