When a joke is not a joke

There you are, innocently having a conversation with someone, when they say something ridiculous. Now, me…I say ridiculous things all the time, so it’s not the ridiculousness that I object to, per se. It’s the cop-out, “I’m just joking! Can’t you take a joke?” that comes after you show a bit of confusion over the ridiculousness. Just because I’m not laughing doesn’t mean I can’t take a joke.  And just because it was ridiculous does not mean it was joke. Also, the joke, if at someone else’s expense, has to not be based on a falsehood.

Now that we’ve cleared up what I will and will not laugh at, do you think the non-jokes will stop?


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6 Responses to When a joke is not a joke

  1. biscuitinabasket says:

    I giggle a lot… like a little child. The only time when I will laugh is if someone like Russell Peters has a marathon joke session.

    What I do personally find irritable is laughing at other people’s misfortunes; how is that funny? I always challenge people when they laugh in situations like that – how would you feel if you were in that situation?

  2. realistic bird says:


    We call this zanekha or sa’eleh when someone tells a non-joke or does a not so funny prank then says the line “can’t you take a joke?!”

    But you made me laugh with the way you wrote the post. 😀

  3. biscuitinabasket, Yeah, how is it funny to laugh at people’s misfortunes?! I just give them a blank look that lets them know what I’m thinking…because if I tell them what’s on my mind, the only thing that will come out is this: “You’re a cold-hearted snake. Why are you even near me? Go to another planet, will you?!”

    realistic bird, Salaams! 🙂 good to know there’s actually a word for this horrible behavior. When something is given a specific word, it lets you know it is real and not just something that you’re imagining! Glad I could make you laugh…I know I felt a lot better after writing it! 😆

  4. realistic bird says:


    “You’re a cold-hearted snake. Why are you even near me? Go to another planet, will you?!”

    Khehehehehe, you know good zings 😛

    Yeah how can people make fun of misfortunes *shakes head* May Allah guide them, ameen.

  5. mems says:

    Omg, this used to happen ALL THE TIME in boarding school. And if you didn’t laugh or appreciate the so-called joke, they would be the ones to give YOU an irritated/disgusted look and say exactly that: “I’m just joking! Can’t you take a joke?” Does this make any sense?

  6. mems, It’s that look that comes with the “can’t you just take a joke?!” that really tries to make you seem like the retarded one. How annoying! I swear, I’ll never get over this stupid line.

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