Humour as a side effect of Aspergers




I've talked before about aspies and humour. It's something very important to me as I find lots of things funny, I like to be funny and am often funny at inappropriate moments. All of that is fine (well, except when it isn't) but I also think finding things funny is a direct side effect of living with aspergers.

Just when I think I'm getting away with it and being nicely normal, I'll find myself laughing. Not in a maniacal way, not like a happy witch, just a normal laugh at an abnormal moment.

It'll usually be that I've remembered something funny and laughed again. It's as funny the second or third time. Thanks to my photographic visual memory, I can re-live it, see the funny side and away I go. What a hahas.

Except that I'm in a public setting, often alone and with nothing to blame for feeling so happy that I laughed. Oh, well, ahem, you know, these things happen. It can actually be heartening to know that after so many years of messing up, I can still embarrass myself. Or should I say, still feel embarrassed?

I think my embarrassment is linked to a fear I have that I'll become one of those women who walk along, talking to themselves and waving their arms about. I don't want to be that woman but sometimes I already am, at least in private. I find if I'm relaxed enough, then I do have those out-loud arguments with myself. It's only a short step to doing it in public too.

In fact, it's just as socially unacceptable to laugh to yourself. People seem to find it unnerving, almost like you've walked up to them and jabbed them in the belly or nipped their little fat faces. Much as I often want to do those things, I haven't, yet. They should think themselves lucky I'm just having a giggle to myself.

I even worry friends and family when I do it, so I know it's a bad thing. Considering how well they know me, I'm worried at how surprised they are by this new-ish development. I admit, walking along in the dark with me, it might be a shock if I suddenly laugh into the silence. It could be scene from a horror movie, where you think you're with your mother on a dark pathway, but really she's been replaced by someone else. Even if the replacement sounds happy, that can't be a good feeling.

I always explain what I'm laughing at - usually because the unlucky companion jumps round like I've bitten them and demands to know what's funny. The trouble is, I have to admit I'm laughing at a scene from Father Ted or a comment on TV last week. I have to apologise, realising yet again that other people don't remember TV in the same high definition I do.


It's good to be able to laugh at things again, it's a useful way to be cheered up in the middle of real life. It also feels like a short cut to being avoided in the street.

It must be linked to poor impulse control, rather than a loss of inhibitions. My inhibitions are fine, thank you very much. They live in a nice house and like to keep their garden neat and their windows shiny. They don't come out as much as they used to, but they are still present.

No, the impulse control is at fault here. It's never been brilliant at coping, it was always thundering around, doing whatever it liked when I wasn't looking. The trouble is, since starting this blog, my impulse control has felt more free than ever and often does what it likes when it's standing right next to me and I'm watching.

You see, since writing on here, I see things differently. I'm more relaxed about myself, more at ease. That's great and lovely but what it also means is that I'm less strung up and watchful too. That's where the impulse control comes in - or rather, goes right out and does what it wants. If you don't keep an eye on yourself, then you don't control your impulses and if you're an aspie, your impulses tend to be unexpected and eccentric.

Here is where it starts. Today, I laugh unexpectedly, tomorrow I might speak without ever thinking. The day after, will I be arguing round Tesco or using melons as bowling balls? Who knows, but whatever it is, I'll probably blog about it.

So, you see readers, I can blame the blog and not myself. Before I started this, I was only out of control some of the time. Thanks to the Crazy Girl pages, I'm out of control more of the time and it's spreading.

Strangely, I'm not really worried. I just hope the people who know me don't mind as I change. I feel a bit sorry for them...

Amanda

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