“Never top a man’s joke” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My friend Eeon is the funniest person I know. We’ve been discussing Justified over email for the past few days, and while I’m writing thoughtful thesis-length essays on Raylan’s contributions to the continuing patriarchy, he’s writing that a better scenario would be if Raylan had a robot sidekick named Wyatt Earp (voiced by Val Kilmer)
Yeah, I can’t top that. All I could do was laugh until I almost choked, which is my general reaction when I hang out with Eeon (or Pete–the two of them combined are just about deadly. All the laughing is a good ab workout, though)
Not topping anyone’s joke is a good practice to get into. There comes a time when someone has just told the funniest story you’re going to hear in that moment, and telling an inferior one will only bring the room down. We’re so obsessed with having the last word, being the smartest, the funniest, the most awesome, that we stomp all over other people just to be that.
Next time someone tells a joke, just laugh at it. Tell them they’re funny. You’ll have time to tell yours a little later, and hopefully, they’ll give you the same generous stage.