Close to twenty years ago I used to like telling jokes. I would always have one at the ready that I could deliver to suit the occasion. I told a couple jokes that weren’t appreciated and at the best were insensitive. When I heard the other person’s reasoning, I agreed. I haven’t told a joke since then. That doesn’t mean that humour isn’t a part of my everyday life, it is, but without jokes that are hurtful.
Within my weekly Toastmasters meeting we would tell our members to deliver a joke that wasn’t sexist, racist, dirty or discriminatory in any way. Despite our precautions, inappropriate so-called jokes, would slip through. I stopped delivering jokes years ago because I think far too many of them are hurtful.
An older neighbour of mine once said “Can you take a joke?” That seems to be a preamble to someone telling me something I don’t want to hear and it is usually offensive. This time it was. I believe that I ‘fake’ laughed at the time. In other circumstances I would have told the person that I found their humour to be offensive and not to tell me anymore. In this case, I had no relationship other than living near him, so fake laughing, with the hope that there wasn’t more coming, was my best option.
I believe that jokes may be falling out of favour, other than with stand-up comics. As I was writing this answer, my four-year old granddaughter got up to start her morning. She was carrying her pet stuffed monkey. I asked her do you know any good jokes. She replied “Yes, I do!” This surprized me somewhat. She then said ‘What do call a turkey on a trampoline?” Of course my reply was “I don’t know. What do you call a turkey on a trampoline?” Her reply was “a turkey tramp?”
Did I fake laugh? You bet! And you can be assured that I will be sharing the joke with my fellow grandparents at work.
Thanks for the question!