That's not funny

17 January 2006
5:06 PM

Humor in another language and culture isn’t easy. I just don’t get jokes here. I miss being able to make things funny with a slight change in words or tone. Some of my attempts in Spanish just fall flat on their faces. Case in point: during our missions trip to Osorno, we had youth group discussions with the youth in the community every night. One night we were having a discussion about mothers that had gone ridiculously off course. My attempt to make light of the situation went more or less like this:

LEADER. …OK, but let’s say that your mother betrayed you somehow. Like really badly. What would you do then? I mean, if she has a boyfriend, would you sleep with him to get back at her.
RYAN. That’s what I would do.
ALL. stunned silence
LEADER. With your mother’s boyfriend?
RYAN. It makes sense, though. You have to get revenge, right?
ALL. more silence
LEADER. Your mom’s boyfriend is a man.
RYAN. Right.
LEADER. I don’t think you understand. Don’t worry everyone. He just doesn’t understand.
RYAN. No, I understand. It’s a joke.
ALL. Oh! Ha-ha!

I don’t think I’ll be mastering Spanish humor anytime soon. On the other hand, if I’m willing to settle for people just laughing at me, then I’ve already arrived.