Elizabeth has always had a bit of a challenge with humor. She “gets it”, but is about a beat behind. When the other four year olds were discovering knock-knock jokes, she would be in tears because she just didn’t understand why people were laughing. Ray, on the other hand, has an amazing wit- and perfect comedic timing. The other day, I was laying down the law on something and he was trying to soften me up. “Please.. you’re the best mommy in the world”.
I smiled, because, really- he is so cute, and said “Nice try, but no”.
pause, pause-walking away- “Ok, fine, but you’re now only the second best mommy in the world”. I laughed out loud!
So- for Christmas, I bought them both joke books- to enjoy, to learn, to memorize for Elizabeth’s scripting purposes. When kids are telling jokes, she needs to be able to contribute- so I gave her jokes to tell.
But she is incredibly analytical and read and re-read the book, to figure out what made a joke funny. On a recent long car trip, she said “Mommy, they’re using words that have two meanings- there are a lot of homonyms and homophones, aren’t there?”
Me- “Exactly! That’s why they’re funny. People are expecting one thing, and the words makes it different for them. The surprise makes it funny”. I felt odd explaining it to her, but she was figuring out the “rules” of humor. It’s so typical of a kid with high-functioning autism- she doesn’t innately find humor, but she can analyze it to figure out why others do.
And applying them! Now that she’s has figured out the rules, she is now writing her own! She has quite a few, in my terribly-biased view, really funny jokes! So- here they are…
Q: Where does a skeleton learn?
A: In skuul.
Q: Why does Right love jellybeans?
A: Because there are never any left.
Q: Why does Left hate school?
A: Because he can’t write.
BRILLIANT! You should see the look of pride on her face when she watches people laugh.
I’m quite looking forward to her career as a comedy writer…