I never trusted anyone without a sense of humor. In fact, the difficult people in life seem to be born without that humor gene. If you have the gene and you get the humor, all things just seem easier. A high school friend recently posted that 90% of his posts are in jest, and 10% are deadly serious. The problem is that some do not know which is which it seems. Therein lies that gene issue.
Humor can be like holding a sword by both its edges. Common sense comes into play in this area. Speaking to a group of big-boned people, it is more proper to say: “Skinny people are so easy to kidnap” instead of “Fat people are harder to kidnap.” It is the fine art of the use of the language. Never say “It went faster than a Domino’s pizza at a Weight Watchers meeting when addressing the XXL Nation. Likewise, humor at funerals is a fine art as well.
We here in West Virginia do seem to generally fit the larger or full-figured model. Some say it is unhealthy lifestyles, but I blame the commodity cheese that the USDA provided to public schools when I was young. They made everything but clothes out of these huge blocks of cheese they had paid the farmers to produce with government subsidies. Peanut butter and pinto beans also came with all the school lunch programs then. All of that went right to my hips from my lips.
Well now, all these grade schoolers of the Commodity Era are Boomers now. You can hear us coming with our walkers, or the Jazzies we ride in the mall. Ban the use of tennis balls on the walkers and you can dominate this portion of the population. Just do not try to throw us under the bus. The physics of that does not work.
When I was little, my mother took me to the “Husky” section at stores like J.C. Penney’s. That was profiling and I just did not know it then. Take that initial profile and add 44 years of sitting at a desk and you get what Will Ferrell refers to as “a very attainable body style”. I have often thought of a money-making business teaching distance runners and anorexic people how to “Carb Load”. Most great business ideas are born of one’s passion. I have always been a scratch eater with a zero handicap. Growing up in Fayette County, West Virginia, it was just bad manners to be a picky eater. You did not have to ask for seconds, but you were expected to clean the plate.
I observe a tendency of us big-boned, larger frame, full-figure models to joke about our weight to deflect the basic insecurity we all must feel that got us there. Again, not in my case since it was the damn commodity cheese. Some New York film crew wanted to film fat people here “who like to have fun” as a reality show in Huntington, West Virginia. I sense mockery of the first order here, like the reality show “Fat Guys in the Woods” — really. The Huntington Mayor made it plain to Loud Television that they were not welcome and they backed off, so watch out Mississippi.
So, as a long-time trial lawyer (bear in mind we lawyers poll only slightly better than Broccoli or Brussel Sprouts) who is “big boned”, I must be very judicious in my use of humor with a jury. Sometimes they just do not see it as humor. The local story is that an older local lawyer, always known for his brash talk, argued in a wrongful death case that the widowed husband was actually saving money by not buying dresses, or for the deceased wife’s hair appointments. Of course, there was a statutory cap in wrongful death cases then. In those days, the legal advice was to back up if you only wounded someone with a car because there was a statutory cap if they were dead. Even I did not find that humorous.
So boys and girls, today’s lesson on humor is to be careful with it. As you can see, some things are just not funny.