Uninformed Comment

Accidental humour

Posted in Humour, Literature by uninformedcomment on June 15, 2009


Every night at bedtime, I read aloud to L on Skype.  It’s a pleasant pastime, and it helps us both unwind and get to sleep.

Sometimes, a witty passage in the book I’m reading will make make us laugh so much it’s difficult for me to continue reading until I’ve fully absorbed the humour and settled down.  Even then, I’m prone to sudden fits of giggles for a while later.

And normally, the author intended to make us laugh.  You expect it from Bill Bryson, say, whose travel books we’ve devoured.  But the book we’re reading at the moment, Anne Tyler’s 1974 American novel Celestial Navigation, is a very sober narrative, and the humour was most certainly not intended.  The story’s about a reclusive artist, Jeremy Pauling, his wife, Mary and their many children.  The narrative takes place in 1971, and L and I guess she’s actually talking about the Afro hairdos popular at the time:

With a Bush

It was that last word that finished me off.


One Response

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  1. Paul Madarasz said, on December 20, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    “Push, push in the bush”
    — 70s disco “song”

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