The best humor is not found in jokes but truths.— Baccera
Humor, which sounds like a low level terminology, is used everywhere in our lives. We can use humor to describe an object, a person or some experience without turning the conversation into an awkward situation, which then makes you look like a funny and outgoing person. However, the book Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris did much more than just make its reader laugh. As a further explanation about humor, Sedaris shows that a good humor is not only a method to make someone laugh but also an impressive way to tell audiences the truth. Therefore, telling the truth with humor can show the facts, provide wisdom and get rid of hostilities.
Firstly, humor can be used to vividly depict the truth with less detail and more imagination in order to make audiences develop their own version of truth. Therefore, audiences can taste the feeling of the character, while they are imaging the situation in the story with themselves. In Sedaris’s book, when speech therapist Miss Samson thought Sedaris is “just plain lazy”, Sedaris said: “My sisters Amy and Gretchen were, at the time, undergoing therapy for their lazy eyes, while my older sister, Lisa, had been born with a lazy leg that had refused to grow at the same rate as its twin. ”(7). We might laugh at once about how he only used the word “lazy” to describe his sister Lisa’s leg, following an explanation “the leg had refused to grow”, which implies it is not something external stopping the leg from growing. After thinking about this sentence deeply, we can imagine an unlucky sister and taste her feelings. The audiences then must have thousands of emotions at this time with this word after they had developed your own version of the truth.
Secondly, using a humorous language to tell others the truth will make a deeper impression on audiences and might provide them with wisdom, because humor is refined from truth and beyond the truth. In other words, humor is also a sophisticated and erudite teacher. Once audiences catch the point of humor, they can learn something like what is supposed to be right or what is supposed to be done. For example, Sedaris said: “A dopey letter is still a dopey letter, no matter how you dress it up; and there’s a reason regular people don’t appear on TV: we’re boring”(144). This is an obscure humor which could take a lot of time to fully understand the sentence and catch the point. From Sedaris’s quote, one can infer that everything and person is defined by its essential attributes and can not be changed from external force. Now this humor is teaching us about the philosophy of nature in a more acceptable way.
Furthermore, a good usage of humor can melt the hostilities and gid rid of embarrassment. No one can promise that everyone is polite or familiar with you. In the conversation with these people, we have to pay more attention to the way we express ourselves and thus get nervous. However, if we can use some humorous sentences instead of telling some stories directly, we can make the conversation more easy and relaxing. In Me Talk Pretty One Day, once Sedaris’s authority was doubled by his student who states:“Just who … In the stinking hell do you think … you are?” Sedairs then said: “I am the only one who is paid to be in this room”(95). Sedairs’s humor melts the hostility of the comment and makes everyone laugh.
In conclusion, telling the truth in a humorous way is the best choice for everyone. Through using humor, the truth will be easier to be remembered. Sometimes, you can even benefit from it. What’s more, humor can also be used as a weapon to overcome hostilities. The truth can not be changed, but the attitude you used to treat it can be changed. Therefore, by preparing yourself with humorous techniques, you will feel more powerful when you are trying to tell the truth.
Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day. Alexandria, VA: Alexandria Library, 2008. Print.
Baccera, Gina, Ph.D. “Humor=Truth+Danger+Courage.” Snow White Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Psychologytoday, 29 Oct. 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.