Jan 212015

About two weeks ago when revising the novel of doom (and yes, I’m still not done after fifteen months) I read one of those “Oh no, everything is going downhill we’re doomed”-scenes that are mandatory in urban fantasy novels and found I had unwillingly inserted something funny.

Now the thing is while I think I am rather funny in person (not always on purpose), and while people have told me my podcast is funny (can’t imagine why) I was really sure that in my fiction there was no fun at all.

But then I was. All Buffy-like in the middle of an important and major fighting scene. Wham. Funny and ironic. Sarcastic even.

Decades ago I went to a music education congress in Cologne, and a guy said to me that he thought I was British. First because of my clothes (which I still don’t quite understand but I tried to dress as elegant and businesslike as I could), and second because of my sense of humor. It seems that sarcasm is something I do without thinking. I even met a friend in college who said he liked my sarcasm. I, of course, didn’t really know what he was talking about.

So it seems that Germans think that I have a British sense of humour. While I just think that I had to do something to lift myself above the dreary existence that is daily life in Eastern Westphalia. No,. despite what my husband thinks that is not a joke. There is a tiny bit of Westphalia that got chopped off some time ago, and now it is separate. Though united with “Lippe” (don’t ask me what that is in English) which nowadays is shortened to the unfortunate acronym OWL (for “Ostwestfalen-Lippe”). Of course Lippe is an abomination because people are all catholic there. ::shudder::

Oh wait. I was talking about being funny.

So.I never quite know how that works. Sometimes I say something that I think is common knowledge, and not unusual at all, and someone will think that’s the funniest thing. Sometimes I’m making a really good joke but nobody laughs, and there’s this really awkward silence. So I really never know.

I do know that I like to hear myself talking, and I always laugh at my own jokes but I also know that you’re not supposed to. If I were a real, sincere, artist person I wouldn’t love listening to my own podcast. I wouldn’t chuckle at every pitiful joke.

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.

On the other hand I then think that maybe it’s a good thing I like hanging out with myself. I know one shouldn’t, a worthy person would be all humble, and “Oh, you’re so much nicer than I am.” And yes, most people are indeed nicer than me, still I’d love to hang out with myself all the time. The fun I could have! I could talk about the books I’ve read, and the projects I’m working on forever without boring myself. Brilliant! I could watch “Doctor Who” with myself, and we’d both sitting there, spinning along with a big grin of pleasure on our faces, and then we’d both drink the same beer and love it. I could have real conversations about everything that I find fascinating without my listener’s eyes glazing over which is a definite plus. (Try to talk to your 12-yo. son about your current spinning project, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Still. I’d love to be able to write something funny on purpose. Usually when people find me funny I’m just being myself.

And sometimes I think that I’m living in the wrong country, and that I would be happier in Britain. Well, at least I would know why I’d feel like a stranger there.

The thing is that I never really can tell if I just made a joke or not.

What about you. Can you be funny on purpose? Do you even want to?


  2 Responses to “On being funny”

  1. Ich weiß, was Du meinst und mir geht’s ähnlich.
    Ich glaube, viele Leute halten mich für verschroben, arrogant oder dumm, weil sie meinen Humor nicht verstehen. Und andere mögen mich für Dinge, die ich gar nicht erwähnenswert finde und lachen über Bemerkungen, die ich ganz ernst gemeint habe.
    Ich versuche, anderen die Freiheit zu geben, mich zu mögen oder es zu lassen und sich die Gründe dafür selbst auszusuchen. Ich mache es umgekehrt ja auch so. 😉
    Ich bin mir auch nicht sicher, ob wir alle Doctor Who aus denselben Gründen mögen und an denselben Stellen lachen.
    Und ich finde es absolut wichtig, sich selbst zu mögen und gern mit sich allein zu sein. Mir sind Leute suspekt, die sofort Besuch einladen müssen, nur weil der Partner mal einen Abend nicht da ist…

    Viele Grüße aus Berlin,

  2. This is not about Being Funny but it is about your Estonian Shawlette pattern. When each section of the graphed pattern changes, there are a number of stitches left over. What happens to them as they really don’t fit into the existing pattern and need to be either put somewhere or eliminated or to move the pattern to where the stitches equal out according to the pattern. It would so much easier if there was a written.pattern to make sense of it all. I have been knitting for over 60 yrs and this is the first time I’ve come across this phenomena. The shawlette is lovely and I was hoping to make it for a friend but I really don’t know what to do about the extra stitches or where to put them. Is there a written pattern and could you send it to me, please? I know I’m up in years but I am not at the confused state of being but this pattern is confusing me!.

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