Did they really just ask me that?
Camden — I ran into an old friend the other day at a local convenience store and he asks me, “Hey what are you doing here?” to which my reply was of course, “hunting elephants, you?”
We both got a laugh and we continued to talk and the more we talked the more I realized that the majority of our 30-year relationship was based on sarcasm.
Looking back, I can hardly remember a conversation that did not start with some witty banter followed by constructive criticism and a “catch ya later."
Anybody who knows me knows that next to English, sarcasm is my second language. I have found over the years that it has been a very effective tool in my vocal arsenal and has allowed me to end debates, leaving my opposition scratching their heads. Sometimes it is the only way that people get the hint that maybe their way of thinking is — well — simple.
Sarcasm by definition is the use of irony to mock or convey contempt and to do this effectively; you really have to have quick wit and a relatively high IQ. Ironically, the only people who get the sarcasm are those who are smart enough to use it.
I find that most people I come in contact with have the ability to tell when I’m being sarcastic and when I am being serious. Levity is the name of the game sometimes and whether anybody wants to admit it or not, it is funny.
Really for me I think it is more of a defense mechanism that allows me to say how I really feel without causing a ton of hate and discontent. Usually I find the wit of my banter makes people laugh and helps them realize that things are not as desperate as they seem or that by “dumbing it down a bit” they can see where I am coming from.
I also tend to use sarcasm to show endearment toward people, because if I don’t like you, I wouldn’t waste my material on you. It’s like that snotty-faced girl in the second grade that would pull your hair on the bus, not because she hated you, but just the opposite, it may be a sign that she digs you.
Some say that if you ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer and for the most part that may be true. If you ask me a question that seems to be coming from a place of laziness and not ignorance, I will surely answer you accordingly.
For example, this morning I asked a friend if he saw the Red Sox comeback and beat Detroit Sunday night and he replies “so they won right?” and I replied “well if that is what comeback and beat mean – then yes – they won.”
See, I like this guy and really all I’m doing is busting his hump at this point and he replies with a chuckle, “Guess that makes me Capt. Obvious then doesn’t it.”
I’m pretty sure that in any case, sarcasm is a genetic trait in my family because I can’t think of any of them right off the top of my head that doesn’t use it. Obviously, I consider the use of it a sign of intelligence and the inability of understanding it is a lack of.
It is even more fun to use sarcasm to win an argument, that for all intents and purposes I should lose. Being clever is one of the few things I’m really good at and sometimes I even amaze myself.
Some people don’t like sarcasm and I have to admit there are times when I even get irritated by people who are constantly sarcastic. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes giving it to them straight is the only option. I know it bothers me when I’m asking someone a serious question and they can’t be serious about it so I get sarcastic answers. This is what makes me mindful of when and where to whip it [sarcasm] out and use it.
Regardless, I think that on this topic there are only two types of people, those who get it and those who don’t.