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Check the Teasing

288. Check the Teasing

It seems appropriate on the day after April Fool’s Day to check out whether teasing is funny or not. I would say that the teasing stories yesterday were funny and did no harm.

But when I was little, my father thought he was teasing me but it was something else. When I was five, my father took me with him when we went to pick up my mother at the end of her shift. She worked at the phone company and sometimes got off at midnight. We would pick her up and then go to a diner that looked like a real train car and that was fun. I only got to go when the next day was not a school day.

All I had to do was to get through the poem. My father thought it was funny, reciting the same poem night after night. But it wasn’t funny. It was dark in the alley where my mother came out at midnight. We usually got there early and waited in the dark. He said the poem so dramatically. It scared me and I was glad when it was over. The name of the poem was “A Deed of Horror” by J. W. Lloyd. I knew that it came out o.k. at the end, but the majority of the poem made me think it was not going to come out o.k., and I was only five.

I’ve come to believe that if the person you are teasing ends up being scared or angry and your response is “Well, it was just a joke,” or “I was just teasing,” then chances are it wasn’t really funny at all. Healthy teasing is when everyone ends up laughing together.

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