Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cock That Brow












As someone who has prided (or deluded, depending on your point of view) himself on having a sense of humor, I will admit to having long been frustrated by my inability to execute a tried-and-true trick of the humor trade. It isn't necessarily a prerequisite for being funny, but as affectations go, it's among the best to have.

Go back sometime and revisit National Lampoon's Animal House, the movie that made John Belushi a superstar -- and, for my money, is the gold standard for movie comedy. Check out the cafeteria scene, just before Belushi shoves a plate of Jello down his throat. What does he do right beforehand? Or check out the scene in which two cheerleaders are sitting on bleachers, and the camera pans down to reveal Belushi doing a peeping Tom bit. What does he do?

He cocks one eyebrow.

It's hilarious.

Don't ask me why, but it's funny. You know it is. Compared to the Single Eyebrow Lift, or S.E.L., an eye roll looks like amateur hour.

Jack Black can do the S.E.L., too. All the really funny people can: George Carlin, Stephen Colbert, Horatio Sanz. I bet Dr. Pants can do it, the lucky prick. Joan Crawford could do it, too, which might be why I giggle every time I see Mildred Pierce.

Alas, I cannot lift one eyebrow. Such nuances of movement elude me. Always have. In grade school, I was the only kid I knew who couldn't do Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute (not that I needed to, mind you -- I was a geek all right, but not that kind of geek). I can't do a damn thing with bubblegum except chew it. Hell, I can't even whistle without it sounding like the last gasp of a flat tire.

So imagine my surprise and joy when I discovered that my 6-month-old daughter, the lovely Apple Rosebud, can raise the one eyebrow.













Right after this photo was taken (which is a few months old), she cocked her right eyebrow. She did; trust me. And God help me if it wasn't just knock-down, crap-your-pants funny. She seems to be doing it more and more these days, particularly when her mother or I are acting like idiots. I know it'll be less cute when she's a teenager, and the S.E.L. will be in reaction to my wearing black socks with white shoes or something like that, but until then ...

We all want our children to have all the things we never did. Knowing that my daughter will be able to execute the perfect double-take at parties is, well, it's more than I could ever have hoped.

I can't wait to teach her how to do a spit-take. Danny Thomas, eat your heart out.

1 Comments:

At 2:23 PM, Blogger LiteraryTech said...

But, Chase, why don't people laugh when I do it?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home