“What is funny?” you ask, my child,
Crinkling your bright-blue eye.
“Ah, that is a curious question indeed,”
Musing, I make reply.
“Contusions are funny, not open wounds,
And automobiles that go
Crash into trees by the highwayside;
Industrial incidents, no.
“The habit of drink is a hundred per cent,
But drug addiction is nil.
A nervous breakdown will get no laughs;
Insanity surely will.
“Humor, aloof from the cigarette,
Inhabits the droll cigar;
The middle-aged are not very funny;
The young and the old, they are.
“So the funniest thing in the world should be
A grandsire, drunk, insane,
Maimed in a motor accident,
And enduring moderate pain.
“But why do you scream and yell, my child?
Here comes your mother, my honey,
To comfort you and to lecture me
For trying, she’ll say, to be funny.”
— Morris Bishop