1. Kathy says:

    Hear hear! Eat… and drink! Although even that is less fun with people who have no sense of humor.

  2. Well, just because someone didn’t get your joke doesn’t mean that they’re humorless.

    I’ve been on both sides of this, honestly. Like, when I’m comfortable in a situation or get wound up I’ll make all kinds of jokes. Sometimes I have to explain those jokes, and even if I don’t like it, I understand that whether or not a joke is actually good, it’s meaning will not be obvious to everyone.

    On the other hand, I’m highly introverted, and depending on what mode I’m stuck in, I won’t mind other people joking, but it will derail me and I won’t know how to respond. Sometimes this happens at work. I’ll be focused on my tasks and serious because I’m trying to be professional. Someone will joke with me. I know they’re joking. I might even think it’s funny, but sometimes I’ll respond seriously because I’m not in a laughing mood and can’t think of a good way to joke back. Or I realize that joking back could be a problem. There’s a little bit of truth in a lot of jokes, and sometimes people use jokes to find information in a polite or non combative way. Or, they can use it as an indirect way to communicate something. That is something people have to keep in mind when they answer.

    But, no, my serious responses aren’t because I’m a humorless person. Serious as I am, I actually have a fun comedian mode that gets switched on sometimes. And no, not everyone gets my jokes. Certain jokes only work on certain people. When I’m around people that are experienced with computers, and they make a complaint about their Windows operating system, I can jokingly say ‘The virus called Microsoft’ and get a few chuckles. With other people, though, they might just feel a little confused. I’ve seen some people respond rather uncertainly to that joke, like ‘What…I have a virus…?’

    What I usually do is evaluate ‘feedback’ like that to hone what type of jokes I make and when. I often will explain my jokes if need be. Unfortunately, if jokes fall flat and aren’t explained, too much is left open to interpretation. People might assume that the words ‘just kidding’ are a way to escape the social ramifications of what was said, rather than the genuine truth. Some people are amused after the joke is explained, but that isn’t the reason why I explain them. It’s usually just to prove I’m not unkind or weird.

  3. How about:
    “These are the jokes, folks. You are being watched; so you will laugh at them, whether you think they’re funny or not.”

  4. Travis Perry says:

    The character Puddleglum from The Silver Chair was a chap without any sense of humor (even if he was himself unintentionally funny at times) but was a wonderful person. Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treder thought he was delightfully funny (but wasn’t really) and was a terrible person.

    C.S. Lewis nailed something important there I think. There’s something much more important about people, much more vital, than whether or not they have a sense of humor.

  5. Roger says:

    I wonder if your relative was/is actually a humorless person. Perhaps he was simply wrapped up with the seriousness of his wife’s naturalization. Or maybe he was concerned or worried about the outcome. Or maybe he was simply nervous about how much was at stake, and yet in the hands of a nameless government bureaucrat? Could it be that one of these frames of mind kept him from seeing the humor of your joke at that moment?
    Also, for a husband to refer to something like this that affects the both of them, it is very common for him to use the plural inclusive pronoun. In his mind (and mine–I personally think and speak this way), the interview truly was his as well as hers, therefore ‘theirs.’

What do you think?