Tuesday, June 1, 2010
You see people laughing at things you don't understand and you wonder what's so funny. Things you don't find funny have some people holding their bellies with laughter while you sit there wondering about their sanity.
What you probably don't know is that they're laughing at an inside joke.
Just the other day my grandson, Kaden (5), was allowing his aunt Lindsey, my second oldest daughter, to apply suntan lotion to his skin. As they were standing in the park, a man walked by and said to one of his friends, "That's what I'M talking about!" And they laughed.
So Kaden asked Lindsey, "What's he talking about?"
To which Lindsey responded (because she obviously had no idea), "I don't know."
So Kaden said, "I don't think he knows what he's talking about."
And then Lindsey and I were laughing.
What the guy was probably talking and laughing about was a joke only he and his friends understood, an inside joke.
I don't know how it got termed "inside joke" – you would think it would be called a between joke, because it's a joke understood only between certain people. But the event reminded me of an inside joke shared by Lindsey, her brother, Greg, and their sister, Brittney.
One day, when they were on their way back from their dad's house (when they were young enough to live with me and visited him every other weekend), they had been sitting in the back of his SUV eating Milk Duds. One of the Milk Duds disappeared under Greg and, as he lifted up first one butt cheek and then the other, and couldn't find it, finally gave up looking for the thing.
When it was time to climb out of the SUV (an hour later), Greg climbed out of the back first, and when he leaned out, he heard his sisters burst into laughter. There, on his bottom, stuck on his shorts between his two butt cheeks, was the melted Milk Dud.
All you have to do is mention Milk Dud in front of any one of them and they fall apart laughing. Last weekend when Lindsey told Greg not to forget something, he said, "I'm on it like the Milk Dud that was stuck to my ass."
So any time you see somebody laughing and you don't understand the joke, it might not be because you're too stupid to "get it" – it might be because it's an inside joke.