A while back, we had a new hotshot software engineer join the team. Before that, I was the hotshot and this new upstart felt the pressure of having to fit in. He was a better programmer than I was, but that was not enough. One thing that he really liked about me was my jokes and he was not alone in that regard. He figured if he could make people laugh half as much as I did, he would eclipse me. So the guy started to search the internet for jokes. Your colleagues have verse of the day? Our hotshot sent us joke of the day — by email (WhatsApp was still messenger on Blackberry and we did not have Blackberries). At the time I thought it amusing and in fact several of my jokes became about his manufactured funny bone. But he stuck at it and soon we were laughing with him and not at him. These days I get reports from new teams he joins that he is a really funny guy.
From a young age, I thought myself as funny. People around me always seemed to find the things I said funny. Famously I remember I used to struggle to qualify for the 100m finals in primary school. But this one guy who always took the final qualifying spot could not get enough of my jokes. So to avoid the 100m heats turning into a 3 year groundhog day for me, I waited till we were at the 50m mark before I delivered a perfect punchline. The poor sod burst into loud guffaws that saw him finish last in the race. The real joke of course was my position in the finals.
Meanwhile, I have this daughter that rarely smiles, let alone laugh out loud. It is a real event in our house when she smiles. She has had me doubting my ability to crack anyone up and I have not felt this insecure since back in the days when I lived with my sisters. I would come back into the house with swag after cracking up the entire neighborhood, but my sisters were a tough crowd. So imagine my joy on Monday when I delivered a punchline and this daughter of mine laughed out loud. I originally thought that was a fluke, but it happened again the next day and the next. Yesterday I even managed it twice, with her falling off her chair laughing. I think I have finally cracked her.
Uganda is currently in election season and one of the candidates is a young man called Katumba. My previously serious daughter with no sense of humor suddenly cannot get enough of the Katumba Oyee videos. It is like I burst the humor dam for her. She has the videos on repeat and the house just loves to hear her laugh out loud.
For you how was your week?