A few days ago we attended a Travel Show. It was quite crowded and I stopped for a moment, unable to move because of the people in front of me. A man behind me directed this comment to me; “I bet they’re having a hard time selling tickets.” He had a smile on his face as he said this. I looked at the booth he was referring to. It was Malaysian Airlines. From his tone and facial expression I could tell he thought he was being funny and that I would enjoy his joke. But it wasn’t a joke. It was poor taste. I told him my heart went out to the airlines and everyone involved. He walked away.
When is a joke not a joke? When it belittles or ridicules another, whether it is a culture, ethnic group, or individual trait. When in doubt whether to pass on a joke, ask yourself if you would tell this joke if a person of that culture/ethnic group/disability/ was part of your audience. If the answer is no, that they might be offended or if the joke was at their expense, then you have your answer.
I enjoy jokes. Laughing is good for us. I appreciate a person who can make me laugh ’till I cry by simply being funny. No insults. No crudeness. No offensiveness. Now that’s real humour.
I hope you laugh often. Heartily.