Watching a part of something on the TV last night, I became quite stressed by the difficulties of parents dealing with teenagers. It was supposed to be funny. All I got was a pain in my middle.
As people tell me I have a quirky sense of humour I can accept I am not without humour, but I cannot find other people’s real difficulties funny. I am fairly laid back – mostly, but watching people lose a battle over something important stresses me out.
Many years ago I remember starting a book. About someone setting up a hotel in Haiti. The problems piled in thick and fast, including at least one dead body in the empty swimming pool.
It was supposed to be amusing. I ended up one evening, sitting shaking and wanting to be ill. From imaginary stress in a book!
There is humour in the unexpected, which is why punch lines in jokes usually take one at a tangent to the story-line of the joke. It’s unexpected in context, so we find it funny. For me there is far more humour in gently poking fun at our lesser frailties and the oddities of life, than laughing at people battling real difficulties.