Friday, January 06, 2006
Made me laugh
You have a stomach ache that is more like an intestinal tickle. You have not slept the entire night because you were trying to find that precious copy of ‘Bleakhouse’ but wound up looking for the black top with sequins. Neither was found. And because everything else was way too much trouble, you decide to simply switch on the T.V.
You instinctively gravitate towards the comforting genre of sitcoms. After a few hours of canned gaiety, you flick over to AXN or to some debate on a news channel and find that you can laugh at anything.
My sense of humor was never very refined to begin with, but I did have a discerning sensibility that now seems to have gone out of the third slat of a narrow window. So I hear anything or remember anything at all and lapse into a rather longish stint of tranquilized twitters.
Whose Line is It Anyway: Colin and Ryan are two people trapped in a pre-mutiny environment. One of them is Irish and the other is Scottish, so it’s a little unclear what historical event they are dramatizing. They have to alert a town about an impending conquest. To do this, they must use dialogues written on a chit that they pick out of a hat. So, Ryan makes this rousing speech about how it is up to them to save a nation. In response Colin volunteers to tear through the countryside and shout at the top of his lungs (and here he picks out a chit): ‘I see Paris, I see France, I see everyone’s underpants!’
I suppose if a person went galloping on a horse hollering this message, he could save the people. I’m sure they’d all get mighty curious and follow him to safety.
Seinfeld: Elaine is dating a surfer or an Australian or an Australian surfer; I forget what. This guy is quite a dish and Jerry is teasing her about it. He mocks her saying that the only reason she’s with him is because he’s got a pretty face and nothing else. To make his point, he states ‘He’s a male bimbo. He’s a mimbo.’
The way Jerry says it....
There’s this sitcom on Zee Café that has that guy who was Will Smith’s cousin in Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I really like this fellow. Anyway, this sitcom revolves around a gym or something. In this particular episode, the cousin fellow has to break into somebody’s office with his friends. So we see him heave himself up with some fancy equipment and ropes and hooks, while his friends just walk up the two steps of the balcony. The office is on the ground floor. One of his pals looks at him and says, ‘Come on, double O zero!’
This bit was my favorite!
Then there’s J, my pal in Pune, whose sense of humor is rather medicinal - it's not for everyone and even then, the dosage is important. But, sometimes, she cracks some jokes that are really hilarious. This one kept me amused right through my typhoid.
Woman: Mera naam Geeta hai.
Man: Toh main aap par haath rakhoon?
Unless very sick, I don’t think I would have ever laughed at this, but now I guffaw simply on remembering this nonsensical joke…and most times, the raucous guffaw happens in buses when I’m sitting alone. Quite embarrassing really.
I majored in Sociology in college. In my final year, we had a paper called ‘Sociological Theory’. Here, we had to study every major thinker in Sociology and all his theories and all the ways he arrived at these theories and all the people who approved of these theories and all the people who thought those were crap. In fact, a friend of mine (who later became rather popular because of this observation), pensively announced, ‘It’s like we must know which direction the guy farted.’
That was rather unfair because we did not have to bother about the flatulence behavior of Marx or Durkheim or Foccault, but it became quite a rage to speculate about how a particular thinker would have passed wind. ‘Marx was a communist, right? He farted to the…`Left’.’ And there’d be loud teenage bawdy giggles, and someone would invariably say, (with feeble originality), ‘This stinks!’ And people would laugh some more.
In any case, one of the thinkers we studied was Max Weber. Now he was more than a thinker. He was a thinker’s thinker. The guy had a very rich intellectual propensity to devise a theory about everything. He was the toughest one to grasp. And sure enough, in our finals, we were asked to explain Weber’s theory about dysfunctional family, globalization, media, cities, etc. etc.
So I wrote out my paper really neatly. Beauty must camouflage ignorance. A pretty looking answer sheet meant that I didn’t know the answers too well. Actually, what I had written was hardly Max Weber’s theory of anything. It was more like Mukta’s theory about Max Weber’s theory of anything. Particularly, my answer to Weber’s theory of cities. What can I say? It was original enough to be displayed on the Sistine Chapel. But I was pretty sure my professor wouldn’t see it that way. I only hoped that I wouldn’t be publicly humiliated when the answer sheets were handed out. So, the day we were supposed to get our papers, my stomach was in knots and my mouth was dry and my forehead felt hot. (Come to think of it, this typhoid has been like that – the endless, anxious wait for a Sociology paper.)
The professor handed out the sheets and I got mine without any fuss. Relieved, I slunk into a corner and went through each page. I had fared decently enough, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn to the part about Weber’s theory of the city. Finally I did.For something that I didn’t know too well, I had managed to write 5 pages on it. Actually, it was easy. I could always faff. My novel answer began with ‘Max Weber’s theory of cities is a clear deviation from the constructivist perspective of urbanization. It is an erudite blend of phenomenology and structuralism, etc. etc. blah blah bloo bloo.’
It ended with my professor's remark: ‘Mukta, really?’
And of course, I had got a zero. Cruelly, the nada score was spelt out instead of being represented numerically. A ‘0’ instead of a ‘zero’ somehow makes the humiliation easier to bear.
But, funny it was.
As a post-script, it is very tedious writing out what one finds funny and why. Mark Twain (my favorite funny man, I think) once compared explaining a joke to explaining how the heart of a frog works. You can explain both by dissecting it but the frog dies in the process.
Ha ha ha.