It Was Funny—I Forgot to Laugh

My brain likes to observe, analyze, and calculate. It has trouble living life in the moment. If someone says a joke, my brain first runs it under the categorical test. Once it knows what kind of joke that was, it provides a generic response that satisfies the joker, and then proceeds to run the next test once it’s safe. What is the context of the joke? How much of the joke was intentional, or just an accident? How much can it offend someone? And so on…

It works similar to a logic tree. But the length of time it takes my brain to figure out a joke depends on how much it has examined that type of joke before. Some jokes it gets instantly cause it’s heard them so many times—they’ve become predictable. Others can take a few moments for the logic tree to finish its course. Sometimes, the brain will get it a few days later—sometimes, much, much later.

Once my cranial buddy is able to figure it out, it revisits the generic response it used earlier when the joke was initially executed. Most of the time, it got away scot free, using quick contextual thinking to provide a correct response… but sometimes it had responded in a very awkward way. Ayy!

This doesn’t mean my noggin never gets any jokes at all—it means you might catch me smiling… quietly… and then responding a few minutes later how I thought it was the funniest thing ever, even though I didn’t laugh.



About daniel bruce lee

I won't get a joke until I've done a lengthy analysis of it. Don't be mad if I don't laugh. View all posts by daniel bruce lee

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