The deer in my neighborhood do not find me as funny as I do.
Perhaps I should explain.
I live in out in the woods, and there is a small herd of deer that roams my neighborhood all year round. They eat flowers and cross the road at unexpected times and look you right in the eye while pooping. Visitors gawk and stop their cars and take pictures of the exotic animals that, thanks to the large birds of prey in the area, are more common here than cats. It’s mildly irritating, but also allows me a lovely sense of superiority.
I only bring all this up because, lately, as I pass the little herd on the way to and from my home, I have been finding it hilarious to ‘mistake’ them for other animals. “Hi horsey,” I’ll yell out my window as I drive by. “Baaaaa,” as I ride by on my bike, bleating like a sheep and then laughing like a maniac as the deer bound away. They don’t seem terrified as much as annoyed. I get hilarious and they just leave. I’ve been in this situation before.
The thing is these deer and I have known each other for years. They should get me by now. I’m gonna make that joke every time. If you don’t laugh, I’ll take it as a challenge and keep it up if only because I’m obnoxious, and if you do laugh I’ll keep doing it because I assume you love it, EVERY TIME.
In many ways comedy, like language, is dependent on the audience. If it doesn’t convey a message or get a laugh it can’t be called effective. Those deer don’t get the joke, so logically I should stop doing it. It isn’t effective. But I can’t. Because I need joy in my life.
“All experience is fleeting, but that you have experienced it is not.” I’m paraphrasing, and I can’t remember who, but it sounds pretty good. There is something about life that begs to be captured by language even though we know it never really can. At times, if you’re lucky, you may find that the perfect sentence seems to spring out of your mouth at the perfect time, cracking everyone up with exuberant laughter or bringing awestruck silence. Sometimes this happens when you’re all by yourself, driving through the woods and chuckling at the deer. It’s no less important.
So, am I saying that hanging out a car window making farm noises at wildlife is poetry? Sometimes. Poetry can be an urge.
It’s also sometimes called a nervous breakdown.
Funny. I’m not at all nervous about it.