Over the weekend, my sisters and I took a candy-making class. We sat in this lovely window-filled arboretum-type room and watched a candy expert make holiday delights such as brown sugar fondant, truffles, toffee, and peanut brittle. My sisters are skilled chefs and bakers whereas I enjoy more of the eating aspect of foods, but it was a good time. In addition to learning some interesting cooking tricks about touchy candy-making, we entertained ourselves by the jokes we and the circumstances around us, created. Growing up, i got in the habit of writing down the jokes from a particular occasion, which seemed to come rolling in one right after another. I think it might just be my personality, actually, to find the joke in anything. A constant life quest, if you will. Well, since I've been living away so long, it's been more difficult to be together long enough to have more than one funny thing arise-- enough to necessitate a list and/or stand out in one's memory, anyway. But I still do my best to remember and record what we have.
One of my favorite jokes about jokes (it's an existential joke) is when you have to explain your joke. We make fun of this by saying, "see, the reason why that's funny is..." I have been known to say something like this, or even repeat my joke long after the moment has passed because I just think it's a quality joke and I won't give up so easily. Which takes away all the humor from the initial joke which depends a lot on the "in the moment" factor, though people might appreciate it, but hopefully adds some to the explaining of the joke. See what i mean?
So, I am going to attempt to actually re-tell jokes that you had to be there for, to see if I can explain its funniness the best I can and see if you can laugh. If you do, you know we are kindred friends. If you don't, let me know and I'll explain why my explanations of my jokes are funny.
1. The teacher said we'd begin by making brown sugar fondant. She also mentioned that there were "no dumb questions." Ash and I gave each other "we'll see" looks and I said "i'm sure i can come up with something--
Joke scenario, as if asking a question: "What...is... brown sugar?" -said slowly, yet focused, as if I'm not ashamed to be asking such a question and view myself as a scholar, yet I really do not know what brown sugar is. Now that's a funny juxtaposition.
2. One joke occurred during the truffle lesson. To my understanding, one makes truffles using ganache, which I have made before. You just melt chocolate in scalding hot cream. But the teacher was doing all kinds of things, adding this to that, mixing in this, and I was confused. I leaned over to Ash and said, "Wait. When I make ganache I just scald the sugar--i mean cream--" and then we burst out laughing.
Ashley's joke: "Let me stop you right there..."
My joke continuance: "...and then I add two cups of salt..."
This comes from a Friends episode when Rachel, cooking-illiterate, defends herself in the kitchen and says, "How hard can it be? If the recipe says 'boil two cups of salt,' you just boil two cups of salt!"
Funny, right? Also relevant because of my own cooking illiteracy.
3. We were sitting on about the third row of about four rows total. In the middle of a lesson, a woman behind us hiss/whispered or hisspered*,
(I've decided whispering should be notated using italics, as should joke quotes)
And the teacher stopped abruptly, turned her attention to the woman and said, "yes? did you have a question?" And everyone realized that was her name. Slight pause, slightly awkward, the hissperer apologized and said, "oh, no, i was just calling my friend.." her friend being a woman, also named Susan, who was apparently sitting on row one. And we all laughed at that one.
Of course the joke continued, however, us laughing at imagining hissing at the teacher right in the middle of their lesson, like they won't get noticed.
Jen: "SUSAN! hey, Susan!... you're doing it wrong!"
Ash took a more positive spin: "SUSAN! ... you're doing great!" *thumbs up*
Ha ha! Loved that one.
*making up new words gives me such a high, i cant even tell you. A hissper is a strong whisper. Not as loud as the whisper yell, but not a soft whisper either.
4. For one recipe, the teacher began by melting about four sticks of butter in a pan. She couldn't do anything else until they were all melted of course so she was giving tips and answering questions and explaining other candy-making tidbits as she stirred. Some people asked questions about what kind of pan to use, utensils, greased or non-grease? etc. While she was doing this, one woman raised her hand and asked, "Could you cut the butter before putting it in the pan?"
Jen, speaking as the woman with the question: "... because maybe YOU should have done that...?"
And then we made jokes, imagining ourselves to ask the teacher passive aggressive questions.
"Are you sure you're doing that right?"
"So is it supposed to look all lumpy like that?" -- i just made these up off the top of my head, because we ended at just imagining it, but you see what i mean. Funny!
5. While stirring the toffee, the teacher explained you had to look away every once in a while because if you stare too long at it, you can't tell when the color's right, which is of utmost importance when making toffee (apparently). The color, by the way, should be the color of a brown bag, so if you have one of those handy, use it to compare. This made me laugh out loud, though no one else really saw the humor. Just picturing stirring and then suddenly darting your gaze away at something else, then zipping it back again. Maybe this is a cheat, but I've taken another velfie for you:
Additional jokes-- said as a continuation of the lesson, as if the teacher, in an instructional tone: "So.. as you stir and look away, just have something for you to look at--perhaps a garden scene or ocean waves-- any photo of your choice will do."
6. I had my own side joke with that one because when it finally (it took a while) came time for the toffee to be ready, the teacher said, "I think we're getting close... oh, too bad I don't have a brown bag here!" and some woman held up her brown clipboard they had given us to take notes on. I (to my sisters, of course), motioned as if to smack the clipboard out of the woman's hands and said, "that's not brown bag! You can't just use any brown willy nilly!" And I laughed at myself.
Well that's about it, I guess. Six. Not too shabby. It was great fun and we did learn seemingly super useful tips. I mean, the things i could tell you about your thermometer...
This class sounds so fun, provided you're there with sisters who share your sense of humor! Jealous!
One thing about explaining jokes-- I had some friends who decided if you told a funny story and had to end it with, "It was funny" then it probably wasn't very funny after all. At first I sort of agreed with them, but then the more I thought about it, the more I decided they were just being mean. Because sometimes you use that tag line just to indicate that you're all done and now someone else can tell a funny story. You're just sharing in the conversation!
It was funny. (Lame)
Oh man, I laughed then and now. We had some good stuff going. The hissperer about killed me. It was a very loud and drawn-out hissper, right in the middle of the class, and also funny after we had JUST joked about the possible ghosts we were hearing out in the hall. Joke number 7.
Ha ha! I like "it was funny." While I do acknowledge that having to use it probably means I failed in the telling of the joke, I still remain loyal to the original funny incident and proclaim it despite my failure. But yes, it can also provide as a segue (is that really how that's spelled? My fingers knew but my brain really doubted)to another topic. I love talking about jokes and humor and the kinds of things we laugh at.
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