Since I don’t usually get the opportunity to see a lot of my fellow countrymen while I’m in England, when I do, I usually notice a lot of things about them that I probably wouldn’t have if I saw Iranians every day of my life. So I thought maybe I could share one of these new discoveries of mine with you today.
This is something that I have noticed a lot of Iranians are very fond of. In fact with a lot of us this is actually the foundation of our whole sense of humour. I like to call it ‘Brutal Sarcasm’ and it basically goes like this: Whenever someone asks you something, in your mind you have to instantly convince yourself that this is the most ridiculous question you have ever heard in your life and then as fast as you can, come up with a very ridiculous answer of yourself. I’ll give you an example but first let me just say that I’m calling this Brutal Sarcasm because for most people there are absolutely no boundaries for when or how they use this.
Now the example, say you arrive at a friend’s place, who doesn’t live in the same city as you and he asks you, ‘Did you come by train?’ Now when you think about it, this is a perfectly normal question to ask someone and a normal person would probably answer this question with either a ‘Yes I did.’ or a ‘No I didn’t. I came by…’ filling in the dots with their chosen form of transport for that day.
However we are only saying this because we are not thinking like a person with Brutal Sarcasm. In their case, as I said before, in their mind this question instantly becomes the most ridiculous question that they have ever heard and they will answer to it with something like, ‘No I walked all the way.’
For a person who is into Brutal Sarcasm, this is a good answer however it could be a lot better as it’s not a great answer.
For example a better answer would be, ‘No I started walking but then I thought I would never get here on time so I hitchhiked the rest of the way and got a lift with a travelling salesman who tried to sell me his wife and then a group of Spanish nuns on their way to an Iron Maiden concert.’
This is a very good answer as it not only makes the first question sound ridiculous but it’s funny as well in a way and might even get a few laughs from the other people present which is always good.
Another way of doing this is to neither go for the laugh nor the obviously ridiculous answer right from the beginning but give an answer which is untrue and at the same time very believable. The fun with this type of brutal sarcasm is that it can go on for much longer than the other two types and if you are very good, you might get a much bigger laugh at the end.
Now here’s one of the ways that you could do this:
Your host, ‘So did you come by train?’
You, ‘No I drove here.’
Your host, ‘Oh really? I didn’t know you had a car.’
You, ‘No I didn’t but I bought one yesterday.’
Your host, ‘Yeah? What kind?’
And so on and so forth.
If you are very good, this can go on for a very long time until you finally convince your host to put his or her coat on and go out with you to have a look at this imaginary car that you have bought and then if you are very very good, you can stretch this even further by pretending that your car has been stolen.
Anyway the longer this goes on for, the more successful you have been as a type 3 Brutal Sarcasmist.
Now if you are interested in brutal sarcasm yourself, I have prepared a list of beginners’ instant Brutal Sarcasm remarks for you to memorise and practice with until your brain becomes fully trained in this and you can go on doing this yourself without my help.
-Would you like a drink?
-No, I would rather die of thirst.
-Would you like some fruit?
-No I’ve been working very hard on getting scurvy so please don’t spoil my chances now by giving me vitamins.
-Did you watch the game yesterday?
-No I sat in front of the television but I shot my eyes and stuck my fingers in my ears for the whole ninety minutes.
-Do you have an email address?
-No I still use carrier pigeons for getting my messages out to people.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 2:31 PM
PS Ok so I have been told that this is not just an Iranian thing and people from other cultures are quite fond of this too. I think I know why I thought this was special to Iranians though. It’s because my friends here are usually my own age and if they start being silly like that, I can tell them to watch it but with Iranians it’s different, they are all different ages and there is always that roodarvasi as well so you can’t tell them to ‘watch it or else’ exactly and so the silliness continues ;-)