I wanted to tell the banana joke to one last male friend.
6. Last victim: David, 31. Important fact: he’s gay
How refreshing it is to hang out with David! I never feel awkward in his company. Why?
a. He usually welcomes me with a compliment about what I’m wearing.
b. He never stares at my breasts.
c. He’s not receptive to my charms, so I can stop displaying them. Relaxing. If you wonder why I have to be charming all the time, well, other than “I’m a French woman who needs to be loved”, I don’t know. Please let me know if you have an answer.
d. He does not try to show off.
e. He keeps listening to me when a hot girl is around. He also notices and draws my attention to the hot guys passing by.
But back to business. Last Friday, I wanted to try the banana joke on David. I was not very confident because I realised he never really laughed at my jokes. Or maybe I never tried to make him laugh (joking is one of my charms). So when I showed him the invisible banana, he did not laugh. He said:
“Huh? What is supposed to be funny?”
What a surprise! David, my gay friend is not attracted to me. So what? I did not feel rejected.
I told him about the whole joke project and Andrew’s theory (you are more likely to laugh if you are attracted to the person telling the joke).
“It makes sense” he said. “I guess that when you are attracted to someone, even slightly, you are more cooperative. You want to please the person, so you’ll probably focus harder to find what is funny in the joke, and then laugh”.
Telling the banana joke to some of my friends and students was so much fun! Surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself in the process. I remain unable to reach a conclusion about the relationship between attraction and laughter. My fiancé and all my students (men and women) laughed; my friends did not. Maybe my students wanted to please me more than my friends? Or to see their normally serious teacher joking triggered their laughter? Who knows! Honestly, I don’t really care why somebody is laughing at my jokes. I just like it when it happens.
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