Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me

Allow me to pilot the party barge into deep water for a moment – a somewhat uncomfortable position for us surface-dwelling gators and our sun-lounging tendencies. But a couple of things have got me thinking about the nature of inside jokes.

Wikipedia basically defines an inside joke as something that’s only funny to people with an appropriate point of reference. As any of our three subscribers can tell you (hi Mom!), AOAPB is one giant inside joke. The five of us came up with dumb pseudonyms, picked the least-offensive Blogger template, and started posting the random stuff that happens to us. Stuff we don’t expect anyone else to care about. We try to tell tales using proper grammar and a touch of the funny so anyone who finds us won’t consider their time aboard the Party Barge a complete loss.

The bar’s set pretty low around here, folks. Just thought you should know.

But we try to pull it together in public or with polite company. However, (together and alone) we’ve been accused of insider joking in several recent encounters with people who know us (making out with Urkel! Sharks Love Departing Coworkers!) But y’all – Urkel is funny. Sharks loving anything is funny.

These are anecdotes that, in my mind, stand on their own humorous merit. But we’re increasingly met with glazed or pinched expressions, and that annoyingly irony-intended, “um? I don’t get it.” *

Um, y’all? I don’t get it. What are the bounds between insider jokes and humor for public consumption? Discuss in the comments, if you dare.

[* I hate the written “um”, along with “er” and the “eh.” As Twisty Faster says, “Resist the compulsion, in your haste to convey sarcasm, to begin with the word 'um' or 'er'. You are not an edgy young character in a sitcom.” The one exception is “meh.” “Meh” is lovely.]


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