Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Witz Pickz: Laughing Matters and Knäckebrödsdansen

I got flown by NWA. That's the coolest I'm ever gonna sound-- unfortunately, I wasn't assaulted by an iconic hip hop group, I just flew back to Connecticut on Northwest Airlines...though I was hit by the drink cart once by a flight attendant who looked kinda black.

While on board, I made the mistake of trying to pass the time by listening to Mike Birbiglia's stand up album "Two Drink Mike." I figured I'd already heard most of his jokes, so I wouldn't laugh, which I think says something about me, because who listens to a comedy album they DON'T expect to laugh at? As it turns out, there were a bunch of jokes I hadn't heard and ended up laughing hysterically, which was enjoyable for me as well as all kinds of uncomfortable for the older woman in the seat next to me at fifty-thousand feet. As I sat there laughing and shaking, I had to keep looking at my iPod just to demonstrate for people that I wasn't completely insane. "Oh, iPod! You're hilarious!" The whole thing was made more awkward by the fact that they were showing a documentary about like, saving villages in Africa, so my audible laughter almost definitely appeared to be directed at impoverished African villagers and their culture. Wonderful.

The plane laughter got me thinking about a conversation I had the other day with E-Funk All-Star. We somehow ended up talking about different kinds of laughter and giggling came up. There is a very small window for appropriate giggling and this became abundantly clear on my flight. Too little giggling and you're an emotionless sack of sad that's incapable of expressing excited or surprised enjoyment, and too much giggling and you're absolutely insane. In my world, giggling generally occurs when you try and hold in laughter, so there was probably some plane giggling and, let's be honest, there's been some giggling at the gym, which is awesome, because no matter how much weight you're benching, the moment you GIGGLE, your gym cred is gone.

The other kind of "surprise laughter" is the guffaw. The guffaw is rarely implemented, but when it is, look out. There is a very thin line between "a guffaw" and "throwing up."

Witz: I'm so tired of hearing those models say, "I was just trying to guffaw and..."
E-Funk All-Star: My friend is so funny that I lost 15 pounds!

How awesome would it be if weight was indicative of humor? I'd walk around with a really skinny girl all the time and people would whisper, "Wow, he must be SO funny!" Suddenly, people would be staging interventions for rail thin guys: "Tommy, we know you like it there, but you can't be going down to the comedy clubs every night. You're going to die." Almanacs would come out with facts like, "World's Funniest Nations As Evidenced By Weight," which would suddenly make Ethiopia the funniest country on the planet.

Anyway, here's something E-Funk All-Star introduced me to that you can giggle at: naket knäckebröd dansen. Apparently, the Swedish language consists almost entirely of cognates and poser cognates (words that dress and act like they're cognates, but aren't), but I will translate for you. "Naket" means naked. "Dansen" means dancing. "Brod" means bread. Knacke means FUCKING INSAAAAANE. Check it out:

ABBA: No Longer Sweden's Gayest Export. These guys are like the Swedish Red Hot Chili Peppers (Röd Het Chilli Peppars). As you might have guessed, knackebrod is actually large pieces of crispy circular bread with a whole in the middle-- or, as us Jews call them, bagel chips*. While most people see bagel chips and think, "I'm going to eat these with a sandwich," these guys saw bagel chips and thought, "I bet that would cover my dick." They then followed that thought up with,

"Let's all dance naket together on national television."
"Can there be a part where we all look like we're banging each other?"
"Almost exclusively."
"Sold. Girls are gonna love this!"

If these guys didn't go to boarding school, I don't know who did. If you missed the one guy losing his knackebrod (which sounds like a euphamism), go back and watch again, it's pretty amusing. As for me, now that I'm home, I'm gonna go raid the cupboard and get my "Ritz Crackerbrodsdansen" on.

Dansen Maskin,


A. E. Funk said...

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