Seeing the funny side of things

One misconception about people with autism is that we don’t have a sense of humour or that we can’t understand jokes or sarcasm.

That may be the case for some people on the spectrum, but it’s certainly not the case for everyone.

Having said that, I’ve never really understood the appeal of ‘normal’ jokes. And I don’t understand why slapstick is funny.

Here’s an example of a joke that used to upset me as a child, and I still don’t understand the humour as an adult:

A priest was taking a walk when he saw a small boy sitting on the pavement, crying his eyes out. The priest asked the boy what was wrong.

‘I sold my dog to a fellow for a bottle of lemonade,’ cried the boy

‘That is terrible,’ said the priest, ‘And now that it’s gone you wish you had it back.’

‘That’s right,’ said the boy, still sniffling.

‘You’re sorry you sold it because you realize too late that you love it.’

‘No, no,’ said the boy. ‘I wish I had it back because I’m thirsty again.’

My taste in comedy runs almost exclusively to sarcasm and wordplay, along with musical parody. And I don’t think this is particularly unusual – I suspect it’s something to do with that type of comedy appealing to a more analytical mindset.

I think it’s also because I understand the concept behind this type of comedy. It’s saying something but meaning something else entirely. So I know I’m supposed to read between the lines, and the humour comes from the dual meaning or misunderstanding. Saying something that could be horrendously offensive, if anyone actually thought that the speaker meant what they were saying.

It’s also the type of humour that I use fairly often to deflect tension and cover up for my own weaknesses. Although there is more than an element of truth in the jokes I make about myself – but as long as no-one finds out, then that’s all right.

Just don’t ask me to tell a ‘proper’ joke.

But here’s an example of the sort of thing I find funny (the video is appalling from a sensory perspective, however – I have to just listen):

OK, that’s not the best example, but most of the things I find amusing are somewhat more crude / sweary.

Happy to share links if anyone’s interested. Just maybe not here…


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