Autism: On Humour

15 Aug

Another Autistic trait that I can relate to is difficulty with humour.

It isn’t that I never laugh; there are some things that I find hilariously funny. I am a very visual person, and sometimes the pictures that I get in my mind when someone is talking can leave me laughing for hours. I also don’t hear very well – especially if there is background noise, or I am focused on something – and this, too can be very entertaining.

One night, I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop laughing – and when I did get to sleep, I woke up at times through the night, laughing. Every time I thought of it for days, I laughed. What happened? I was playing Sims 3 Pets on the PS3. I had my Sim go to the fridge to get leftovers, and accidentally pressed “detonate” instead. I blew up the fridge, and burnt down the house (my Sims were all okay.) I couldn’t have done that on purpose (my son had been trying to get me to for months) but because it was an accident, I found it very funny.

Once there was a Facebook post about mistakes people use in writing. For months after reading that post I would start laughing at just the thought of it. What did it say? “Sure I make mistakes. After all, nobody’s human.” That is the sort of thing I find funny.

I still laugh now at something that happened when I was about 13. I was in Sea Cadets, and we were supposed to be fund raising by selling chocolate covered almonds. I was with my brother’s best friend, who went up to someone and asked, “Would you like to buy a box of chocolate covered Sea Cadets?” I can’t even write it now without laughing.

Comedies, however, are lost on me. Stand up comedy, sit-coms, most jokes – they just leave me feeling nauseous. I can’t handle dirty jokes. Remember, I have a very visual mind, and these disgust me. (For that reason, I can’t handle swearing, either.) If it is an accident, maybe I will find that funny, but the jokes – never. I may laugh to try not to stand out, but I really feel very sick inside.

I am also very literal. Many times when people try to joke with me, I have no idea what they are talking about. I don’t get subtle sarcasm. In fact, I hardly get sarcasm at all, except in conversations between my son and I. Usually such talk just leaves me feeling anxious, and sometimes stupid, because I don’t understand, and they look at me like I should. I will beat myself up about it after, but that doesn’t help me to understand the jokes.

When people tell me something, I usually believe them. Either that, or I get angry with them for lying to me. I have been told throughout my life (mostly my teen years and after, because I didn’t talk and so people didn’t know what I believed before that) that I am very gullible. Just tell me the truth. I believe in being real; and forget the jokes – there is a lot that will make me laugh, but not that.


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