Edit: A big thanks to Foo for the nifty little photo of the self-conscious wombat.
Through the years, I have somehow managed to obtain a reputation as being “funny” and “entertaining.” How this happened, I have no idea, except I have always been careful to surround myself with people who find wombat jokes hilarious. This type of material comprises most of my repertoire, such as:
“Hey, that guy cut me off! What a wombat!” or
“Don’t look now, sir, but you have a wombat in your pants,” or
“Did you see that woman’s hairdo? It looked like she was wearing a wombat on her head.”
So, you can see it is a big mystery how I managed to get this reputation in the first place, much less hold on to it for years, now. My reputation also precedes me, probably because it is embarrassed to be seen lingering near someone who considers wombats to be the stuff of fine humor. Regardless, those who have never met me have expectations, because their friends, who are friends of mine, have told them certain episodes about my lunacy.
While I somewhat enjoy this reputation, it does tend to apply a certain amount of pressure to my social life. As in: “Oh, no. I’m expected to be funny…and I don’t feel funny, at all!” Those who know me are able to look past these lapses of humor and remember the good times, but newcomers have no history to reference. They leave the gathering upset at not being amused and entertained by an endless supply of wombat jokes. It’s stressful!
And then, of course, I also have those times when I attempt a bit of dazzling humor, only to discover I am in the presence of people who seem have had their Humor Detectors replaced with StareAtHimBlankly Modules. These are people who just don’t get wombat jokes and don’t care, besides.
“Hey,” I will say, “this is a great cut of meat. Is it wombat?”
“Guess not,” I say, while slinking off into a corner to eat my serving of wombat in oblivion.
I think the worst times, though, are when I say something I intend to be funny, but it comes out completely wrong. We’ve all experienced that, I think. You realize immediately after saying it, or even as you’re saying it, that…you shouldn’t have. But by this time, it’s far too late and there’s nothing left to do, except mumble something about needing to get home to feed Willard the Wombat. You then sprint for your car, only to remember you hitched a ride with another guest who is having a really, really good time.
Ah…..well. Maybe I should just get a life. Wanna buy a wombat?