Have Any Breath Mints?

  I can see a television when I shave in the morning and while I often watch CNN or the local news, sometimes I turn to Despierta America on Univision (must see!) or VH1 or a movie channel.  While flipping through early on New Year’s Eve I found, in black and white on AMC, hay bales moving around a field to the tune of Three Blind Mice.  Remember that one?  The Three Stooges are awesome!! 

  I couldn’t stop laughing and nearly cut myself.  Wife rolled her eyes, tisk-tisked me, and asked when I was going to grow up.  For the umpteenth time.  Jeesh.  She’s lost hope.  Nyuk, nyuk.  After she left though I began to wonder about the evolution of humor.  Later I googled the notion for a bit and found but turgid prose. 

  Hobbes’ thought that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” before the grace of government came to mind.  Seems logical to me that it might have been an evolutionary advantage to have been able to be funny while standing around a campfire gnawing on mammoth bones.  Life would have been tough (to coin a phrase). 

  I’ll bet that the hot cave chicks were turned on by a smiling fellow able to flatulate via his axilla while the others stood around in a inchoate state of depression.  How else could Fred Flintstone ever have attracted Wilma?

  Base humor must go back to the moment of our awakening, or I guess I mean back to when we first developed a sense of self awareness.  Once you leave speculation and get to recorded history there are plenty of examples. 

  In the Greek play Peace by Aristophanes for example (421BC), a giant dung beetle plays a major role transporting the main protagonist to heaven to plea for the gods’ intercession.  Bystanders are urged to avoid moving their bowels and thereby distract Trygaeus’ coprophageous mount.  It is an antiwar comedy celebrating the coming of peace after ten years of war on the Peloponnesian Penninsula.

  Interesting that the work of which the Stooges were most proud was also related to war.  They considered their best to be “You Nazty Spy” which in 1940 was a mockery of Hitler and the Third Reich.  Moe played Hitler, Larry was Ribbentrop, and Curly did Hermann Goering.    

  Certainly the standard of humor of an age rides the zeitgeist.  There was no need of subtlety during the thirties.  The Stooges appeared in their first film in 1930.  The Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup came out in 1933.  Etc.

  It’s 2010.  Where are we now?  Lord help us.  Here’s a clue:  

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One Response to “Have Any Breath Mints?”

  1. rima Says:

    If you like potty humor, you might enjoy Garagntua and Pantagruel by Rabelais.

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