Saturday, March 17, 2012

Office Humor

I think I'm losing my comical edge.  While I did have one of my Sergeants chuckling at some good-natured ribbing of one of our contractors yesterday, I typically get more laughter in a week from my sneezes than from my jokes.  The Captain whose cubicle is next to mine busts out laughing when I let loose with one of my ear piercing eruptions.  He just can't help himself.

Earlier in the week, I got a call out of the blue from a friend looking for some professional advice.  She prefaced the conversation with something to the effect of "Sorry to call you, but I need some help and you're my last resort".  I had no snappy retort to this gem of a statement.  Anything from "Wow, you really know how to compliment a guy" to "Man, you must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel if you're calling me" would have been called for at this point, but I didn't get any inspired witticisms until after hanging up.  I'm really slipping mentally.

It's not easy keeping a dry sense of humor in sharp focus.  If you try to be funny you are just lame, so the only time you can really be funny is in the spur of the moment.  This means you need both a fast mind and lowered inhibition.  Once you think the comment through it's too late - the perfect moment has passed.  But speaking without the filter on leads you to sometimes insert foot squarely into mouth.  That hindsight feeling of "yeah, probably not appropriate" or "that's definitely going to be taken the wrong way" is not a pleasant one.

My last boss liked to tell people "When I met Brad, I thought he was going to be a boring, quiet guy, but once I got to know him I found he is really funny".  I don't think I've ever made my current boss laugh.  Fortunately that's neither a job requirement nor on my to-do list, but I have to wonder if being funny is something else that deteriorates with age, like muscle tone and memory.  Maybe my grandparents were hilarious when they were in their 20s.  I guess only time will tell.