Geeks like to think of themselves as wacky and zany people who nobody knows what crazy thing they’ll do next because they’re so chaotic and random! They’ll be the first to tell you that they have a great sense of humor and are always cracking up their friends and making the norms think they’re insane. Of course, this is all relative.
As we’ve discussed, most geeks seem to think humor consists solely of reciting things they saw on television or movies, regardless of context or audience. We’ve also seen how some geeks think that nothing’s funnier than the thought that someone who actually couldn’t care less would be appalled by whatever the geek is reading, which is why Johnny Ryan can pay his bills.
There is a third type of geek, however, and this is the one with absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever. Literally. Any attempt they make at humor is done as though they once heard the definition of the word recited to them over a walkie-talkie by someone reading it phonetically. In the best attempts one can sometimes discern the trace elements of humor in the sample, and in the worst attempts the recipient of the “joke” is merely baffled. Since so many geeks are little more than high-functioning autistics, it’s not surprising that some should have such a poor sense of humor. It is also surprising how many geeks who regularly trade in sarcasm can’t seem to recognize it when it’s aimed at them, unless it’s directly pointed out.
Unfortunately this will not stop them from not only making “jokes” but also “helping” others with their jokes. They will read something funny on a blog or website and then decide to improve it in the comments. There are several ways of doing this:
1) Restating the joke completely. It’s unclear why this would improve it, but you can bet that if you have a gag involving a fireman wearing red suspenders to keep his pants up, at least one geek will show up to suggest that he use the suspenders to assist in the keeping up of his pants.
2) Restating the joke with only one element slightly changed. In the example above, another geek will ask if the fireman’s blue suspenders also keep his pants up.
3) Making the joke go on longer (Type A). This is often seen in the case of a brief parody of something. The geek will come in and attempt to extend the conceit on longer (because, after, more is always better and nothing should ever end!). While they may stumble across an angle the original writer didn’t think of, they will inevitably make the entire affair run on to such an extent that the original writer will have every regret he wrote the thing in the first place.
4) Making the joke go on longer (Type B). This geek will see a list of ten things, described as a list of ten things, and then point out that the writer “forgot” items eleven and twelve.
5) Making the joke more “accurate” (Type A). This geek will fix the joke by correcting some trivial detail that the writer ignored on purpose, oblivious to the fact that while the correction may make the joke more “factually accurate”, it also ruins whatever was funny about it in the first place.
6) Making the joke more “accurate” (Type B). This geek completely missed out on the idea that what he read was a joke and will feel inclined to point out everything about the piece that is outright wrong or “highly unlikely”. While he might be amusing to others present, he himself has been betrayed by his utter lack of humor.
7) Relating the joke back to himself. This geek is unable to see how anything could be funny or interesting unless he’s involved, and therefore will use this opportunity to relate a tale about himself which may, if you’re especially lucky, even be remotely tangential to the topic at hand.
8) Offering suggestions. Even when the original writer asks his audience for other examples of whatever he is pointing out, this geek rises to the occasion by providing items that are not at all what was asked for, but are nevertheless “funny” because they’re a reference to something else.
9) Meme-ing it up. Whether it’s Chuck Norris, Lolcats, All Your Base, or something similar, this geek has never seen an Internet joke he doesn’t think is hilarious. For him, any joke can be improved by somehow shoehorning in whatever the flavor of the month is. This also applies to previous jokes by the same writer. Just because the original author is ready to move on to different things doesn’t mean his audience is!
Not only will none of these make the original joke any funnier, but they’ll also be joined by the other geeks who will be suggesting the addition of MST3K and Kids in the Hall references, turning the entire event into a dismal unfunny swamp. The nature of humor is to subvert expectations, but geeks always demand everything be exactly as they expect it to. Reading comments on humorous articles is a loser’s game, and even writing such articles is pretty much a task only for the brave or foolish.
It may not be as funny but dammit, they can’t let this ignorance of Buffy chronology go unchallenged, and that’s why geeks LOVE destroying humor.