Spoilsport, Me.

I don’t like practical jokes.  I never get the humor when its played on me, I never end up laughing after the initial scare, inconvenience or pain.  I get angry and I stay angry.

But it is bad form not to accept the joke played on you with grace, so I keep the long term anger inside and let my tormentors enjoy their laugh, with culturally appropriate grace.

But I don’t understand the point.  Why is it wonderfully funny to scare the crap out of someone, make their life harder or more painful?  It’s not a surprise to anyone but the victim, but still the jokers laugh hysterically.

Taken apart, a practical joke is just cruel.  But we don’t call it cruel, because we have decided it wasn’t done with evil intent.  It was done to be funny.  Why isn’t it considered evil to do a mean thing to someone that you like, just so you can laugh?  I don’t know.

I think the laughter is what gives people the free pass.  We are OK with a lot of crappy things if people laugh.  There’s a whole bit that Conan O’Brian does with somebody in his office where he’s basically a dick.  And we laugh, so its OK.  If it wasn’t funny, then we would think that Conan is a dick.

But I think Conan is being a dick in any case.  Just like I think people who pull practical jokes are often being dicks.  But our culture thinks, hey its OK that they were a dick to that person because its funny.

There is a whole subculture on the internet of ADULT people who run elaborate phone pranks on people.  They get together and swap stories and ideas.   Things like calling a person and pretending to be from Verizon Customer Service and trying to get someone who tweeted an angry complaint down.  They end up berating the tweeter.  Its beyond my understanding.  Why would you basically call to annoy and upset another human that you don’t eve know.  As a JOKE.

I wonder if the practical joke is the evil part of our brain, that each of us carries around, finding a harmless way to get some exercise.

I know I’m not alone in hating the practical joke, but I am in the minority.  I’m also in the even smaller minority of people who think that being a dick to entertain yourself or other people is a terrible way to live your life.

cranky kid

8 thoughts on “Spoilsport, Me.

  1. personally, I don’t really care what society thinks about correct behavior toward practical jokers. For me, they are on my (passive) dead meat list, and stay there till they apologize.
    Preferably in front of all the people they embarrased me in front of. And, surprisingly, that does usually happen at some stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. O pretty much agree. I don’t get the humor in hurting people. Why si it funny to be a dick? Why is it funny to purposefully hurt someone, degrade them, or make them act stupid? Something I think is just as bad are the shows where people video tape someone getting hurt really bad and the audience laughs. Tosh 2.0 on Comedy Central is one. What is funny about watching people get hurt? I totally don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I am not a fan of practical jokes either, I have long been a believer at being able to laugh at yourself. As a parent, I have found my kids listen more when I am telling about when I screwed up.


  4. I don’t think you are in the minority. I don’t know anyone who enjoys being the butt of the joke. As I matured (that may be a stretch) I started calling people out on it especially when it was on other people. It’s not funny and I think it’s a tactic employed by passive-aggressive people who need therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you on this almost completely – that internet example goes way beyond practical joke, though – seems more like bullying – or what they call “mobbing” here, seeing as how more people are getting together to pull it off. Just creepy. But there is one -and only one pj that my husband likes to do. When walking down the street he pretends to run into a signpost and then holds his head and moans and everyone runs over and asks him if he is okay. When he does this, I just say “You are such an idiot” and walk on, and everyone else stares at me in horror about my lack of sympathy. (It is actually kind of funny.) Karma will do it’s magic someday. He will really walk into a sign and I will call him an idiot and walk on.

    Liked by 1 person

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