What goes over your head?

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Just so we're clear, I'm not making fun of the people who didn't get the Pulp Fiction reference, or who got it but still didn't understand why I was saying we were married when we weren't, or who just generally thought it was dumb. It was dumb. I take full responsibility.

But what does go over your head? Got any good stories about a time you took something literally when it wasn't meant that way, or a time when someone didn't get your joke and you explained it and everyone just nodded at you like you were an idiot? Any general areas where you're always clueless? (Me -- pop music. Britney who?)

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001


What goes over my head? Just my turtleneck sweaters.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

I didn't have TV for several years. I sorta wish I didn't have one now, I'd get more done. But then I'd miss Survivor.

Anyway, I never felt so out of the loop as when I didn't have television. Back then I was a vegetarian and I guess someone was running an ad campaign where this dumb girl says, "I don't eat meat, cuz I'm a vetrinarian." Invariably, when someone learned I was vegetarian they would imitate that commercial, and I would have no idea.

Of course, I'm horrible now. I can have entire conversations with certain friends that consist of nothing but Simpsons quotes and movie references. Stee wrote about how insufferable people like me are a while ago, and I recognize that. I try to tone it down, but sometimes it's hard.

I also don't listen to the radio at all. I used to listen to it when I had a car, but now that I live in Seattle I just read on the bus and listen to MP3s on my computer. I miss a lot of references to music pop culture. I don't understand what the hell Pamie is writing half the time, unless she makes her cats talk. That's funny.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

"My feet!", billowed the big breasted blonde as her buxom bosoms bounced blissfully.

(get it - what goes over your head? C'mon. It was a perfect setup. Really? Still no laugh. Not even a chuckle? Then quit nodding. Oh yeah? Is that right? I'm an idiot? Well, you're a big dummy face and your feet smell like cheese.)

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Seriously, sports goes over my head. I followed baseball as a child, but lost the habit in seminary (think about it). I don't know a thing about any professional sport now. I found out who Brett Favre is when I saw "Something about Mary," okay? Not only do I know nothing about it, I don't get the appeal. If I have four hours off on a Saturday afternoon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair.

In my line of work, men make small talk almost exclusively about the weather or sports, and I frequently have this conversation:

Him: "Wasn't it incredible when Strzelchk scored last night?"

Me: "It was incredible. Ya gotta wonder how people do that?" (Thanks to the WBA you have to keep these responses gender-neutral now).

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

A lot of pop culture goes over my head. I didn't watch TV for years in the 70s so I have never seen The Brady Bunch or Charlie's Angels or a lot of other shows that everybody else watched.

I don't watch much besides Antiques Road Show and sports now, so references to just about anything else goes past me. Nope, I don't watch Survivor, but I will fight to my death for your right to do so.

I don't even go to many movies so references to those go over my head.

However, I can figure a lot of this stuff out if I want to, or ask somebody, so it's not a big deal.

Math humor goes over my head.

Puns often go over my head. I "hear" words kind of as they're spelled and don't get the alternate meaning. For instance, a woman I know writes for a newspaper for the gay community called GAZE. I couldn't figure out why it was called that. She told me to say it out loud. Still no clue. Finally she said "GAAAAYYYSSS". Oh you mean like GAYS. Oh. I get it now.

I don't consider this a loss because I do believe that puns are the lowest form of wit.

Some references to classic literature go over my head. Some references I make to classic literature go over other people's heads. Since a lot of what I find humorous is running gags among my friends, if I don't watch it I find myself making some joke and then realizing that people at work don't know what I mean it.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Oh yeah, I do know a lot about pop music. Recently I said "Oh well, blame it on the bossa nova" to someone at work about a problem we were having. She didn't recognize that song.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Uh oh, Lizzie, you would HATE me then because i am a bit of a pun girl. Sorry. [insert sheepish grin here]

Heavy literature references go over my head and make me sort of ashamed.

My fiance is 12 years older than i am. Neither of us could possibly care less. However, it does become apparent when he will make some sort of pop culture reference that he grew up with, either to me directly or to someone else in front of me. Basically he'll guffaw, then i'll stare at him with a total blank expression, and then finally he'll realize i have no idea whatsoever as to what he's talking about. "You mean you never saw [fill in the blank]?!"

Nope. Remember that when you were watching that at 15, i was 3 years old and grooving on Sesame Street.


-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Good one Lizzie about Bossa Nova! Ha!

I would say popular TV shows go way over my head. Since we have two satellite systems, we watch movies constantly. And we have a ReplayTV, so when we get home and want to watch something, we've got what we like on the hard drive -- The Screen Savers from TechTV, Nova and The American Experience from PBS, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, South Park, Larry Sanders, the Western New York sports channel (we're in SF but originally from the East Coast), etc. No prime time crap at all.

People at my office go ON AND ON about Survivor and Friends. I just don't get them. So I sit quietly and doodle while people chit-chat about them before meetings start.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

I'm not a sarcastic person by nature and as a result, much sarcasm is lost on me. My brain just doesn't seem to work that way. Often I have to go back and revisit conversations to make sure I didn't take something the wrong way. This has resulted in far too many miscommunications. Some funny. Some really not.

That and quotes from Pulp Fiction...*laughing* I missed that one entirely.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Sherry, I don't mind if people make puns. Just don't expect me to appreciate them.

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2001

Saturday, after taking my lil' angel clothes shopping, (and yes, it's just as laborious, toilsom and possibly as expensive with a five year old female as it is with a thirty year old one), we had a conversation about the puppy. I remarked how, if he had crapped in my room again, I would put him in the oven and eat him for supper. She gave me the look. I knew I was in trouble so I tried to make light of my comments with a little joke.

Said me: Know what he'd be if I put him in the oven? Said a glowering she: No. What? Said grinning me: A hot dog! Said an unimpressed she: Well, his penis would.

Talk about taking a joke literally. We laughed and laughed and I didn't stop laughing 'til I realized my little girl had just casually uttered the word penis.

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2001

When my son was baptized, the Episcopalians required us to sit in on several religious instruction classes. Usually, I was the only man who attended (religion being a "woman thing" here in the northeast). The one session where another man showed up, somehow the conversation turned to breastfeeding and how difficult it is to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle.

The other guy's one contribution to the conversation was to say that they make a sort of prosthetic breast that holds milk, so a man can feed the baby in as close to the usual way as possible. The minister running the meeting didn't understand what this guy was talking about, and she said, "What do you mean -- an artificial breast?"

"Sure," the guy replied, "It's like a strap-on for guys."

No one else in the room blinked -- talk about something going over someone's head. After about 90 seconds, I excused myself to go the bathroom. I had one of those long, private laugh sessions that make you wonder if you're not getting a little bit giddy.

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2001

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