Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why are you laughing? — an exploration of the nature of humor

Photo by eliastar, used under Creative Commons License

Presented to the Club by David T. Noyes on Monday evening, Oct. 22, 2012
A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners.
At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door. 
When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message: “Genesis 3:10." 
Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he found that Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, for I was naked.
Humor. What makes us laugh? I have come to the conclusion in the process of writing this paper that it’s terribly hard to define. And unlike Justice Potter Stewart’s comment about pornography, I don’t always “know it when I see it.” Something I might find hilarious may not even bring a smirk to your face. And vice versa!