His Own Laugh Track: Week #18 – 10/7/20
Early in our relationship, Mike and I were hanging out with a bunch of friends playing some type of pictionary/charades game, and we obliterated our opponents. It was like a scene from a sitcom. Mike’s hints were so sparse, but I could connect them every time. Our friends got really irritated because they couldn’t figure out how on earth I was able to get to the right answer based on the lean, obscure clues he was giving. Mike’s sense of humor can be strange.
It’s amusing to watch fellow workers and friends get to know Mike. He has a somewhat serious demeanor, but then he’ll surprise you with his strange wit and guffaws. But like any good comedian, for every funny gem he spits out, there’s a flop.
Mike has learned a new trick with his humor this season, one that I think is entirely unconscious, but amazingly effective. He laughs at his own jokes – hard. Sometimes he cracks himself up so much that he can’t even deliver his joke. You’ll just see him there, working across from you in the fields, a jumble of words split up with laughter – so much laughter that it doesn’t even matter if you can’t hear the words.
Watching a grown man laugh so openly at his own thoughts is hilarious. This boyishness is by far one of Mike’s most charming qualities, according to both me and our farm crew. In so many ways, Mike just doesn’t care what people think of him. Don’t get his joke? Ah, well so long as he did, he’s happy.
Yesterday, as Sami and I were working together in the beets, we started talking about Seinfeld. The conversation was basically like, “Remember laugh tracks?” They are such a strange concept – to broadcast laughter to signal humor, instead of the content of words or actions doing so. Sami mentioned she’d watched some You Tube videos of Seinfeld clips without the laugh track, and they were pretty rough without that Pavlovian signal to chuckle.
Whoever came up with the idea of a laugh track must have had someone like Mike in their lives. Just like we all see it firsthand in the fields every day, the inventor of the laugh track must have experienced just how funny it can be when someone laughs unabashedly at themselves.
Cheers to laughter in the fields!