Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Minestrone Belt or Why I'm Not Funny in Italian

 
I have a couple of standard jokes I used in my exercise classes in Brooklyn. None of them are funny here. Let me give you some examples:

1. I usually say when we are doing a difficult exercise that involves punching or kicking, "Go ahead - Imagine my face. I can take it. I've had years of therapy. I can deal with your anger. It's fine." Here what happens are usually looks of either fear and/or pity. And then I catch the inquisitive private glances among the students that say, "Why do you think she needed therapy? Might she be dangerous?"

2. When we are doing an exercise that you can't help but think looks like we are simulating some kind of sexual act such as hip thrusting, I usually say, "C'mon do it like you did it last night." I used to get tons of laughs in Brooklyn with that one. Here there is just total silence and some blank looks. It is possible that I'm saying it wrong. Or even worse when no one laughs, I feel compelled to go on to say, "Yeah, this is what I was doing last night." And they usually look alternately confused an appalled.

3. I used to end a good class or follow up one of my killer jokes with the old Borscht Belt one liner, "Come on back. I'm here all week." But here of course they just ask me if I am suddenly going to show up for more than two evenings of lessons. Sigh.

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