We’ve all experienced it- the awkard silence that follows after someone makes a lame corny joke. Maybe you thought that cheesy joke was just a tad bit funny, but the disdainful silence of your peers kept you from letting out a giggle. Maybe you’ve been the one chuckler in a large group of serious folk. All you gigglers, chucklers, smilers, I applaud you, because you are also encouragers! I once kept my humor tucked behind serious face when corny jokes were made, but now I release those giggles. I now know what it’s like to have no one laugh at my lame jokes.
I’ve always been a corny joke maker. I like puns, jokes about fecal matter, nerdy references… If you mixed the humor of the typical 5 ear old and your dad, you would probably come up with my sense of humor. I’ll admit that I sometimes steal the jokes of Laffy Taffy wrappers and popsicle sticks. Don’t judge.
Up until this year, my humor has been perfectly accepted in all social situations. If people don’t think my jokes are funny, they think I am funny, cute, all that whatnot, and let me know by smiling, laughing and saying “Oh Ruthie, you crack me up!”.
But this year I started teaching Pilates at the gym (best job ever btdubbs). If there is anything that brings the corny jokes out of people, it is being the center of attention for a whole hour with no one else saying anything! Sometimes you have to try and get a laugh just to make sure everyone is still breathing, although there is usually only one laugher in a group (thank you my dear giggle makers!).
“You know, I hear tell that Joseph Pilates observed animals at the zoo to come up with a lot of these moves! Which one do you think he was watching when he came up with this move? A waterbug?!”
*silence* *one person chuckles* someone whispers to their neighbor: “a frog”
“I call this move the ‘hydrant’. You can just pretend you’re a little doggy marking his territory on a firehydrant”
*crickets* *one person lets out a small giggle*
“Now we will do cat-cow. I promise not to ask you guys to meow or moo though.”
*someone gives me annoyed glare* *a dear soul at the back of the room lets out a quiet chuckle*
I’m extremely excited if I get more than one person to laugh. So far it has only happened once, but I’m determined to acheive this atleast once more before the end of the semester. Honestly I think what I said to gain two laughs was one of my lamest so far:
“Slowly roll back up, and scoochy your feet back in until they’re hip-width apart. My boyfriend says ‘scoochy’ isn’t a word, but you know what I mean.”
Seriously? That gets more laughs than firehydrants, waterbugs, and moos? Oh well, who am I to judge the humor of the people.
Perhaps a mind-body exercise class such as Pilates is not the most appropriate place for cheesy jokes, but this sort of ‘teacher makes lame joke, students stare blankly and silently back’ deal happens all the time in all sorts of settings, aleast from what I’ve seen. I’m not saying you should laugh if you don’t think it’s funny; I’m just saying if you do think it’s funny, don’t be ashamed to laugh about it! It will make your teacher oh so happy! I know there are those of you out there who also have strange and awkward humor. Let it be known, dear friends!
I know this post so far has seemed a negative ranting about those who don’t laugh at my jokes in Pilates, but honestly, I get it. That’s okay! My humor is weird. This post really is a thank you to all those people who do giggle, and do smile, and do answer my strange questions, because you make me feel important and funny. I totally go tell my friends about how you laughed at my firehydrant jokes.
So to all the chucklers out there who make your teachers, pastors, instructors, actors, friends, and everyone feel special: Thank you very much!