Monday, July 17, 2006

Just Jokin'

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You know how in this world you meet people who are always "on" -- always talking (often about themselves); always wanting to be heard; always trying to top another person's story. Always assuming that they are funny and that people will laugh at their jokes.

I'm sometimes "on," not always, and yes, my jokes often miss the mark, so I've seen both sides of the coin. But I know several people who actually get on my nerves when they try to outtalk, outjoke, outdo other people, and the best thing is either to just nod my head to them, and not encourage them by asking questions or making comments, if I have to be in their company.

Recently I spent a Shabbos meal with such a person. That person makes it sound as if he/she is the best, knows the most, tries the hardest, all the while looking for the audience reaction to his/her comments and stories, no doubt hoping they'll laugh.

After listening to this person go on and hog the conversation a lot of the time, in spite of there being several guests around the table, and overshadowing both his/her spouse and others, there was a momentary lull after a string of one-liner type bits.

Suddenly my 8 1/2 -year-old daughter fills the silence: "Are these jokes?" (implying very discreetly: "Are we supposed to be laughing?")

Cross-posted on Our Kids Speak