I‘ll admit it. I’m not the most sophisticated when it comes to humor. Frankly, I am 12.
Oh, I can grasp and laugh at Dennis Miller’s obscure metaphors 90% of the time–admittedly with a little help from Wikipedia. I revel in the clever comedy stylings of Christopher Guest, Monty Python and The League of Gentlemen…but it’s the really immature stuff that sucker punches me. Blazing Saddles. Kathy Griffin. Pee Wee Herman.
What does it say about me that I can’t sit in a board meeting and hear the word “titillate” without smirking? When someone lets go of a squeaker in church, I’m a goner. I’ll admit, I even snuck in a quote about farting when the Wall Street Journal interviewed me a few years back. While I haven’t researched this carefully, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume I’m the very first.
Yes, I am 12.
This has made parenting a six-year-old boy an enormous challenge for me. My “pause laughter” button has never materialized. I spontaneously erupt at his every precocious declaration and sound effect. This is doing neither me, my husband nor my son any favors. I might as well be telegraphing, “Want to avoid disciplinary action? Just make that well-timed comment or fart sound!”
I’m so lucky to have a mature partner in this parenting endeavor–my husband Dave. That’s right. The comic book artist is the mature one in this dynamic duo. Who’d have thunk it? Like my BFF, the brilliant prankster Christina Bouvier whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Dave has somehow trained his facial muscles to hide his gut reaction. This comes in handy on occasions like last Friday, when our son informed us in his wide-eyed innocence that “cows have gutters.” Dave’s a true poker face.
Here’s just one example: Once upon a time not long ago, Dave and I stood together in a long checkout line at Lowe’s. Deep within the bowels of my hobo bag, I had forgotten about my new key chain…the one with the cursing man sound chip fob. I never meant to actually use it in public. It was one of those impulse buys I intended to use on Bouvier. It seems my wallet shifted inside of there and jammed the key fob’s talk button. “You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! Eff you, Eff you, Eff you!” the key chain chirped incessantly…and loudly. People in other checkout lines were staring me down. My purse was plagued with Tourette’s Syndrome, yet Dave didn’t bat an eye.
One day my son will be 12, and we will be equals.