05:27:57 am on
Saturday 13 Jul 2024

Dry Sense of Humour
Matt Seinberg

I have a dry sense of humour, which can be biting and hard driving or funny with a little tickle. I have a friend, at work, whose sense of humour is so dry I've described it to him several ways. For example, "Jay, your sense of humour is so dry it makes the Sahara Desert look a palm tree filled oasis." He laughed at each version.

Listen closely when someone has a dry sense of humour.

Do you get the idea? If you're not listening carefully enough when he's talking to you, it's easy to miss the true meaning of what he's saying. Although it might sound funny at first, if you think about it, he can be very biting and slightly nasty. I always laugh when I hear him to talk to people and they have no clue what he's really saying. We call them knuckleheads.

The other day we were talking about how dry he was, just like Canada Dry Ginger Ale. He laughed and one of the girls sat down and asked what we were talking of. Jay tried to explain, but she had a perplexed look on her face.

I jumped in and said that there were two kinds of humour, wet and dry. Wet humour is the type you get right away and dry is the one that makes you think about it. Jay and I laughed at that, since I just made it up; Rosy had no clue what I said.

There are wet and dry senses of humour.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. If something is wet, it's easy to see in many forms. A waterfall is always moving and it's easy to understand how the cascading water is falling. That's how a good, funny joke should be, cascading laughter.

On the other hand, a more cerebral comic wants the audience to actually listen and understand what he or she is saying. That's where the dry type of humour comes in. It's like watching a sandstorm in the desert; you can't. If you are uncovered during such an event, you can die.

Don Rickles is the Godfather of insult humour, which is so dry that it's like a sandstorm. Once you're on his radar and a few insults hit you, you just want to bury yourself in the sand and disappear. Sure, you may be laughing with the rest of the audience, but inside you're mortified.

"Jay, you're so dry that Canada Dry is going to name a new soda after you."

Jay knows I appreciate his sense of humour, and how much I enjoy watching him have a conversation with the knuckleheads that have no clue what he's talking about. That's almost everyone we work with and then some. I wonder how his wife and kids cope with him at home.

I always give fair warning.

When someone gets me going, it's hard to stop. I give them fair warning. If they don't stop what they're doing, I'm going to make them cry like the little girl they really are. Some heed the warning, some don't. I'd rather do it one on one than with an audience, since they shouldn't be embarrassed in front of other people. Still, after learning that lesson, there are no repeats.

"Jay, if you were drier, you'd turn into a pillar of salt; dogs would lick you."

Beware of us dry humour types. The dignity you save may be your own.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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